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Volume 2, Pages 270-274
Short Communication

Simulated Impacts of Juvenile Mortality on Gulf of Mexico Sturgeon Populations

University of Florida, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 7922 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA

Received 5 September 2001; Revised 28 November 2001; Accepted 4 December 2001

Copyright © 2002 William B. Tate and Mike S. Allen.


We used an age-structured computer model to assess the impact of changes in juvenile mortality on the Gulf of Mexico sturgeon population in the Suwannee River, Florida. We simulated population trends under four levels of annual juvenile mortality (20, 25, 30, and 35%). As the rate of mortality increased, population size decreased, and rates of population growth shifted from positive to negative. Our models indicated that juvenile survival is important to the success of gulf sturgeon populations, and mortality estimates are needed to predict population viability. We suggest that life history studies in estuaries should be conducted, and bycatch rates for commercial fisheries should be quantified to aid in the management and conservation of gulf sturgeon.