Your donation helps the Aquarium build environmental awareness in people of all ages and protect more of the region’s streams, rivers and aquatic animals.
and learn more about all of our animals and educational
opportunities. Learn More >>
Scientific name: Acipenser fulvescens
Size: To 8 ft., 300 lbs.
Range: eastern North America in the upper and middle Mississippi River basin, Great Lakes and Hudson Bay drainages, and upper Coosa River system
Habitat: Large lakes and rivers
Diet: Benthic species, such as mollusks, crayfish, and insect larvae
Conservation status: Endangered in Tennessee
Since 1998, TNACI has helped lead a statewide effort to establish a self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in Tennessee. Due to the unique life history of lake sturgeon, which can live up to 150 years of age and reproduce at 10-26 years of age, this is a 25-year program. Initial reintroduction efforts were concentrated in the French Broad and Holston rivers, which join to form the Tennessee River closeby. We have restored over 70,000 lake sturgeon to the upper Tennessee River system in the first 10 years of the program. Since 2008, we have also worked with our partners to reintroduce lake sturgeon in the Cumberland River in Nashville. This program was recently recognized with awards from the Association for Zoos and Aquariums and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Watch a video of Dr. Anna George discussing reintroduction of lake sturgeon to the Tennessee River.