Thursday April 25, 2024

Outdoor Life

A lake sturgeon that was tagged in a Wisconsin river years ago has traveled so far down the Mississippi River that it’s taken biologists from two different states to track it. In a Facebook post on Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that the fish was captured at the Lock 26 Dam near Alton, Illinois. Biologists with the Missouri Department of Conservation caught the fish during a survey on the Mississippi, which forms the state line between Missouri and Illinois. The WDNR says the sturgeon’s downriver journey is one of the farthest ever recorded for that population of sturgeon, and especially notable given how many dams and locks it navigated.

“Our biologists confirmed that this sturgeon was initially tagged on the Chippewa River and swam at least 651 miles from Jim Falls,” the WDNR wrote in the post. “That impressive journey is the longest-known distance a Chippewa River lake sturgeon has ever traveled!”

The two agencies were able to gauge this distance because the sturgeon had been fitted with a floy tag at some point. These visible nylon tags are typically anchored to a fish’s dorsal fin, and they have numbered codes that are unique to a particular fish, allowing researchers to track its movement and growth over time.

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