The Shovelnose Surgeon's reproduces by spawning. It is when sperm and eggs are released into the water and then combine to create a fertilized egg. Spawning is seasonal mating technique occurring from May to early July. After incubating in 60˚ - 70°F for about a week then eggs hatch.  There are thousands of fertilized eggs in the water but only a small percent survive into adulthood. The eggs then stick to nearby plants and rocks to mature. They then develop into the juvenile stage (see Figure 1). Then they eventually mature into adults.

Figure 6: Juvenile Shovelnose Sturgeon by USGS July 6, 2012.

 This fish has been harvested for many years due to the need for caviar in the United States. Commercial harvesting is still allowed in some locations which leads to population failure. Although spawning allows for many fertilized eggs, the process itself is used due to the low survivability of the eggs and juveniles.  (Stahl et al, 2009)

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