2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Jared Romero


Sturgeon are considered the largest freshwater fish in North America. They can grow up to 1,500 pounds and live to be 100 years old. In Idaho, they reside in the Snake, Lower Salmon, and Kootenai Rivers. Due to their late sexual maturity and vulnerability to over-fishing, there is a state law that allows for catch and release only. Sturgeon return to their birthplace to spawn or lay eggs when they reach adulthood. With Idaho Power placing hydroelectric plants along the Snake River, it makes it difficult for them to return to these birthplaces. Placing fish ladders at these plants would be a way to allow the sturgeon passage over the plant, but it would be an expensive solution. The way that Idaho Power is addressing this issue is catching the fish when they are at the bottom of the hydroelectric plant, take them into their labs where they examine the fish and using electronic tags that track data about the sturgeon, then take them up river to release them back into the river. In doing this, it provides more information about the fish passing through at a fraction of the cost of fish ladders.