Latin name

Acipenser transmontanus

Other names

Sturgeon, Columbia sturgeon, Oregon sturgeon, Pacific sturgeon, Sacramento sturgeon; French: esturgeon blanc.


The adult white sturgeon has a moderately blunt snout, spines closer to the tip of the snout than to the mouth, and no obvious scales (bony, scale-like plates) behind the dorsal and anal fins. The fish is gray to pale olive on the upper body and white to pale gray on the ventral side. It has 28-30 anal rays, 11-14 scales on the back, and 38-48 scales on the sides.


White sturgeon inhabit only the Pacific coast from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Monterey Bay, California, although it travels far inland to spawn. It can be found in the Fraser River system, the Columbia River above Revelstoke (British Columbia), Lake Duncan, Vancouver Island and possibly Lake Okanagan and other coastal bodies of water. In Idaho, white sturgeon are found in the Snake River downstream from Shoshone Falls and in the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers. It is also landlocked in some reservoirs.


White sturgeon mainly lives in estuaries and bays of large rivers, as well as in deep river basins.


The age of the white sturgeon, according to some reports, exceeds 100 years. Most of the oldest individuals of the current era are about 40-60 years old. Historical catch reports a maximum weight of 1,300 to 2,000 pounds and a length of 20 feet. Today, fish less than 6 feet long and weighing 60-70 pounds are usually caught, and fish from 6 to 9 feet long and weighing 200-500 pounds are also possible.

Life history and Behavior

The white sturgeon is an anadromous species that migrates from the ocean to fresh water to spawn. Spawning usually occurs from April through early July, when water temperatures range from 50° to 64 °F, during the highest daily flow of the river. Spawning occurs in fast water. After hatching, the larvae with their yolk sac drift into deeper waters with slower flows, where they grow rapidly, sometimes up to 15 inches or more in the first year. Females usually become sexually mature between 16 and 35 years of age, at about 47 inches in length.

Food and feeding habits

Adult white sturgeon are fish-eaters and feed in fresh water. Common baits include worms, ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, squawfish and carp.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Acipenseriformes
Family Acipenseridae
Genus Acipenser
Species A. transmontanus
Conservation status Vulnerable
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years 34
Maximum body weight, kg 630
Maximum length, cm 280
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Sturgeon, White

Tags: Sturgeon, White