Netting a Dinosaur: Brett French Radio Show Preview
By angelamontana

Posted: May 16, 2014

OK, so maybe pallid sturgeon aren’t dinosaurs, but they do look a lot like their ancestors that swam in waters at the same time as the dinosaurs 70 million years ago. I was lucky to get to spend part of a day last week with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crew as they tried to net pallid sturgeon on the lowerYellowstone River, just outside of Williston, N.D. The drift nets they deployed tended to catch more paddlefish than sturgeon. Paddlefish were running upstream to spawn, so we got to see some of these cool fish with the long snouts, called rostrums, up close. But the sturgeon were also neat to see. They have heads shaped like an arrowhead: flat on the bottom and gently sloping up at the top, coming to a point at the nose. They are amazingly well adapted for living in such difficult rivers as the Yellowstone and Missouri. Now, only about 100 wild fish remain in the two waters and all of them are estimated to be more than 60 years old. Thanks to the netting crews, most of the wild fish have been captured and spawned at hatcheries, their progeny released into the two rivers to ensure the fish don’t become extinct. Now the question is whether the planted fish can naturally reproduce. To read the stories I wrote, log on to:


(Written by Brett French – Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette)

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