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Atlantic Sturgeon Recovery Program

  • Outreach

    Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon can be found in major rivers, estuaries, bays and coastal waters along the eastern seaboard of the United States Read More . . .

  • Sturgeon Salvage Network

    The Shortnose Sturgeon Salvage Network was formed to improve documentation of endangered shortnose sturgeon found dead in the wild Read More . . .

  • Research

    Current research projects on wild populations of shortnose sturgeon include Read More . . .

  • Endocrine Disrupting Compounds Study

    NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service funded a study to determine whether EPA recommended whole effluent testing (WET) is effective for Read More . . .

  • Atlantic Sturgeon and the ESA

    Atlantic sturgeon that are spawned in U.S. rivers or are captive progeny of Atlantic sturgeon that were spawned in U.S. rivers are listed under the ESA as five Distinct Population Segments (DPSs) Read More . . .

Atlantic Sturgeon Recovery Program

Atlantic sturgeon are an anadromous bony fish that are distinguishable from other fish by five rows of bony scutes along the length of their body, a protrusible mouth, and heterocercal tail. They are slow growing and late maturing, and have been recorded to reach up to 16 feet in length and 60 years of age. Atlantic sturgeon can be found in major rivers, estuaries, bays and coastal waters along the eastern seaboard of the United States.

Atlantic sturgeon are listed as Threatened and Endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Atlantic sturgeon that are spawned in U.S. rivers or are captive progeny of Atlantic sturgeon that were spawned in U.S. rivers are listed under the ESA as five Distinct Population Segments (DPSs). As of February 6, 2012, the New York Bight, Chesapeake Bay, Carolina, and South Atlantic DPSs were listed as endangered. The Gulf of Maine DPS was listed as threatened. The Greater Atlantic Region of NOAA Fisheries Service has jurisdiction for implementing the ESA with respect to the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, and Chesapeake Bay DPSs. NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Region oversees implementation of the ESA for the Carolina and South Atlantic DPSs.

Some Protections for the Atlantic Sturgeon Include:

  • It is illegal to fish for, catch or keep Atlantic sturgeon or its parts commercially or recreationally
  • Atlantic sturgeon are also protected under state laws
    – check your states wildlife webpage for state regulations on Atlantic sturgeon

What’s New:
September 2013 - Final Report on the impacts of common endocrine disrupting compounds on Atlantic salmon and Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon

Atlantic Sturgeon
Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus).
Photo credit: Edith Carson (NOAA) 
 

       What to do if you catch an Atlantic Sturgeon