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Lake Sturgeon restocked in the Genesee River

Federal and state agencies are nearing the end of a project to bring Lake Sturgeon back to the Genesee River. 

Webster Piersall from the State Department of Environmental Conservation says the project started in 2003 after the federal government required the restoration of those fish.

“The Genesee has been stocked counting today nine times for a total of just under 9,000 lake sturgeon,” said Piersall.

Dawn Dittman, the lead scientist from the US Geological survey said that this year’s stocking process started in June when the fish were captured in the St. Lawrence river and reared at the United Hatchery until Friday. Dittman attended all of the stockings over the last two decades.

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“The first year we had the same boat,” said Dittman. “Different fish and wildlife personnel. Yeah, we went up the river and it was the initiation of what I knew was going to be a twenty year project.” 

She expects this project to continue for at least two more years and is hopeful the sturgeon begin to spawn. Dittman says she’ll be back in Rochester in the spring to check if that is happening. The effort is getting help from restoration money that Kodak has provided as part of a settlement with the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Regina Willis of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said that the more 128,000 sturgeon have stocked in lakes and rivers across the state since 1995. 

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.