Comparative age‑determination techniques for white sturgeon in California

Brennan, J. S., & Cailliet, G. M. (1989). Comparative age‑determination techniques for white sturgeon in California. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 118(3), 296-310. doi:10.1577/1548-8659(1989)118<0296:CATFWS>2.3.CO;2
TitleComparative age‑determination techniques for white sturgeon in California
AuthorsJ. Brennan, G. Cailliet
AbstractWe compared growth patterns of clavicles, cleithra, opercles, medial nuchals, dorsal scutes, and pectoral fin ray sections from white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus in California. The legibility and interpretability of growth patterns, ease of collection and processing, and relative precision of age estimates were evaluated for each structure with data collected on skeletal structures and morphometric measurements of 147 individuals ranging in size from 31 to 224 cm total length. Various methods were used to elucidate growth zones (thin-sectioning, oil and water clearing, staining, and X-ray radiography) to determine the most useful ageing technique for each structure. All calcified structures contained concentric growth zones that increased in number with the size of the fish and were interpreted as annual events. There was a direct linear relationship between size of the structures and size of the fish. Pectoral fin sections were the most practical ageing structure in terms of ease of collection, processing, legibility, and precision of interpretation. Age estimates from other structures resulted in poor precision between readers but relatively good intrareader precision. This suggests possible corroborative use with the development of better interpretive criteria and elucidation techniques. The von Bertalanffy, growth curve calculated from age estimates based on pectoral fin sections for all samples produced a growth model for white sturgeon that compared favorably with those from previous studies.
JournalTransactions of the American Fisheries Society
Start page296
End page310