Lake Sturgeon being restored to Upper Tennessee River

ÊÊ As part of a restoration project to restore lake sturgeon to the upper Tennessee River, three releases of sturgeon were recently made in the French Broad and Holston rivers, according to TWRA.
   These releases and a release made in July of 2000 totaled nearly 20.000 lake sturgeon which have been released through the project, which is a cooperation between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Valley Aquarium, World Wildlife Fund, and TWRA.
   Lake sturgeon, which have been absent from Tennessee waters for about 50 years, can reach lengths exceeding six feet and weights approaching 300 pounds. Sturgeon are bottom feeders feeding on aquatic insects, plankton, and mollusks.
   The fish that have been released averaged in size from six to twelve inches. It takes more than ten years for sturgeon to reach sexual maturity. Lake sturgeon are listed as federally and state endangered in Tennessee.