MSU inspects threatened fisheries
MSU researchers are monitoring paddlefish oxygen levels. Photo: MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence
Researchers and scientists from Mississippi State University (MSU) are inspecting paddlefish, alligator gar and catfish, among other threatened species, to safeguard the population from declining any further.
Experts are examining the drop in paddlefish which is often caused by human constructions such as dams, water control structures and water diversions. The species’ sensitivity to changes in water quality, the amount of oxygen needed by paddlefish and how the fish adapt to low oxygen levels, is also being looked at.
Like paddlefish, alligator gar – one of the largest freshwater fish in North America – is also sensitive to changes in water quality and population numbers are decreasing. MSU researchers are hoping to gain more knowledge of the species’ early life.
Peter Allen, assistant professor of aquatic sciences, MSU, said: “This research is needed to provide long term management strategies for the remaining populations in Mississippi and to guide reintroduction efforts in Mississippi and elsewhere.”
Research into the reaction of hybrid catfish to high temperatures and climate change will help determine the best type of catfish to produce – a US$222m industry in the state.
MSU findings will be used to develop management suggestions for Mississippi’s fisheries operators to protect and enhance their future.
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