Scaphirhynchus Conference: Alabama, Pallid, and Shovelnose Sturgeon

St. Louis, Missouri, 11-13 January 2005

19.  POPULATION ABUNDANCE AND SIZE CHARACTERISTICS OF SHOVELNOSE  STURGEON (SCAPHIRHYNCHUS PLATORYNCHUS) IN THE UPPER MISSOURI RIVER, MONTANA.

William M. Gardner*, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, P.O. Box 938, Lewistown, MT  59457; Phone 406-538-4658 x 225; FAX 406-538-3249; fwplew@tein.net

Shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) population characteristics were assessed in a 10.4-kilometer segment of the Missouri River during 1995 to better quantify the species abundance and establish a baseline for the population in this segment of the Missouri River.  High average relative weights, proportional stock density values and a standing crop estimate of 745 shovelnose sturgeon/km demonstrated that this reach of the Missouri River has an especially healthy and abundant shovelnose sturgeon population which is probably a reflection of the more natural river conditions and a productive aquatic insect community.