Tennessee sturgeon making comeback in the FBR and other rivers

By Larry Woody of the Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat, larrywoody@gmail.com

Sturgeon, a huge fish that once abounded in Tennessee’s rivers, had become virtually extinct in the state a couple of decades ago. Now they are making a comeback thanks to a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stocking program.

Since 2000 the TWRA has released over 180,000 sturgeon into the Cumberland River, the French Broad and Holston River.

More than 300 reports of sturgeon catches have been received by TWRA biologists. Any sturgeon caught must be released.

Some of the stocked fish are have grown to almost three feet. That’s a mere baby by sturgeon standards — the fish can reach several feet long and weigh up to 300 pounds.

Sturgeon are primarily bottom feeders, so with sauger season at hand on the Cumberland River and below dams, fishermen bumping lures and baits along the bottom can expect to occasionally hook one.

As reports of sturgeon catches increase, the TWRA reminds fishermen that they must be released unharmed, and also request that any fishermen catching a sturgeon report it to the fisheries department to add to its data. The number to call for each TWRA region is listed in the Tennessee Fishing Guide.

Biologists want to know when and where the fish was caught and its approximate length and weight. A precise weighing and measuring is not required, since it would keep the fish out of water longer, add to its stress, and lessen its chance of survival after being released.

Read more here.

Comments are closed.


Wanted Dead: Alligatorweed

Scientific Name: Alternanthera philoxeroides A native of South America, alligatorweed was inadvertently introduced to Southeastern U.S. in the late 1800s. Its white flowers are clover-like and bloom a summer. Most commonly found floating in mats along the water’s edge, alligatorweed also grows immersed and even terrestrially. Its opposing leaves are lance shaped, 1-2 inches long, […]

Read more »


Storm Drain Marking Project

  Do you know where the water that flows into a storm drain goes? This water does not go to a treatment plant but flows directly into our streams, lakes, and rivers. Many people poor oil, paint, yard waste, and other pollutants into the storm drain because they think the water will be treated before […]

Read more »


Kiosks help us tell the story

RiverLink and MountainTrue have developed informational kiosks for each river access point along the French Broad River Paddle Trail with a grant from the North Carolina Recreational Trails Program. Each kiosk focuses on historical and natural features of the river, as well as paddle trail information including maps and boater resources. These kiosks aid users and […]

Read more »

Upcoming Events

Get Volunteer Updates

Add your name and email to our volunteer list to receive new volunteer opportunities straight to your inbox at the start of each month.

By submitting this form, you are granting: RiverLink, 170 Lyman Street, Asheville, NC, 28801, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Newsletter Sign-up

Get Involved

RiverLink is a

Volunteer »

Explore | View All

Water Quality




RiverLink Instagram

River Facts | View All

"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

Blue Ridge Heritage National Heritage Area