Sunday, March 17, 2013

The state needs voyeurs volunteers

The State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is putting out a call for volunteers to take twelve hour shifts - watching sturgeon spawn.

Not only are there opportunities to stand guard over the fish doing their thing, there are four different public viewing spots. But don't fret that all that observation will put the fish off their task. According to the FAQs:

When the sturgeon are spawning along the rocky shoreline of the Wolf River, they are fairly oblivious to nearby human activity and are very susceptible to illegal harvest.

A-hem. Can't really blame them.

According to a story from a year ago, the DNR tags some fish as part of a population study, and collects some of the eggs to aid in a repopulation effort in Georgia and Tennessee as well as in Wisconsin.

Am I the only one who wonders if there is an illegal market in American caviar coming out of Wisconsin? Hey, if it helps balance the state budget...

All joking aside, sturgeon are actually an endangered species. They have an extremely long reproductive cycle, and don't actually reach sexual maturity until they are twenty years old. Poaching the younger fish effectively kills off the species.

Here's hoping this is a successful breeding season.

1 comment:

Francesca Watson said...

Now there's one of those things I didn't know (the maturity of sturgeon). I think I'll take a pass on "monitoring" their spawning, however.