The Tennessee Aquarium’s efforts to restore Lake Sturgeon in the Tennessee River

The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute has raised and released more than 330,000 juvenile Lake Sturgeons into the Tennessee River since 2000.

NOOGAtoday | Lake Sturgeon release

Members of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute released juvenile Lake Sturgeon into the Tennessee River.

Photo by Doug Strickland via Tennessee Aquarium

Lake Sturgeon are a species of fish native to Tennessee that can live to be 150 years old. In the 1970s, the species had all but disappeared in Tennessee’s rivers due to poor water quality, over-fishing, and other issues.

For 22 years, the Tennessee Aquarium’s Conservation Institute has raised + reintroduced Lake Sturgeon back into their native habitat — with over 330,000 sturgeons released to date through the Lake Sturgeon Working Group.

The project isn’t a quick fix, as only the first wave of sturgeons released has reached an age where they can begin reproducing on their own. The efforts are long-term and require a fair amount of endurance.

The latest generation of Lake Sturgeon raised by the Tennessee Aquarium’s Conservation Institute was recently released into the Tennessee River. You can read more about the aquarium’s ongoing conservation efforts + how to support them here.

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