Project Page

Characterizing Gulf Sturgeon Spawning Habitat, Habitat Use and Origins of Juvenile Sturgeon in the Pearl and Pascagoula River Systems

Implementing Organization

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; US Department of the Interior


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Fish/Fish Habitats

Project Description

Effective Gulf sturgeon restoration requires a better understanding of habitat use, an ability to identify and prioritize habitats most in need of restoration, and a framework for monitoring the results of habitat restoration in an adaptive management context. Information on the location and extent of essential spawning habitat, patterns of accessibility and use of this habitat by adult Gulf sturgeon, and origins of juvenile sturgeon is extremely limited for the Pearl and Pascagoula River systems, where populations are believed to comprise only a few hundred individuals. This critical information deficit impedes the Trustees’ ability to identify and assign priority to restoration projects that target spawning habitat such as barrier removal or spawning habitat enhancement. Removal of barriers and improvement of water and sediment quality have been longstanding priorities for Gulf sturgeon restoration, yet the Trustees cannot predict the outcomes of these projects, nor rank the relative importance of various restoration designs based on currently available information. Furthermore, it is unknown where adult fish would go to spawn once a barrier is removed. Identifying essential spawning habitat in the Pearl and Pascagoula River systems is not only important to restoration decision making, but is essential to guiding species recovery within these basins. Filling these knowledge gaps is critical to Gulf sturgeon restoration planning and implementation, and is essential to species recovery, as described in the Gulf Sturgeon Recovery Plan. The importance of focused efforts in the Pearl and Pascagoula River systems to Gulf sturgeon on "More Info" link below


Adam Kaeser
(850) 769-0552
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

For official trustee information regarding the Deepwater Horizon NRDA, including information regarding the NRDA process and the status of projects, see

+ View Raw Data