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Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists Mike Porta (camouflage hat) and Matt Baldwin (visor) weigh a sturgeon they caught with a gil net in Marshyhope Creek in 2014. They will weigh, measure, take a DNA sample and place sensors in and on the fish to track it’s whereabouts as part of a long term study of the fish. The fish are returned to the exact place where they were caughtt. Once thought to be extinct in the Nanticoke, the fish are showing up again, though they are now a protected species.

In 1993, I began working at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, eager to make my mark. The attention-getting, prehistoric-looking Atlantic sturgeon looked like low-hanging fruit. They are living fossils from the time of dinosaurs, a grab bag of evolutionary pieces and parts: a vacuum cleaner mouth, a fused head shield, electric sensors, barbels, sharklike sand-paper skin and lobed tail, plus conspicuous boney plates of armor.


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