White Sturgeon Facts and Information
Introduction to White Sturgeon
The White Sturgeon is the largest of all freshwater fish in North America. It is made mostly of cartilage but it is still classified as a bony fish. They seem to be very similar to the fossil remains that date back more than 175 million years ago. Their ability to live in a variety of conditions over so much time is fascinating.
White Sturgeon Description
They body and head is very slender with a tiny mouth. This particular fish doesn’t have any scales. It does have a type of armor though that helps to protect it. They are called scutes and there are about 10 of them on each side in both directions and 38–48 lateral scutes. They can be gray, olive, or brown. They have a gray color on the fins with the belly being light cream colored.
They have the ability to sense food with barbells that are by the mouth. They don’t have any teeth. They can grow to a size of about12 feet long.
White Sturgeon Distribution
The White Sturgeon lives in very slow moving water. They tend to stick to areas that offer them plenty of food. They also look for places that offer them a way to stay out of the fast moving currents. They are often found in swallow areas of the water. They can live in murky areas as well as in clear water. They prefer locations that have gravel and rocks along the bottom.
White Sturgeon Behavior
There is evidence to suggest that the White Sturgeon may be nocturnal. However, there isn’t substantial evidence yet to provide that will all credibility. It could be a survival factor in some locations. They are bottom dwellers and that is where they look for food and how they stay under the radar of various predators.
The females don’t mate every single year even though they are mature and they have enough food. This is believed to be a natural type of selection that helps to keep the habitat from becoming over populated. However, that is all based on theories and not on any research that can verify it without any doubts.
White Sturgeon Feeding
Insects, small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. They will consume dead fish as well as those that are alive. What food the White Sturgeon has access to really depends on the area where they live and the body of waters ecosystem. They do eat organic materials including sewage and even pollution waste that gets into the water.
This is why it is very important for humans to be careful eating it. These toxins don’t seem to bother the White Sturgeon at all. However, they can contain high levels of mercury and other material that can cause serious health issues for people that consume them.
White Sturgeon Reproduction
During the spawning the White Sturgeon will move to areas that have a heavier current. This is so that the water temperature can be high enough for them to be able to create offspring. The females can create up to 1 million eggs at a time, and she can spawn up to 4 times per season. As she gets older she will spawn less but create more eggs each time.
The eggs are going to be dropping to the bottom of the water. They will be in the gravel and rocks that are below. Most of these eggs will be consumed by various predators. Those that do survive will be larvae, then young Sturgeon with fins and scoots. They will be fully mature when they are from 5 to 11 years of age. They have been known to live more than 100 years in the wild.