Conservationists begin effort to increase pallid sturgeon population

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HUNTSDALE - The Missouri Department of Conservation, along with partnering agencies, are helping Missouri's native fish come back from the brink of extinction. 

MDC released more than 200 Pallid sturgeons in the Missouri River near Huntsdale Wednesday.

This comes after a 2016 effort to build a sandbar on the Missouri River for a suitable environment for the pallid sturgeons to live.

The department released the fish through a federal stocking program that breeds pallid sturgeon and gives them unique genes in order to mark them.

Missouri Department of Conservation media specialist, Robert Hemmelgarn, said this program will help to increase the fish population in Missouri.    

"It is a federally endangered species, so we are concern about their population being low in mid-Missouri and across the nation, so the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Services are working on breeding more of these species to distribute along the Missouri River," said Hemmelgarn. 

The pallid sturgeon is one of the first fish species native to the Missouri River identified as needing protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to MDC.