A joint Federal and State 2015 Juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon Survey shows the highest number of Atlantic sturgeon in the Hudson River in the 10-year history of the survey and increasing juvenile sturgeon abundance, according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
New York implemented of a harvest moratorium for Atlantic sturgeon in 1996. In 1998, an amendment of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic sturgeon resulted in a coast wide moratorium on Atlantic sturgeon harvest for 40 years and aimed to protect two generations of females in each spawning stock.
The juvenile Atlantic sturgeon abundance survey began in 2006 as part of the DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. The survey was designed by DEC in collaboration with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and was implemented to track the response of Atlantic sturgeon to the closure of commercial sturgeon fisheries.
Since sturgeon are a long-lived species, with Hudson River fish beginning to spawn at 10 to 20 years old and living as long as 60 years, signs of recovery were expected to be slow. This slow pace of recovery contributed to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listing Hudson River Atlantic sturgeon as Endangered in 2012.
Encouragingly, biologist are now seeing a steady increase in the number of Atlantic sturgeon in the Hudson River as the first protected fish are coming into their prime breeding years.
source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation