Green sturgeon bycatch project

Green sturgeon post-release impacts in West Coast trawl fisheries

The Southern Distinct Population Segment (Southern DPS) of green sturgeon is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and is encountered as bycatch in fisheries along the West Coast, including the California halibut bottom trawl fishery. The impact to the species is difficult to understand given the lack of information on the effects of catch and release on green sturgeon in these fisheries.

To address this question, NOAA Fisheries is partnering with stakeholders to implement a study on the post-release survival of green sturgeon incidentally caught in the California halibut fishery. We will apply satellite tags to green sturgeon caught incidentally in the California halibut bottom trawl fishery and track the post-release movements and survival of the fish to evaluate the effects of bycatch. The goals of this study are to understand green sturgeon post-release impacts, provide further insights on green sturgeon movements, and strengthen NOAA’s relationship with fishermen.

Satellite tag. Photo courtesy of Desert Star Systems

Placing a satellite tag at the base of the dorsal fin. Photo courtesy of Olaf Langness and Steve West, WDFW

Project partners:

Project history and timeline: