Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Schramm, Jr., L. Harold

Committee Member

Leopold, D. Bruce

Committee Member

Jackson, C. Donald

Committee Member

Hopper, George

Committee Member

Miranda, E. Leandro

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Stock assessment and behavioral studies are needed to identify habitat use and population dynamics of endangered pallid sturgeon Scahphirhynchus albus in the freelowing lower Mississippi River; however, effective sampling methods have not been evaluated. Trotlines and otter trawls were consequently fished year-round to determine the more effective gear and to determine effects of environmental variables on catch rates. Trotlines were more effective for catching large (> 600 mm FL) pallid sturgeon and neither gear was effective for catching small (100-600 mm FL) pallid sturgeon. Greater predicted probabilities of catching large pallid sturgeon with trotlines were in 9-19 °C water temperatures, 0.7-0.9 m s-1 surface current velocities, and in greater depths (up to 12 m). Results of this study provide information that can be used to maximize sampling efficiency.