Endangered fish species returned to Mississippi River after floodwaters washed them out

Published 8:57 am Saturday, September 21, 2019

For weeks in August, state and federal biologists worked to rescue endangered fish that had been swept out of the Mississippi River during a flood fight that lasted months.

They waded, leaned out of boats, and worked neck-deep in water to net pallid sturgeon.

The endangered sturgeon and flat-billed, open-mouthed cousins called paddlefish were among untold numbers of fish carried through the Bonnet Carré Spillway while it was open to protect New Orleans levees from high water.

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Now crews were working to return those they could find to the river. The Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries worked together on the project.

The fish they tagged and released included 17 pallid sturgeon, 208 shovelnose sturgeon, and about 10 paddlefish.