White Sturgeon
Scientific Name Acipenser transmontanus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Family Chordata
Habitat Deep Water
Food Dead Fish and Mollusks

The White Sturgeon is a bottom feeding fish that lives on the bottom of Rivers, Bays, and the water near the mouths of rivers and streams.


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Canadian Researcher William sommers found that 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. He also found that as adults, the white sturgeon’s diet somewhat varies. This is dependent upon the river systems it lives in. In the Columbia River system, dead fish, crustaceans, and mollusks are all popular prey. Lampreys, primitive eel-like fish, come into rivers to spawn at the same time as the white sturgeon, and are a popular food source at that time. Smelt is another food that is abundant around spawning time. Shad come into the Columbia River system in throngs of several million each spring. The extremely large shad runs are often cited as an example of why the lower Columbia River has such a large population of Sturgeon. Like the smelt, these fish often die, and the remains are an easy meal for sturgeon.