Sturgeons on the Missouri

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With its ridged back, long tail and beady eyes, the pallid sturgeon looks like a holdover from the age of the dinosaurs. But it is now struggling to survive.

Up and down the Missouri River, the Corps is digging into and removing sets of dikes jutting out into its waters to comply with the federal Endangered Species Act. By July 1, the Corps plans to create 1,200 acres of new habitat for the pallid sturgeon.

Fishery biologist with the Corps, Mark Drobish, said stocks of farm-raised sturgeon will be used to replenish populations throughout the river system.

But Drobish said that because the pallid sturgeon matures so slowly it may take 40 years for the species to recover. Female pallid sturgeon can reach 15 years before sexual maturity.