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Caution! Jumping Sturgeon

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Published on Jun 10, 2013

The Suwannee River has the most sturgeon, with a population of 10,000-14,000 fish. averaging 40 pounds, but can grow to over 200 pounds.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the sturgeon population on the Choctawhatchee is 3,500 and in the nearby Apalachicola River, close to 1,000. The Yellow River has an estimated 1,000 fish. Fewer than 500 are found in the Escambia River.

Adult fish spend eight to nine months each year in the river spawning and then return to the Gulf during the coolest months.

People have been injured in accidental collisions with the jumping sturgeon. Just one person getting hurt is too many. FWC wants people to be aware the sturgeon are back in the Suwannee, and the risk of injury to boaters does exist.

FWC officers will be on water patrol during the summer months in a continued effort to educate boaters about these jumping fish. FWC recommends going slow to reduce the risk of impact and to have more reaction time if a jumping sturgeon is encountered and all boaters are encouraged to wear their life jackets.

These collisions aren't attacks. The fish are simply doing what they have been doing for millions of years ... jumping. They aren't targeting boaters. Biologists are unsure why sturgeon jump. To report sturgeon collisions, call 888-404-FWCC (3922).

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