Alternate Title

Population Size Estimates of Sturgeon in the Suwannee River, Florida, U.S.A.


An inventory of the Gulf of Mexico sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus de sotoi) population in the Suwannee River was conducted from 1986 to 1997. Sturgeon were collected using gill nets as the fish migrated from the ocean into the river during their annual spring migrations. The average population size for sturgeon was estimated at 3,152 ± 369 individuals using the Jolly-Seber capture-recapture model for open populations. Annual population estimates ranged from 2,097 to 5,312 individuals over a 10-yr period. The Suwannee River sturgeon population may represent one of the last viable populations of the species and may require special management. Habitat restoration, protection, and establishment of a population augmentation and replenishment program for the species is advocated.