Acoustic Telemetry Monitoring of Atlantic Sturgeon in the Vicinity of the Route 64 Bridge, Alligator River, Dare County, North Carolina

Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) were once abundant along the Atlantic Slope of North America and were culturally important to Native Americans and early European colonists. Throughout the 19th Century, Atlantic Sturgeon were fished unsustainably for roe (caviar) and flesh. The peak coastal harvest of Atlantic Sturgeon (>7 M pounds) occurred in 1890 but by 1920 annual harvest was less than 100,000 pounds. In 1998 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) imposed a moratorium on sturgeon catches. In 2012, most Atlantic sturgeon populations, including the Carolina distinct population segment (DPS), became federally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The aging Alligator River Bridge on US 64, Dare County, NC, is slated to be replaced within the next few years. Currently, data are very limited about if and how Atlantic sturgeon utilize the Alligator River, especially around the US 64 Bridge crossing. Federal and state permitting agencies are concerned that the construction of the new bridge and demolition of the old bridge will harass and/or harm Atlantic sturgeon in proximity to the construction area. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the permitting agencies need more information on the migratory movements of Atlantic sturgeon through the project area when considering the effect to this species from construction of the new Alligator River Bridge. Discussions between the NCDOT Division 1, Raleigh Environmental Analysis Unit and NC Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) have occurred to address the possibility for an in-water work moratorium for the Alligator River Bridge replacement. The reason for this moratorium request is due to the lack of existing data about when and to what magnitude Atlantic sturgeon are in Alligator River during times of the year. To obtain the needed information required by NCDMF, research must be conducted in the area of interest. A collaboration of NCDMF, NCDOT and Virginia commonwealth University (VCU), propose to start collecting, implanting telemetry tags and monitoring sturgeon movements in the Alligator River.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $237891
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      North Carolina Department of Transportation

      Research and Development
      1549 Mail Service Center
      Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
    • Managing Organizations:

      North Carolina Department of Transportation

      Research and Development
      1549 Mail Service Center
      Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
    • Project Managers:

      Kirby, John

    • Performing Organizations:

      Virginia Commonwealth University

      800 East Leigh St
      Richmond, Virginia  United States  23284
    • Principal Investigators:

      Garman, Gregory

    • Start Date: 20231001
    • Expected Completion Date: 20250930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01891725
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: FHWA/NC/2024-21
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Aug 28 2023 10:18AM