Photo courtesy of Jon Gustin.
Biologists say years of restoring lake sturgeon to Tennessee waterways is paying off with more of the bony fish turning up in East Tennessee rivers.
Lake sturgeon that once thrived in Tennessee are being reintroduced into the Tennessee River system near Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge by organizations in the multi-partner Saving the Sturgeon program.
The University of Tennessee is part of the program.
Officials say sampling this month using trotlines in Knoxville found 13 sturgeon, a few of which appeared to be eight years old and several others were two years old. The fish can live to be 100 years old.
UT professor Larry Wilson of the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries says the sturgeon are apparently dispersing from sites where they've been introduced and moving up and down the river systems, including through dams and locks.