Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Ecology and status of Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon in North and South Carolina

Deployment of side-scan sonar in Pee Dee basin


September 2008 - August 2013


The purpose of this project is to develop and test a multistage survey protocol for estimating presence or population density of sturgeon species in southeastern rivers. The initial phase will be done using a combination of side-scan sonar and DIDSON multibeam sonar.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Flowers, H. J., and J. E. Hightower. 2013. A Novel Approach to Surveying Sturgeon Using Side-scan Sonar and Occupancy Modeling. Coastal and Marine Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 5:211-223. Abstract |  Download  |  Publisher Website | 


  • H. J. Flowers, and J. E. Hightower. 2009. Potential for the Use of Hydroacoustic Technologies in the Study of Sturgeons. 11th Annual Workshop on Gulf Sturgeon, Cedar Key, Florida
  • Flowers, H. J., and J. E. Hightower. 2011. Developing hydroacoustic methods for the study of sturgeons and other large-bodied fishes. 141th Annual Meeting, American Fisheries Society, Seattle, WA, September 4-8, 2011.
  • Flowers, H. J., and J. E. Hightower. 2012. A novel approach to surveying sturgeon using side-scan sonar and occupancy modeling. 142nd Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, St. Paul, Minnesota, August 19-23, 2012.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 240

Phd Students: 143

Post Docs: 52

University Staff: 245

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 702

Scientific Publications: 1948

Presentations: 4253



Funding Agencies

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • South Carolina Dept of Natural Resources


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey