A rare, prehistoric-looking fish that inhabits just a single stream in Indiana is in danger of going extinct, but local wildlife activists want to step-up efforts to save the fish.
This species of lake sturgeon is found only in the east branch of Indiana’s White River. It is the last known population of this freshwater river swimmer that reproduces naturally in the entire Ohio River basin. The Ohio River basin comprises a vast area that reaches into six states.
The lake sturgeon has the look of an ancient species, and indeed, has survived millions of years of evolution and vast changes to the Ohio River basin environment — much of which has been radically altered by man-made engineering projects and farming.
The lake sturgeon has some amazing attributes, such as a lifespan known to be as long as 100 years. It can to grow eight feet in length. They are a protected species in Indiana and no recreational fishing of the lake sturgeon is allowed here. The fish is listed as endangered in Indiana by the Center for Biological Diversity.
Several groups are teaming up to help the fish survive in Indiana waters. That includes the Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club chapter of Indiana and the Hoosier Environmental Council.
Lake sturgeon were valued by American pioneers and Native Americans as a delicious food source and also for their eggs, which produces a rich caviar. But over-fishing and aggressive farming has reduced the numbers of lake sturgeon to near-extinction.