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State DEC, Riverkeeper disagree over sturgeon comeback

Feb 04, 2016 7:00 am

William J. Kemble is reporting in the Daily Freeman the state Department of Environmental Conservation is reporting a dramatic return of the juvenile Atlantic sturgeon in the Hudson River, but Riverkeeper is skeptical. The department says the population appears to have doubled from 2011 through 2015. The department disputed the theory that construction of the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge has caused widespread deaths of the primitive fish. In December, Riverkeeper said it planned to sue the state Thruway Authority and Tappan Zee Constructors for violating the Endangered Species Act over the bridge project. Riverkeeper alleged that prior to the project starting, there were no Atlantic sturgeon deaths in the river in 2008 and 2009, but once the bridge work began, the death rate drastically increased. A Riverkeeper spokesman noted the recently released DEC report refers only to juvenile sturgeon while Riverkeeper has been focusing on older, breeding fish. The fish was put on the endangered species list in 2012. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.