Also Known As: Pacific Sturgeon, Sacramento Sturgeon
Guides Who Fish This Species
White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) Fish Description
The White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), also known as Pacific Sturgeon or Sacramento Sturgeon, is a huge anadromous game fish mostly found in some large North American rivers that drain to the Pacific Ocean. Though it’s born in freshwater, it usually swims to the ocean and spends most of its life in saltwater; returning to freshwater only to spawn. Its long and cylindrical body is mostly light grey in color and its belly is white. Instead of scales like other fishes, it has five rows of white scutes—an external bony plate—along its body to protect its body from environmental abrasions as well as from predators. Its toothless mouth is protruded and its nose is pointed to help in burrowing for food on the sea floor. Plus, the barbels located near the front end of its long nose makes it possible for it to “feel” its surroundings.
Interesting Facts About White Sturgeons
It’s the largest freshwater fish in North America.
It’s anadromous—a fish born in freshwater but spends most of its life in saltwater.
It returns to freshwater to spawn.
The largest ever caught on record weighs around 1,100 pounds, measuring 12 feet and 4 inches.
It was caught in July 2012 in Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada; and was released back to the water.
It’s carnivorous but it doesn’t have teeth.
It eats by sucking on its prey.
Its taste buds are located on the outside of its mouth.
Instead of scales, they a long bony plate called scutes that protect them.
It’s covered with a rough sandpaper-like skin.
It has cartilaginous bones, much like sharks.
It eats shrimps, clams, crabs, worms, mussels, snails, and small fishes.
It can live to a hundred years or even more.
Males and females release their sperm and eggs simultaneously during spawning season.
Sperm and eggs mix together in the water current.
Females can release up to 3 million eggs in a single spawning season.
Once fertilized, the eggs sink to the river bottom and sticks rocks and other underwater structures.
Commercial fishers fish for the fish species not just for its meat but for its highly valued roes