KANSAS (KSNT) – Wildlife officials stumbled across an interesting find while conducting sampling work on the Kansas River.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says its Fisheries Division was conducting sampling work in their ongoing efforts to remove invasive carp from the Kansas River when they discovered a rare pallid sturgeon. The fish is listed as both a federally and Kansas-listed endangered species. The sturgeon bore tags and markings indicating that it had been handled by biologists on the Missouri River in 2011.
The KDWP says pallid sturgeons are an uncommon sight in the Kansas River despite efforts to improve their populations in the Mississippi River basin. Due to this, the fish is considered to be a “very rare find” for Kansas.
Pallid sturgeons closely resemble shovelnose sturgeons, which can be found throughout the Kansas River, according to the KDWP. An easy way to tell a pallid sturgeon apart from a shovelnose sturgeon is by looking at the position of the barbels on the underside of the snout. Mature pallid sturgeons are also considerably larger than shovelnose sturgeons: pallid sturgeons can grow up to 72 inches with the shovelnose sturgeon only coming up to 30 inches.