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. Potential opportunities have been identified that target spawning habitat barriers or enhancement of spawning habitat. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, the Pearl River system low-head dams (i.e., sills) and the Pearl River dam (which may both impede access to upstream reaches that may contain the requisite hard-bottom substrates suitable for Gulf sturgeon spawning), as well as habitat enhancement opportunities associated with land use compatibility with sturgeon spawning habitat (e.g., agricultural BMPs targeting sedimentation and erosion or nutrient reduction). 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 on "More Info" link below


Adam Kaeser
(850) 769-0552
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