FWC: Prehistoric-Looking Sturgeon Jumping, Causing Consequences For Boaters
By Space Coast Daily // April 7, 2016
Be aware and prepared - go slow
They’re the prehistoric-looking, sucker-mouthed, scute-covered Gulf sturgeon and they’re swimming – and jumping – back to their Suwannee River summer home.
Some of that jumping has had serious consequences for a few boaters.
There’s no warning; sturgeon just jump and if a boater happens to be in the way when the fish is in the air, a collision happens.
Be aware and prepared – go slow and wear your life jacket.
About 10,000 adult sturgeon make the Suwannee River their summer home, with far fewer numbers in other rivers where sturgeon spawn, including the Apalachicola, Choctawhatchee, Yellow, Blackwater, Escambia, Pearl and Pascagoula.
Why do sturgeon jump? Scientists believe they jump to communicate with other sturgeon and to refill their swim bladder so they can maintain neutral buoyancy.
The sturgeon certainly make an impression with their aerial maneuvers.
While sturgeon may jump anywhere in a river, fish in the Suwannee are more commonly seen jumping in “holding” areas.
These major holding areas in the Suwannee are above Jack’s Sandbar; below Manatee Springs; between Fanning Springs and Usher Landing; below Old Town Trestle; below the confluence of the Santa Fe and Suwannee rivers; near Rock Bluff; and below Anderson Springs.
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