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Know the white sturgeon before it gets extinct

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The white sturgeon is a member of the Acipenseridae family. It is the largest freshwater fish in North America. The white sturgeon experienced a decline in population in the early 1900s. It has since recovered in some areas such as to support important recreational and commercial fisheries, particularly in California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

White Sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus)

The white sturgeon is a member of the Acipenseridae family. It is the largest freshwater fish in North America. The white sturgeon experienced a decline in population in the early 1900s. It has since recovered in some areas such as to support important recreational and commercial fisheries, particularly in California, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Description

White strugeon
White sturgeon: By Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

The white sturgeon has a moderately blunt snout as adults. It has a slender, whiskerlike sensory organ correctly known as barbels closer to the snout tip than to the mouth and no obvious scutes (bony scalelike plates behind the dorsal and anal fins).

This fish is of color gray to pale olive on its upper body and white to pale gray on its belly or lower side. It has 28 to 30 anal rays, 11 to 14 scutes on its back, and 38 to 48 scutes along the sides.

How long do they live?

White sturgeons can live up to about 152 years old and they breed infrequently.

Are white sturgeons aggressive?

They grow up to 11 feet and weigh over 1000 pounds. They are not aggressive and any collision is purely accidental. Because of their weight, their accidental hit of a human is like a hit by a truck. When reeling in the white sturgeon, you will have to be careful as it can jump out of the water into the boat and causing serious injuries like in this case.

Where do white sturgeons live and breed?

juvenile white sturgeon
Juvenile white sturgeon: By Unknown author

The white sturgeon primarily lives in the estuaries and bays of large rivers, and in inland waters, it lives in deep pools. The largest white sturgeon was caught on the Fraser River in British Columbia, Canada.

What do white sturgeon feeds on?

Adult white sturgeon are piscivorous meaning that it feeds on fish and other seafood like pile worms, ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, squawfish, and carp.

How the white sturgeon is fished?

The hunt for the white sturgeon is mostly by angling (with line, rod, and hook) as they tend to move solitary. Sportfishing for white sturgeon is strictly a bottom-working proposition, often with heavy tackle. You should consider the water conditions and match your tackle to them and the size of the fish you seek. This includes using heavy-duty lever drag ocean reels with 40 – to 80 – pound line or more, and a capacity of 200 to 300 yards, in the swift water of upper rivers where huge fish are a possibility.

Sturgeon meander in search of food, using their sensory abilities to locate prey or a scent trail that leads them to food. As a consequence, bait is the ticket to catching fish, and the possibilities are broad. Favorites baits for the white sturgeon include assorted fish (carp, squawfish, whitefish, herring, shad, and the like). You could bait the hooks both whole and cut in halves or chunks.

Other bait choices are roe or spawn in bags, nightcrawlers, eels, and scented bait concoctions. Sturgeon don’t grab and run so you will have to look for a slight tap and then you wait for the fish to steadily move off with the bait before setting the hook.

Places to fish for white sturgeons include deep holes directly below dams and falls, downstream from rapids, along the outside edge of a bend, and in the main channel.

They also hold directly downstream from areas where the river bottom shallows up and there is a hard rock area. You should stick to the center of the river channel if the river has few or no bends.

In tidal bays, either side of a tide change is good for fishing along dropoffs and by bridge abutments, on points, at bay mouths, and along break walls with baits, using a bottom rig with plenty of weight.

Sturgeons look like plodders, but they are strong, fast swimmers when hooked, and the battle can last a long time. They can provide exhilarating moments, sometimes leaping out of the water.

Is it legal to fish for white surgeons?

Whereas, some species of sturgeons like the green sturgeon in 2006 were marked off-limits for recreational fishing under the federal Endangered Species Act. The white sturgeon is not yet listed as off-limit but it could be listed soon as the numbers are said to have dwindled to fewer than 500 adults in 2005, down from 760 in the 1970s. It is of estimate that there may be less than 50 adults remaining by 2030.

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