"New Yellowstone Dam Challenged Over Sturgeon Worries"

"BILLINGS, Mont. — Wildlife advocates plan to challenge the approval of a new Yellowstone River dam aimed at benefiting Montana and North Dakota farmers that critics say could kill off a dwindling population of a fish species dating to the time of dinosaurs.

A bypass channel would be built alongside the concrete irrigation dam near the Montana-North Dakota border to let endangered pallid sturgeon reach upstream spawning grounds.

But scientists don't know if the fish would use the channel. Advocates for the few remaining wild sturgeon say betting they would is an unacceptable risk because they could die off altogether if the channel plan does not work.

Pallid sturgeon are one of the rarest native fish in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins, have a distinctive, shark-like snout and can live 50 years, reaching 6 feet in length."

Matthew Brown reports for the Associated Press January 2, 2017.

Source: AP, 01/03/2017