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Saving the fish that saved Jamestown

VCU research aims to protect and recover one of the oldest fish species in the world

There it was, gently coasting along the shallow waters of the James River just below the urban backdrop of the Richmond city skyline - a giant prehistoric fish that once swam with the dinosaurs.

The rare sighting of an Atlantic sturgeon, one of the oldest species of fish in the world, just under the 14th Street Bridge in downtown Richmond last month generated a great deal of excitement.

Even more compelling during that same week was the discovery of the first fall spawning female - there were eggs in the water everywhere. Coincidentally, folks down on the Roanoke River came across a very similar scene.

No one could be happier about the find than Matt Balazik, a doctoral candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University. He made the initial discovery of the spawning female and eggs in the James.

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