Cooperative Research Units
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Determinants of growth and survival of larval pallid sturgeon: a combined laboratory and field approach


September 2009 - December 2013


Since 1990, the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) has been listed under the Endangered Species Act. Our research addresses knowledge gaps in the early life-history of the pallid sturgeon. Past research has found that a fundamental aspect of early life history of pallid sturgeon is larval drift. The lack of natural recruitment in this species requires a basic knowledge of the feeding and life-history attributes for larval and juvenile stages once larvae settle into nursery habitats. Thus, efforts to restore the pallid sturgeon must be augmented with a knowledge of their early life-history. To address these issues, we are conducting a combination of laboratory and in-situ experiments to identify prey selectivity, habitat preference, and factors affecting survival of larval pallid sturgeon

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Rapp, T., D.A. Shuman, B.D.S. Graeb, S.R. Chips, E.J. Peters. 2011. Diet composition and feeding patterns of adult shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorhynchus) in the lower Platte River, Nebraska, U.S.A. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 27:351-355.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 7

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 1

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 16

Scientific Publications: 54

Presentations: 128



Funding Agencies

  • DoD/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
  2. South Dakota State University
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute