CONSTANTIA, N.Y. — State Department of Environmental Conservation staff this month are busy stocking lake sturgeon in a number of state waterways, in addition to tagging some for research and tracking purposes. The prehistoric-looking lake sturgeon are classified as a threatened species in New York and the stocking program, which began in 1993 is an ongoing cooperative project between the DEC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, US Geological Survey, Cornell University and other partners. The goal is to restore a healthy and sustainable population. The DEC’s Oneida fish hatchery serves as Ground Zero for the effort in New York. It’s the only hatchery in the state where sturgeon are being raised. In preparation for stocking, workers were busy there Thursday morning tagging select fish.
Tagging lake sturgeon prior to stocking in Upstate NY
The fish being stocked – all averaging about six inches long – were all raised from eggs collected last spring on the St. Lawrence River near the Moses-Saunders Dam at Massena. The eggs were split between the Oneida hatchery and the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Genoa, Wisc. The Wisconsin fish were recently returned to the Oneida hatchery to be stocked across the state. “We stocked the North Country waterways Wednesday and we’re due to stock in Cayuga Lake Friday,” said Lisa Holst, the DEC’s Rare Fish Unit leader who is coordinating the effort.