Scientists caught three wild Chinese sturgeon fish from the Yangtze River yesterday, to conduct research into the reproductive habits of this precious species of aquatic life.
The research aims to discover how the Three Gorges Dam will influence the reproduction of the fish, and find solutions to any problems.
The research plans to catch 28 Chinese sturgeon, half of which will be propagated artificially. The rest will be released into the river with electronic trackers attached.
Yesterday, researchers had taken out 10 eggs each from two female Chinese sturgeon fish, out of three caught for research. The three wild fish each weighed between 280 and 340 kilograms.
Having existed on Earth for nearly 140 million years, the Chinese sturgeon is one of the most ancient species of fish in the Yangtze River.
Chinese sturgeons have a special habit of swimming about 3,500 kilometers to the ocean, where they mature, from the Yangtze River where they are born during the seasons of propagation.
In the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, Chinese sturgeon will lay eggs each summer and autumn.
After the Gezhouba Dam was built downstream of the Three Gorges Dam in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River in 1988, the species usually lays eggs in the waters near Yichang, Hubei Province.
(China Daily October 10, 2003)