Bring it on, Mother Nature

A Wooldridge boat drifts down the Lower Missouri river on a dreary March morning in 2011.

March 9 -Despite nearly an inch of rain (some of which was freezing), crews hit the water in search of fish. It was a busy day for field crews out of Columbia with 2 boats tandem tracking and 2 boats setting trotlines. The tracking crews were in search of PLS10-004, a hatchery produced female pallid sturgeon that was captured in April 2010 by Missouri Department of Conservation and implanted with a transmitter. She hasn’t moved more than 10 miles from her capture location, but crews are making an effort to recapture and evaluate the reproductive condition of all tagged females. Through blood samples and ultrasounds, we will document hormone levels and gonad development over time. This valuable information is key to understanding the reproductive cycle of pallid sturgeon. And, with any luck, perhaps one will already have black eggs.

Looking out the back of a Wooldridge boat tandem tracking on March 8, 2011. The SRX receivers (left) and laptop running our customized ArcPad application (right) are essential tracking tools.

Only a few more trotlines to set! Crews attach buoys to trotlines, identifying the gear and making it easier to find the next day.

 – By Emily Pherigo

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