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VCU researcher spots rare sturgeon in James River

Friday - 9/28/2012, 12:35pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia Commonwealth University researcher says he's spotted a rare Atlantic sturgeon in the James River in Richmond.

VCU researcher Matt Balazik saw the 6-foot-long sturgeon near the Mayo Bridge on Thursday.

Balazik, who sports a sturgeon tattoo on his right forearm, says he plans to check the area again this weekend to see if the fish are possibly spawning in the river.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ( reports sturgeons were once plentiful in the river but were fished nearly to extinction for their caviar more than a century ago.

Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service declared the Atlantic sturgeon an endangered species.

About 20,000 adult females inhabited the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries before 1890.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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