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Upstream migrant adults of stellate sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus (10 in 1998, 43 in 1999) and Russian sturgeon, A. gueldenstaedtii (three in 1999) were captured at river km (rkm) 58-137, mostly in the spring, and tagged with acoustic tags offering a reward for return. The overharvest was revealed by tag returns (38% in 1998, 28% in 1999) and by harvest within 26 days (and before reaching spawning grounds) of the six stellate sturgeon tracked upstream. A drop-back of > 50% of the tagged sturgeon, some to the Black Sea, shows a high sensitivity to interruption of migration and capture/handling/holding. Harvesting and dropback prevented tracking of sturgeon to spawning sites. Gillnetting and tracking of stellate sturgeon...
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Ontogenetic behavior of Hudson River Atlantic sturgeon and Connecticut River shortnose sturgeon early life intervals were similar during laboratory observations. After hatching, free embryos were photonegative and sought cover. When embryos developed into larvae, fish left cover, were photopositive, and initiated downstream migration. Free embryos may remain at the spawning site instead of migrating downstream because the risk of predation at spawning sites is low. The two species are sympatric, but not closely related, so the similarities in innate behaviors suggest common adaptations, not phylogenetlc relationship. Atlantic sturgeon migrated downstream for 12 days (peak, first 6 days), shortnose sturgeon migrated...
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We conducted laboratory studies on the ontogenetic behavior of free embryos (first life interval after hatching) and larvae (first feeding interval) of pallid and shovelnose sturgeon. Migration styles of both species were similar for timing of migration (initiation by embryos on day 0 after hatching and cessation by larvae on days 12-13 at 236-243 cumulative temperature degree units), migration distance (about 13 km), life interval when most distance was moved (embryo), and diel behavior of embryos (diurnal). However, the species differed for two behaviors: movement characteristics of embryos (peak movement rate of pallid sturgeon was only one-half the peak rate of shovelnose sturgeon, but pallid sturgeon continued...
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We collected the first life history information on shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) in any of the rivers to Chesapeake Bay, the geographic center of the species range. In the Potomac River, two telemetry-tagged adult females used 124 km of river: A saltwater/freshwater reach at river km (rkm) 63-141 was the foraging-wintering concentration area, and one female migrated to spawn at rkm 187 in Washington, DC. The spawning migration explained the life history context of an adult captured 122 years ago in Washington, DC, supporting the idea that a natal population once lived in the river. Repeated homing migrations to foraging and wintering areas suggested the adults were residents, not transient coastal...
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Research and development of a fish ladder for sturgeons requires understanding ladder hydraulics and sturgeon behaviour in the ladder to insure the ladder is safe and provides effective passage. After years of research and development, we designed and constructed a full-scale prototype side-baffle ladder inside a spiral flume (38.3m long??1m wide??1m high) on a 6% (1:16.5) slope with a 1.92-m rise in elevation (bottom to top) to test use by sturgeons. Twenty-eight triangular side baffles, each extending part way across the flume, alternated from inside wall to outside wall down the ladder creating two major flow habitats: a continuous, sinusoidal flow down the ladder through the vertical openings of side-baffles...
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Low voltage constant direct current was used to immobilize juvenile lake (Acipenser fulvescens) and shortnose sturgeons (A. brevirostrum). There was no significant difference in time/ the lake or shortnose sturgeons required to exhibit positive rheotaxis between fish immobilized with electricity and control fish (two-way ANOVA, P = 0.11). Fish immobilized with 80 mg L-1 tricaine took a significantly longer time to orient than control fish or fish immobilized with electricity for 5 or 30 min (one-way ANOVA, P = 0.003). Electronarcosis, which produces effects like a chemical anesthetic, is a useful technique for immobilizing juvenile sturgeons for handling. Fish can swim upright as soon as the electricity is turned...
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To assess the energetics of migration in an anadromous fish, adult American shad (Alosa sapidissima) were swum in a large respirometer at a range of speeds (1.0–2.3 body lengths (BL) s−1, 13–24 °C). Metabolic rate (MO2) was logarithmically related to swimming speed (Bl s−1; r2 = 0.41, slope = 0.23 ± 0.037) and tailbeat frequency (beats × min−1; r2 = 0.52, slope = 0.003 ± 0.0003). Temperature had a significant effect on metabolic rate (r2 = 0.41) with a Q10of 2.2. Standard metabolic rate (SMR), determined directly after immobilization with the neuroblocker gallamine triethiodide, ranged from 2.2–6.2 mmolO2 kg−1 h−1 and scaled with mass (W) such that SMR = 4.0 (±0.03)W0.695(±0.15). Comparison of directly determined...
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Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii is a large riverine species (max. 3 m length and 190 kg weight) native to the Amur River. In the middle Amur River, males first spawn at 7-8 years of age and females at 9-10 years. Due to overfishing and habitat alteration, the abundance of wild stocks has rapidly declined in recent years. Using wild adults, artificial spawning began in the 1950s in China, and since the early 1990s Amur sturgeon has become the most popular sturgeon for aquaculture. The species is adaptive to many conditions of artificial culture, including traditional Chinese fish culture ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and cages. It will grow well on many types of food, and 1-year-old fish reared on commercial diets...
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We observed Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi, in the laboratory and found free embryos (first interval after hatching) hid under rocks and did not migrate. Thus, wild embryos should be at the spawning area. Larvae (first interval feeding exogenously) initiated a slow downstream migration, and some juveniles (interval with adult features) continued to migrate slowly for at least 5 months, e.g., a 1-step long larva-juvenile migration. No other population of sturgeon yet studied has this migration style. A conceptual model using this result suggests wild year-0 sturgeon have a variable downstream migration style with short-duration (short distance) migrants and long-duration (long distance)...
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Highly productive floodplain rivers in Brazil and elsewhere provide livelihood and recreational fishing for millions of people around the world, but damming and controlled water discharge are a threat to these valuable ecosystems. Supplemental water releases (SWRs) at a dam are increasingly used for restoring fisheries productivity in many floodplain rivers. We proposed a conceptual model for a hypothetical water release to enhance fisheries using Tre??s Marias Reservoir (TMR) on the Sa??o Francisco River (SFR), Brazil. The information needed by the model follows: (i) Biologically, what is the best release date? (ii) How much water will be released? (iii) What is the pattern of impoundment and how much impounded...