This ancient fish has changed little since it first started evolving, while dinosaurs still walked the earth. White sturgeons are river giants, growing to 6m in length and can live for over 150 years. They are permanent residents in the Fraser River system, feeding on fish, such as returning salmon, and will also eat insects and carrion drifting on the river bottom. Population levels are low. There are estimated to be only 750 in the Mid-Fraser, from Hell’s gate to Prince George.
The White Sturgeon is the largest and longest living freshwater species in Canada. As a survivor from the late Cretaceous epoch, it has no scales. Bony shields run in 5 rows, along its sides and back for protection.
Where it lives
River bottoms, throughout the Fraser River and the Kootenay River.
Imperiled— The White Surgeon is in trouble. Key threats include reduced food supplies due to fishing, climate change and land use changes, as well as pollution and habitat loss.
- Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
- BC Government
- BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer
- Fisheries Canada
What you can do
Learn more about sturgeons and adopt one, through the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society. Adopting a sturgeon will let you track it’s travels through recapture data and you’ll receive updates! Click here for more information.