Title

Activity Patterns of Gulf Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) In the Staging Area of the Pascagoula River During Fall Outmigration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2015

Department

Coastal Sciences, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

Abstract

Environmental cues that are associated with individual movement of threatened Gulf Sturgeon from upriver areas to nearshore and offshore winter feeding areas have been described throughout much of their range in the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we focus on small-scale movement of Gulf Sturgeon between summer ‘holding’ areas and the fall staging area in the Pascagoula River system (Mississippi, USA). We evaluated a set of logistic regression models using Akaike's Information Criterion and found that relative changes in barometric pressure, time of day, and water temperature were cues for small-scale Gulf Sturgeon movements during fall outmigration. Numerous environmental cues appear to drive the activity of Gulf Sturgeon in staging areas, indicating the complexity of abiotic factors affecting the observed staging patterns during emigration. The identification of the environmental drivers that are associated with Gulf Sturgeon movement is particularly important if these known saline transition zones change spatially annually with variable rainfall or due to water withdrawals and are used by Gulf Sturgeon making osmotic adjustments while moving downriver.

Publication Title

Ecology of Freshwater Fish

Volume

24

Issue

4

First Page

553

Last Page

561

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