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Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument
Release Date: 08/16/10
Contacts: Connie Jacobs 406-622-4000    

Pallid Sturgeon: Our Living Missouri River Dinosaur – A Struggle for Survival

Imagine if all people born in 1968 grew to adulthood and never had children; ever. What would happen to our population? This is the same situation faced by the remaining pallid sturgeon in the Upper Missouri River today. 

It’s a perplexing scenario and on Thursday, August 26, at 7:00 p.m. the Bureau of Land Management’s Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center (701 7th Street in Fort Benton, MT) will host an entertaining program about the pallid sturgeon’s status in the Upper Missouri River.

Mr. Bill Gardner, a fisheries biologist with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP), will present an informative 30-40 minute program about pallid sturgeon and will answer questions following the presentation.  
Admission for the program is free.
Biologists think there are about 125 wild pallid sturgeon remaining in Montana. Today the pallid sturgeon is a Montana Species of Concern and it was federally listed as an endangered species in 1990. Biologists say no wild juvenile fish have joined the existing population in the past 30 to 50 years largely due to changes in the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers that have altered pallid sturgeon habitat and obstructed their reproductive processes.
The pallid sturgeon has plied the waters of the Upper Missouri River for 70 million years and can live to be 50 - 60 years old, grow to six feet in length and weigh up to 80 pounds. Biologists have been studying and learning about this little-known fish, searching for ways to keep it from going the way of the dinosaurs – total extinction. 
Bill Gardner has studied the pallid sturgeon for 20 years with MFWP and has been on the Pallid Sturgeon Recovery Team for more than 10 years, working with other scientists to learn more about our unique population of this ancient fish.  
Once again, all interested are encouraged to attend a free program about the pallid sturgeon, featuring Bill Gardner, on Thursday, August 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Missouri Breaks Interpretive Center in Fort Benton.  

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument   920 NE Main      Lewistown, MT 59457   

Last updated: 06-28-2012