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Sacramento River green sturgeon acoustic telemetry detections

Cite this dataset

Colborne, Scott et al. (2022). Sacramento River green sturgeon acoustic telemetry detections [Dataset]. Dryad.


Abstract for publication titled: Intraspecific variation in migration timing of green sturgeon in the Sacramento River system

Understanding movement patterns of anadromous fishes is critical to conservation management of declining wild populations and preservation of habitats. Yet, the duration of observations for individual animals can constrain accurate descriptions of movements. In this study, we synthesized over a decade (2006-2018) of acoustic telemetry tracking observations of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) in the Sacramento River system to describe major anadromous movement patterns. We observed that green sturgeon exhibited a unimodal in-migration during the spring months but had a bimodal distribution of out-migration timing, split between an ‘early’ out-migration (32%) group during May - June, or alternatively, holding in the river until a ‘late’ out-migration (68%), November - January. Focusing on these out-migration groups, we found that river discharge, but not water temperature, may cue the timing of migration, and that fish showed a tendency to maintain out-migration timing between subsequent spawning migration events. We recommend that life history descriptions of green sturgeon in this region reflect the distinct out-migration periods described here. Furthermore, we encourage the continued use of biotelemetry to describe migration timing and life history variation, not only this population but other green sturgeon populations and other species.


Acoustic detection data was compiled from the UC Davis Biotelemetry database ( and processed for tagged green sturgeon present in the Sacramento River system (2006 - 2018). Any individual detection events occurring within the Sacremento River system during this time period were retained in this data set for processing as outlined in the manuscript methods to estimate migration timings.

Usage notes

Tagging metadata file for individual fish is included as a separate file.


Delta Stewardship Council, Award: 18204

Peter B Moyle & California Trout Endowment for Coldwater Fish Conservation, Award: CA-D-WFB-2467-H