We have heard a lot about wildlife returning to some unusual areas due to the pandemic. Now, it seems as if it is also happening to fish because there were 2 sturgeons of different species that were fished accidentally out of a river in the Republic of Georgia.
The first of these fish were caught in mid-March, and 3 weeks later, they caught the second fish. This is giving hope to the European Sturgeon Conservation, as experts had feared that these fish may have disappeared, never to return again.
Sturgeon have been around for hundreds of millions of years. Historically, a number of different species of sturgeon have been found in the Rioni River in Georgia.
They don’t know much about the ship sturgeon, but when you consider that two juveniles of similar age were caught within 2 weeks of each other, it certainly is good news. They may just be part of the same brood, and sturgeon may spawn further into the Rioni River.
Flora and Fauna International (FFI) have a team of volunteers that are operating to save sturgeon populations. The community tries to educate those in the community, regardless of their age or status on how these prehistoric fish. It seems as if that education has been working because the catch was reported to the FFI by fishermen.
Samples were able to be taken by conservationists, including measurements. The juvenile fish were photographed for further research.
About a week after the 2nd sturgeon was caught, a third fish was caught and identified as a Colchic sturgeon. They aren’t sure, but it could be a hybrid.
The Rioni River is the largest river in Georgia. It gets its start in the Caucasus mountains, traveling for 203 miles to it finally reaches the Black Sea.
According to mythology, the land of Princess Medea and the legendary Golden Fleece, the pre-Hellenistic Greek State of Colchis, existed up to the mouth of the river. The voyage of Jason and the Argonauts is also said to have taken place on the river.
Sturgeons are bottom-feeding fish and they are also rooted in mythology. According to some Native American tribes, sturgeon were man-eating fish. Considering the fact that a white sturgeon can be up to 8 feet long, it isn’t out of the question!
You could find sturgeon in rivers across Europe at one time, but habitat loss, overfishing, and other issues have caused a decline in their numbers.
It isn’t certain if these ship or Colchic sturgeon are spawning in the river or perhaps an upstream tributary. That being said, it’s interesting that the waters are proving to be a place that they may call home.
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