How to identify a Sturgeon
They are easy to identify as a group. Some species grow to a length of over 20 ft. (6 m) and well over 2,000 lb. (907 kg) and may live to be over 100 year old. The body is long and heavy and is covered with 5 rows of large, heavy scutes. One row runs along the middle of each side, one along the back and two along the belly. The scutes become smoother as the sturgeon grows older and in some species, they may gradually disappear by absorption. On each side of the head there is a huge bony plate that serves as the gill cover. The rest of the head is covered with smaller bony plates. The mouth is protrusible, like the suckers, and is preceded by four barbels resembling a mustache. The eyes are small by comparisons to the overall size of the body. The single dorsal fin is located far back on the body near the tail and directly above the anal fin. The tail is heterocercal (the upper lobe is longer than the lower lobe).
Where to catch Sturgeon
All sturgeons are either anadromous or freshwater fishes. Shortnose sturgeon are found along the Atlantic coast from New Brunswick, Canada to Florida, USA. Lake sturgeon are found from the Hudson Bay, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, USA. Green sturgeon are found along the coastal North Pacific from the Gulf of Alaska to southern California, USA, as well as in China, Japan, Korea and Russia. Atlantic sturgeon are found from Labrador, Canada to Florida, USA, with a subspecies in the Gulf of Mexico. White sturgeon are found along the Pacific coast form the Aleutian Islands to California, USA. The pallid sturgeon and the shovelnose sturgeon occur only in the USA, primarily in the Missouri and Mississippi River systems. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: