RIGGINS -- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is conducting a three-year study to determine if fishing hooks and lines ingested by sturgeon are adversely affecting the health of the long-lived fish.
The Times-News reports that biologists are capturing white sturgeon in the Snake River inside Hells Canyon and using a mobile X-ray machine to find out what kind of fishing gear is inside them.
Biologists say the study that runs through 2014 has found that most of the gear inside sturgeon is fishing tackle lost by anglers who snagged the bottom of the river and then broke off. Sturgeon eventually find and eat the bait and tackle.
Biologists say the images have revealed ingested hooks, weights and swivels inside the large fish that can live up to 100 years.