Outline of Conservation Plan

This outline of the Florida Conservation Plan for gulf sturgeon describes the estuaries and rivers in which native sturgeon populations occur, threats (overfishing, habitat destruction), stock enhancement, and aquaculture.

State of Florida Conservation Plan for Gulf Sturgeon Outline

  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  2. INTRODUCTION
    1. Description of gulf sturgeon
      1. Biology
      2. Life history
      3. Population size
        1. Suwannee
        2. Apalachicola
        3. Choctawhatchee
    2. Fishing and aquaculture
      1. Fishing
      2. Sturgeon aquaculture
      3. Protections, listings, and recovery plans
        1. Florida Species of Special Concern, 1979
        2. Moratorium in Florida, 1984
        3. Report on the Conservation of the Gulf of Mexico sturgeon, 1988
        4. U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), 1991
          Section 4(D) rule
        5. Net restrictions/Florida net ban, 1994
        6. Gulf Sturgeon Recovery/Management Plan, 1995
        7. Chapter 370.31 Florida Statute, 1996
        8. Appendix II of CITIES, 1998
  3. HABITAT REQUIREMENTS
    1. Introduction
    2. Water quality parameters
      1. Flow rate requirements
      2. Dissolved oxygen range
      3. Temperature/springs
    3. Factors required for successful sturgeon spawning
      1. Water quality
      2. Spawning substrate
    4. Major impediments to gulf sturgeon recovery in rivers
      1. Blockage and disruption to spawning sites
      2. Dam, siltation, and channel maintenance
      3. Deterioration of water quality
  4. ESTUARIES AND RIVERS
    1. Introduction
      1. Land acquisition programs
      2. Outstanding Florida Waters and State Aquatic Preserves
      3. Estuaries
      4. Rivers
    2. Pensacola Bay System
      1. Bays of the Pensacola Bay System
        1. Pensacola Bay
        2. Escambia Bay
        3. Blackwater Bay
        4. East Bay
        5. Santa Rosa Sound
        6. Summary and Needed Improvements in Pensacola Bays
      2. Rivers of the Pensacola Bay System
        1. Escambia River
        2. Yellow River
        3. Blackwater River
        4. Summary and Needed Improvements in Pensacola System Rivers
    3. Choctawhatchee Bay System
      1. Choctawhatchee Bay
      2. Choctawhatchee River
      3. Improvements to Enhance habitat
    4. St. Andrew Bay
      1. Econfina Creek
      2. Improvements to Enhance Habitat
    5. Apalachicola Bay System
      1. Apalachicola Bay
      2. Rivers
        1. Apalachicola River
        2. Brothers River
        3. Ochlockonee River
      3. Improvements to Enhance Habitat
    6. Suwannee System
      1. Suwannee Sound
      2. Suwannee River
      3. Improvements to Enhance Habitat
    7. Tampa Bay system
      1. Tampa Bay Segments Introduction
      2. Rivers of Tampa Bay
        1. Hillsborough River
        2. Alafaia River
        3. Little Manatee River
        4. Manatee River
        5. Summary of Tampa Bay River
    8. Charlotte Harbor
    9. Summary of Florida West Coast Estuaries and Rivers
  5. V. STOCK ENHANCEMENT
    1. Introduction
    2. Considerations of stocking
      1. Genetic Diversity
      2. Use of Wild Broodstock
      3. Imprinting/Straying
    3. Overview of Potential Genetic Concerns
    4. Research needs
    5. Criteria to Examine
      1. Introduction
      2. Habitat use and competition
      3. Stocking Pros and Cons
        1. Introduction
        2. Pros
        3. Cons
    6. Stocking Summary
  6. STURGEON AQUACULTURE FOR FOOD
    1. Introduction
    2. Florida Sturgeon Production Working Group
    3. Permits for possession and culture
    4. Sturgeon Aquaculture Risk Assessment Workshop
      1. Broodstock Acquisition
      2. Hybridization
      3. Pathogens
      4. Ecological Risk
      5. Implications of Workshop
    5. Aquaculture Summary
  7. RESEARCH TO RESTORE GULF STURGEON POPULATIONS
    1. Introduction
    2. Essential Requirements and Population Status
      1. Habitat Analysis
      2. Population Estimation
      3. Data for population models
      4. Life history studies
      5. Sturgeon diet and distribution of benthic prey
      6. Migration and feeding
      7. Sturgeon predators
      8. Laboratory experiments
      9. Genetic differences
    3. Sturgeon habitats
      1. Unauthorized take
      2. Physical requirements-water quality and sediment type
      3. Land acquisition
      4. Riverine habitat improvement
      5. Maintenance of native stock diversity
    4. Information Exchange
    5. Funding for recovery program
    6. Monitoring of recovery program
  8. RECOMMENDATIONS
    1. Introduction
    2. Actions
      1. Immediate
      2. Short-term
      3. Long-term
    3. Education and Information Exchange
      1. Public Outreach
      2. Scientific Exchange
  9. SUMMARY
    1. Management objectives and recommendations
    2. Priorities
    3. Management strategies
    4. System-wide broad habitat needs
    5. Stock enhancement
    6. Conclusion
  10. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  11. REFERENCES
  12. APPENDICES
    1. Appendix A. 1999-2000 Sturgeon Contracts
    2. Appendix B. 2000-2001 Sturgeon Contracts
    3. Appendix C. Maps of the Florida West Coast Rivers and Estuaries
    4. Appendix D. Organizations/Stakeholders Involved in Gulf Sturgeon
    5. Appendix E. Notes from Gulf Sturgeon Workshop, Stennis, MS, September 13-14,
      2000 Priorities of the Gulf Sturgeon Recovery Plan
    6. Appendix F. Gulf Sturgeon Tissue Sampling Protocol
    7. Appendix G. Progress Report Gulf Sturgeon Recovery Actions (1995-2000)
    8. Glossary of Common Acronyms in Text and Appendices


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