Federal fishery officials have released a draft recovery plan aimed at restoring populations of green sturgeon in California. Related to the famed producers of Russian black sea caviar, the southern population of green sturgeon, native to California, have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act for a dozen years.
An estimated 1,300 of the slow-growing fish remain, mainly spawning in the Sacramento, Klamath and Rogue Rivers. Green sturgeon can live half a century, and weigh up to 350 pounds. They don’t typically breed until they reach 15 years of age.
Challenges facing the fish locally include rising water temperatures, water diversions, reduced water flow, and contamination from pesticides and heavy metals.
Public comments on the draft recovery plan can be submitted through March 12.