This photo of an Atlantic sturgeon “young of year” says it all. At the hand of fishermen they have been almost eliminated from the Hudson for their flesh and their eggs (caviar). And by the hand of man they may be restored. The spawning run today is estimated to include fewer than 300 females. A few centuries ago their numbers were thought to be “countless.” We fished them down to the brink before the fishery was closed in 1996. Riverkeeper assists the DEC Fisheries team with their Atlantic sturgeon monitoring program. Time will tell whether we stopped the harvest in time. This little fish will have to survive until she is almost 20 before she returns to her natal river to spawn for the first time. She is hope for the future.
Photo Courtesy of Dave Conover.