Growth and age patterns of Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipencer oxyrinchus) from the Saint John river, New Brunswick
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Science
Atlantic Sturgeon are long lived anadromous fish found along the Atlantic coast of North America. In Canada, the two known spawning populations are found in the St. Lawrence River, Quebec and the Saint John River, New Brunswick. Their long-life span and migratory patterns make them vulnerable to overfishing and habitat loss. The von Bertalanffy growth model (VBGM) has been applied to many other Atlantic Sturgeon populations along the Atlantic coast to model those populations’ growth and age. In this study, I aged 68 Atlantic Sturgeon harvested in the commercial fishery in the Saint John River by counting the annuli present in their pectoral fin spines. These data were then added to data collected by Stewart et al. (2015) in an ageing study they performed with sturgeon collected from the Saint John River that included juveniles sampled in the late 1970’s to fill out the lower end of the growth curve. The spines aged in this study were aged independently by two different readers. The coefficient of variation (CV) between these two readers was found to be high (11%) when compared to similar studies. The VBGM found that female sturgeon tended to grow to larger sizes than males, but males grow at a faster rate (Males: L∞=218.9, K=0.0594, Females: L∞=264.6, K=0.0435). The combined male and female VBGM parameters (L∞=257.6, K=0.0438) fell between those found in the Atlantic Sturgeon populations to the north in the St. Lawrence River and the south in the Kennebec River, Maine.
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