SPECIES ID / Freshwater Fish of the Fraser Valley

Sturgeon Family (Acipenseridae)

  • The last remnants of an ancient form of fish; originated more than 200 million years ago
  • 27 species in the world, 2 in British Columbia
  • of fish noted for large body size and long life spans
  • Lack bones; skeleton is make of cartilage
  • Newly hatched sturgeon larvae look more like tadpoles than fish
  • They transform into the typical sturgeon body form once longer than 60 to 80 mm

Identification Tips:

  • Top lobe of caudal (tail) fin is much longer than bottom lobe
  • Mouth on bottom of head
  • Four barbels in front of mouth
  • Rows of bony plates (scutes) along the back, midway down the sides and on the belly

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.