Green Sturgeon Broodstock Assessment

The UC Davis Green Sturgeon Broodstock program begin in 1999 in collaboration with the Yurok Tribe of northern California. Spawning green sturgeon from the Klamath River were captured by Yurok Tribe fishermen and eggs were fertilized and brought to the UC Davis hatchery to be reared for conservation physiology research as well as for broodstock. This is the only captive breeding population of green sturgeon, giving us the unique and exciting opportunity to learn more about this ancient fish species. Once a year, our expert staff use ultrasound and egg assays to assess the reproductive status of the fish in our captive population. We use the information from these assays to pick the most fertile females and males to spawn. The offspring of these spawns are kept at our laboratory to be used for continued research of this species and to add to our future captive breeding population.

Above: Sarah, a Staff Research Associate, AKA the “Mother of Sturgeon,” measures a fish to see how much it has grown since last year’s assessment.

Above: One of our Junior Specialists, Leanne, helping to keep a fish still as it is being scanned with the ultrasound.

Above: Unfertilized eggs being examined under the microscope

Above: Juvenile green sturgeon in the hand of one of our researchers.