Acipenser medirostris

Identification Tips:

• Total length may exceed 2 metres.
• Olive to dark green on back and sides
• Shovel-shaped snout with large fleshy barbels around mouth
• Large bony scutes along back and sides (22-33 along sides)
• Dark stripe along mid belly
• Dorsal fin 33 - 35 soft rays
• Anal fin: 22 - 28 soft rays

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Red ListSpecial ConcernSpecial ConcernG3, S1

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre:

Life History:

• Spawn in spring in large rivers, at intervals of 3-7 years for females
• Migrate rapidly northwards, likely in schools, following spawning.
• Diet of adults includes , mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish
• Mature at 17 to 21 years.
• May live for several decades


• Spends most of adult life in the ocean, primarily in nearshore bays, and estuaries
• Juveniles spend 1-4 years in freshwater or estuaries


British Columbia
• Found occasionally in Lower Fraser River and its estuary
• Most BC records are from west coast of Vancouver Island and estuaries of Skeena, Nass, and Taku Rivers
• No evidence of breeding in British Columbia

• Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska to Ensenada, Mexico


• Very rarely encountered in BC
• Fish found in Fraser Estuary and River are believed to breed in Klamath River, California

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