March 1, 2010

Giving Atlantic Sturgeon a Chance in the James River

Encouraging news from the James River Association

Sturgeon may not be the most attractive species of fish, and they can be downright humongous (reaching 15 feet). But overfishing in the late 1800s depleted their numbers big time. So let's give the survivors in the James River a fighting chance to spawn.

Kudos to the James River Association and Virginia Commonwealth University for "constructing" a reef  in the lower James River near Hopewell. It's the first artificial sturgeon spawning reef in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the entire East Coast.

Luck Stone Corporation generously donated and barged in 2,500 yards of rock for the reef. A $50,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded the rest of this project. The reef is 330 feet long, 70 feet wide, and 2 feet high. 

So do your thing, sturgeon, and thrive in our James River. You were very happy there when John Smith arrived in 1607.