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  1. #10
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    Have heard about some getting hit. Pretty rare. Going in Napa river and sloughs I have almost hit 2 or 3 sturgeon in past few years. Luckily never hit one, seems like in open water it may be less likely to occur.

  2. #9
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    Have never seen it 30+ years fishing for them, more up the Sacramento River than in the bay. I have no doubt it occurs but don’t believe it’s significant to the overall population density.

    I do appreciate folks who dedicate their careers towards fisheries and conservation in a scientific manner.

    Habitat and natural flow conditions are where my non-scientific opinion believes resources should be dedicated. Just my 2 cents.

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  4. #8
    Super Moderator salmonid's Avatar
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    I've spent quite a bit of time in the boat but have never hit a sturgeon that I know of. Saw lots of them jumping nearby though over the years.

    One day at Verona we were marking quite a few what we thought were sturgeon and then a sea lion came and caught three of them, so I suspect Sea Lions have a much larger mortality impact than props. Just my thoughts though.
    Here they come!

    <img src=http://fishsniffer.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic27707_1.gif border=0 alt= />

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  6. #7
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by broken bonz View Post
    I have spent thousands of hours fishing sturgeon in San Pablo bay and surrounding areas over the years. I have never knowingly hit a sturgeon nor have I seen a floating carcass with such injury’s. I have heard of this before but rarely. With the large population of sturgeon and boat/ship traffic this is bound to happen.
    I think the illegal poaching is a by far bigger issue.
    Thanks for the reply Broken Bonz. If you are ever out on the water and you see a flock of birds directly where a large ship has passed it may be worth a look. I agree that the illegal poaching is probably one of the biggest threats to Sturgeon, DF&W puts a lot of effort into going after those guys but it seems like there's a poacher behind every tule in the delta at times.

  7. #6
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by ppickerell View Post
    I have seen a few sturgeon mauled by sea lions look just like that. Maybe you should troll the pinniped board LOL. Kidding aside I have been bay and delta fishing since the 80's and have never hit one.
    Thanks ppickerell, of the few fish we have seen that were Sea Lion attacks there are noticeable bite marks and tearing. These fish have slice marks as would be expected from a propeller. Its my guess that of the fish that are hit by vessels its probably the larger slower moving shipping/tankers with giant props.

    Nick

  8. #5
    Senior Member ApexPredator's Avatar
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    About six years ago while on Montezuma slough in my old tiller tin can that had a 25 HP motor I was on my way back to the launch when I hit something with my motor that hit hard enough to knock the motor off the transom. Luckily I was able to keep grip of it and with the help of my brother we got it back on. I did not see anything float to the top and it is rare to have large wood in that area so I can only assume I hit a sturgeon.

  9. #4
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    Angry Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    I have seen a few sturgeon mauled by sea lions look just like that. Maybe you should troll the pinniped board LOL. Kidding aside I have been bay and delta fishing since the 80's and have never hit one.

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  11. #3
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    I have spent thousands of hours fishing sturgeon in San Pablo bay and surrounding areas over the years. I have never knowingly hit a sturgeon nor have I seen a floating carcass with such injury’s. I have heard of this before but rarely. With the large population of sturgeon and boat/ship traffic this is bound to happen.
    I think the illegal poaching is a by far bigger issue.

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  13. #2
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    Re: Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    IMG_5152 - Copy.jpgIMG_5150 - Copy.jpgIMG_6097.jpgIMG_6098.jpg

    First two pics on the left are the fish from Benicia and the two pics on the right are from Rio Vista. Benicia fish was 4' and the Rio Vista fish were 6'+.
    Last edited by ndemetras; 10-10-2019 at 01:49 PM.

  14. #1
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    Exclamation Sturgeon-Vessel Interactions Resulting in Mortality in the SF Bay

    Hello fellow Sturgeon fanatics,

    My name is Nicholas Demetras, I am a Research Fisheries Biologist associated with both The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). I spend a lot of time doing field work on the San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Recently I witnessed a crude oil tanker at the Port of Benicia strike and kill a nearly 4 foot White Sturgeon. In addition, I’ve also received a few reports from a tugboat deckhand who has witnessed it on the Sacramento River just downstream of Rio Vista (Pics posted in reply).

    This got me wondering, “How often does this occur?” Turns out on the East Coast with endangered Atlantic Sturgeon it happens quite often and is a real threat to their survival. However, there is very little known about Sturgeon-Vessel interactions on the West Coast (SF Bay or the lower Columbia River). There’s a lot of speculation but no real information. Is it because it truly doesn’t happen that often or is it because as biologists we just haven’t really put ourselves in the position to observe it? So this got me thinking…who spends the greatest amount of time on the water and would likely be in the best position to witness it? Easy answer, Sturgeon sport fisherman, a dedicated crew who collectively spend tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of hours every year out on the water. Has anyone else out there witnessed a this? Have you found a Sturgeon carcass with similar wounds? Do you have any pics you can share? Location info.? Please feel free to PM me if you’d rather not post. I’m hoping to gather as much additional information as possible to further study the issue and seek additional funding.

    Cheers
    Nick Demetras
    Last edited by ndemetras; 10-10-2019 at 01:50 PM.

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