The event will include a schedule of programs
beginning the afternoon of Thursday, September 13, 2018
, and concluding the evening of Friday, September 14, 2018
. Canoe programs guided by JRA staff members and outings on the Spirit of the James, the James River Association’s pontoon boat, are scheduled. Participants will learn about the natural resources of the James River and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which make an annual spawning migration up the James River in late summer when they can be seen breaching.
“We are organizing this event to educate folks about the endangered Atlantic sturgeon,” said Justin Doyle, the JRA’s Community Conservation Manager. “Programs associated with the event will connect people to this amazing fish and the James River.”
Capable of growing up to 14 feet in length, weighing 800 pounds, and living 60 years, Atlantic sturgeon spend their adult years in the Atlantic Ocean. Each spring and fall they return to spawn in the rivers where they were born. Commercial harvesting decimated the Atlantic sturgeon population in the late 1800s and continued threats to the Atlantic sturgeon’s recovery include ship strikes, by-catch in commercial fisheries, and sediment pollution that blankets spawning habitat on the bottom of the river.
(If you want to learn more about Atlantic sturgeon in the James River, click here
for an awesome short video by Elli Morris.)
“We are excited to organize this unique event that celebrates the annual return of the Atlantic sturgeon,” said Jamie Brunkow, James Riverkeeper and Senior Advocacy Manager of the James River Association. “This event is an opportunity for people to connect with this iconic species, and to learn what our partners are doing to improve the health of the James River and habitat of Atlantic sturgeon.”
The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon
is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series Event, presented nationally by Toyota benefiting the James River Association and James Riverkeeper. Additional support is provided by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, James River Advisory Council, RichmondOutside.com, and Rocketts Landing.
I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?