White Sturgeon Die Off From Summer Algae Bloom Could Prompt Regulation Changes

That summer toxic algae bloom that killed plenty of fish species around San Francisco Bay also affected sturgeon. The Sacramento Bee had some thoughts on the future concerns for this iconic species:

But this summer’s deadly red tide has independent scientists worried about the future of this species. They’re calling on the state to change fishing rules to require anglers release any sturgeon they catch — a move that would likely be controversial for the state’s 46,000 sturgeon anglers. …

The die offs coincided with an unusually massive outbreak of Heterosigma akashiwo, a type of algae that causes the toxic, oxygen-depleting blooms known as red tides that are deadly to fish and other aquatic life.

Andrew Rypel, a fisheries biologist and sturgeon expert at UC Davis, said the fishing changes are needed at a “critical point in time” if Californians want to keep the fish from ending up protected under the state or federal endangered species acts — decisions that would likely prohibit any fishing for them.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/water-and-drought/article268428132.html#storylink=cpy

Green sturgeon are already protected as endangered native species around the Bay Area and Delta waters.