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Sturgeon illustration

White Sturgeon

World Record ~ 468 Lbs. Caught at Benicia, CA on July 9, 1983 by angler Joey Pallotta 3rd

Scientific name ~ Acipenser Transmontanus

Other names ~ Sturgeon, Columbia Sturgeon, Oregon Sturgeon, Pacific Sturgeon, Sacramento Sturgeon, Giant Sturgeon

Identification ~ It is the largest freshwater fish in North America. In appearance, the white sturgeon is a large, impressive, shark-like fish. The turned-up tail and the presence of spiracles adds to this image. The dorsal color of a White Sturgeon is gray, pale olive, or gray-brown. The fins are a dusky, opaque gray. The underside is a clean white. It has four barbels, used for sensing food, near its huge toothless mouth.

Size ~ A White Sturgeon can weigh more than 1500 pounds, and grow to 15 feet and can live well over 100 years.

Habitat ~ Tracking studies indicate that sturgeon generally don't move more than a few km during the summer feeding season. However, before spawning or when traveling to over-wintering locations, sturgeon can migrate over 100 km. Adult fish tend to occur in deeper, faster waters of large river systems, where they spend most of their time on or near the bottom of the riverbed. Juveniles prefer slow moving sloughs and backwaters. Spawning habitat is usually in turbulent fast water, but locations can range from shallow murky side channels with pebbly and sandy bottoms to deeper, less murky main channels with larger boulders and cobble.

Feeding Habits ~ A sturgeon's taste buds are located on the outside of its mouth. This, along with the barbels, allows it see if a possible food source is edible before sucking it up into its mouth. As adults, the white sturgeon's diet somewhat varies. This is dependent upon the river systems it lives in. They are opportunist feeders and eat what is available at the time including dead fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, lamprey eels, smelt, shad, and shrimp.


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