Atlantic Sturgeon

Atlantic Sturgeon (HM2GR8)

Location:
Buy flags at Flagstore.com!

N 37° 31.218', W 77° 25.111'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 58 views
Inscription

Ancient Giants of the James River

Regarded as a "living fossil," the Atlantic Sturgeon's appearance has changed little since the age of the dinosaurs. Capable of growing up to 14 feet in length, weighing 800 pounds, and living up to 60 years, they spend their adult years in the Atlantic Ocean. Each spring and fall they return to spawn in the waters of the James River where they were born.

Despite its fierce appearance, Atlantic sturgeon are slow-swimming bottom feeders that eat worms, shellfish, and crustaceans. They are distinguished by rows of bony plates called "scutes" along their body, which serve as protection.

The greatest threats to the Atlantic sturgeon's survival are boat propellers, by-catch in commercial fisheries, and pollution and silt that destroys spawning habitat. If you're lucky, during the spring and fall spawn you may see—or hear—one of these river giants "breach" or leap completely out of the water!

200 million years ago
Atlantic sturgeon first appear in the fossil record during the Triassic period.

1607
Jamestown founded. Settlers saved from starvation by the abundance of sturgeon in the river.

Late 1880s
Commercial harvesting decimates the James River's population of Atlantic sturgeon.

1972
Congress passes the Clean Water



Act, the principal law regulating water pollution and setting goals for all U.S. waters to be "swimmable and fishable."

1974
Virginia Marine Resources Commission bans sturgeon fishing in Virginia waters.

1997
A reward program for commercial watermen results in over 300 sturgeon tagged and released in Virginia, discrediting the theory that sturgeon had nearly vanished from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

2004
A yearling captured in the James River offers definitive proof that there is still a reproducing sturgeon population in the river. The U.S. Geological Survey concluded that there is a genetically distinct James River sturgeon population.

2012
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lists the James River's Atlantic sturgeon as an endangered species.

2010-2013
Three experimental spawning reefs constructed in the James River below the fall line provide the clean rocky surface that Atlantic sturgeon need on which to lay their eggs.
Details
HM NumberHM2GR8
Tags
Placed ByVirginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center; James River Association; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 286268 N 4155341
Decimal Degrees37.52030000, -77.41851667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 31.218', W 77° 25.111'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 31' 13.08" N, 77° 25' 6.66" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. What country is the marker located in?
  2. Is this marker part of a series?
  3. What historical period does the marker represent?
  4. What historical place does the marker represent?
  5. What type of marker is it?
  6. What class is the marker?
  7. What style is the marker?
  8. Does the marker have a number?
  9. What year was the marker erected?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?