Fun White Sturgeon Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 09, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
White sturgeon facts will blow you away.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

The white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is a type of fish found along the western coasts of the United States and in the Pacific Ocean. In the early 1900s, it became an endangered species due to overfishing, but in the last couple of years, the population has once again become bountiful.

In terms of their habitat, one can find them in a range of places such as streams, estuaries, rivers, and oceans. When it comes to their management, one needs a lot of space and resources.

Large white sturgeons have been witnessed in many places throughout America such as Oregon, Montana, and California. Many fisheries do fish white sturgeons for caviar, oil, and isinglass that they produce.

There are many ways to remove caviar from sturgeons, so it is not vital to kill sturgeons to extract caviar. White sturgeons are considered to be prehistoric fish that have survived for hundreds of millions of years, making many people refer to them as dinosaurs.

If you would like a better description of this species, keep reading! Check out our other articles on pallid sturgeon and beluga sturgeon facts too.

White Sturgeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white sturgeon?

The white sturgeon is a type of fish mainly found in the eastern Pacific and off the coasts of North America. They have been traced all along the west coast of the United States from Alaska to California.

Some have also been spotted in places like British Columbia and Mexico. These fish are anadromous, meaning they migrate across large distances throughout their lives.

What class of animal does a white sturgeon belong to?

White sturgeons are a type of fish found mainly off the west coast of the United States. They are the largest freshwater species of U.S. fish. Many can be found in places like Oregon.

How many white sturgeons are there in the world?

Currently, the population of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) is estimated to be around 2,500 in total.

Where does a white sturgeon live?

They can be found living in a range of places such as estuaries, rivers, marine regions, and streams. Many spend the majority of their lives in freshwater, while others migrate to the ocean.

Their main location is in the eastern Pacific, off the west coast of the United States, trailing down from Alaska to California.

They can be found in places like Idaho, Montana, Oregon, as well as British Columbia, and Canada. They are currently not thought to be an endangered species, however, like many other animals, they were once endangered due to overfishing practices by fisheries.

What is a white sturgeon's habitat?

They mainly can be found residing in large river systems and they choose to migrate to freshwater regions for reproduction. They live in the deeper, soft ends of estuaries and lay their eggs in places with running streams. The Kootenai River population is a well-known sturgeon habitat.

Who do white sturgeons live with?

White sturgeons are a type of U.S. fish that live in groups and travels in packs as well. As a species, they are not solitary creatures. They might travel long distances together, even spanning hundreds of kilometers, for spawning purposes.

How long does a white sturgeon live?

White sturgeons have been known to reach the age of 100 years before their final demise. Throughout their existence, they keep growing until they become 100 years old.

How do they reproduce?

White sturgeons prefer to lay their eggs and spawn in running water where their eggs can flow freely. The sturgeon spawning duration of males and females differs. Males have a spawning duration of one to two years, while females spawn for two to four.

They indulge in broadcast spawning where they release their eggs during peak flow time and let them run free. The larvae then spring from these eggs and start their life. This is the primary reproduction process of this species.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN red list has placed white sturgeon in the Least Concern status. In many places, such as California, it is illegal to fish, sell, or buy white sturgeons.

White Sturgeon Fun Facts

What does a white sturgeon look like?

The body of the white sturgeon is long, cylindrical, and quite large. They have scutes on the exterior of their body as well as bony plates that help in their protection.

The dorsal of a white sturgeon is generally a lighter shade of gray, whereas the ventral area is white. They are best recognized through their bony plates, scutes, barbels, and the broad snout present at the edge of their face.

Open land with a source of fresh water.

*We've been unable to source an image of a White Sturgeon and have used an image of its habitat. If you can provide us with a royalty-free image of a White Sturgeon, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How cute are they?

The management of white sturgeons is particularly complicated due to the pounds they carry. Many consider them to be cute. They are desirable for consumption by people who prefer to eat fish as they have a delicate flavor.

How do they communicate?

White sturgeons communicate through two main methods, chemical and tactile. Females and males communicate with each other through touch and smell.

How big is a white sturgeon?

White sturgeon adults can be anywhere between 82.8-240.2 in (2.1-6.1 m) in length. The white sturgeon is the largest freshwater species on the Pacific coast. A white sturgeon grow up to 20 ft (7.1 m) in size and even 1500 lb  (683 kg) in weight! Blue whales are 10 times bigger than this species.

How fast can a white sturgeon swim?

Although there is no exact defined number, it can be stated that the swimming speed of a white sturgeon lies between 10-21 in/s (25.4-53.5 cm/s)

How much does a white sturgeon weigh?

A white sturgeon can weigh anywhere in the range of 992-1503 lb (450-682 kg)!

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no gender-specific terms.

What would you call a baby white sturgeon?

After being born, most eggs develop into larvae. Once they have matured, they develop into juveniles. The term juvenile is utilized until they reach adulthood. Depending on the temperature, the hatching cycles of many white sturgeons can be affected.

What do they eat?

These fish are bottom feeders. They rely on a healthy food diet that ranges from mollusks, crustaceans, and smaller fish to worms, clams, fish eggs, and crayfish. They feed on fish such as salmon, lampreys, and anchovies. They are carnivores who use their barbels and snout to discover new prey and food to feed on in their habitat.

Are they dangerous?

White sturgeons are not particularly aggressive or harmful to humans. Most people don't consider them to be dangerous or to be one of the biggest predator populations.

Would they make a good pet?

White sturgeons are not meant to be kept in captivity or small spaces. Since they are bottom feeders and anadromous by nature, they do not make good pets. In most places, it is illegal to harvest or fish white sturgeons. They can't survive outside of their natural habitat.

Did you know...

The oldest white sturgeon that has ever been recorded was 152 years old.

The Kootenai River population that flows from British Columbia through to Idaho is an extremely popular place for white sturgeons.

Why are white sturgeons endangered?

In the early 1900s, white sturgeons nearly became extinct due to overfishing as many fishermen were sourcing them for caviar and other byproducts. Furthermore, in 1994, the Kootenai River white sturgeon was added to the endangered population due to the creation of the Libby Dam which led to a drop in water quality because of contamination.

What is the largest white sturgeon ever caught?

The largest white sturgeon ever caught was believed to be around 1,100 lb (50 kg) and 148.8 in (378 cm), and it was caught in 2012.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including cuttlefish, or altum angelfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our white sturgeon coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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