Date of this Version
Saugers were once common representatives of the Missouri River fish assemblage. Prior to channelization and impoundment, they comprised from 10 to 65% of the main channel big-river fish group. They utilized the slower side channels and backwaters seasonally for feeding, resting, and maturing, but the main channel was important for breeding habitat, Since the onset of channelization and impoundment, saugers have been reduced by as much as 98% in some areas, and the trend toward extirpation continues unabated today. Recovery of native sauger stocks will require a complete cessation of harvest, recovery of the natural hydrograph, recovery of sediment transport, recovery of snags and organic matter dynamics, and re-connection of cut-off side channel morphology.