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Monday, April 25, 2011 - 8:03am

Study Tracks Sturgeon Habitat

Researchers are studying the migration and spawning habits of endangered short-nosed sturgeon. The study includes the Savannah River where the fish risk losing their habitat.

Scientists in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina are looking for sturgeon in all of the region’s major waterways. They capture the fish and fit them with tracking devices.

On the Savannah River, more than 50 monitoring stations will collect detailed information about the fish’s movements.

Bill Post with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is heading up the research. He says the findings could show how short-nosed sturgeon deal with erosion of their spawning grounds caused by dams and reservoirs.

"Because we have such an extensive amount of receivers we can document where these animals are going and which habitats they’re using."

The proposed Savannah Harbor deepening would further damage short-nosed sturgeon habitats. Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers must come up with a plan to protect the endangered species before the project can go forward.