White Sturgeon

Photo Credit: ODFW


  • Species Common Name White Sturgeon
  • Species Scientific Name Acipenser transmontanus
  • SMU/ESU/DPS/Subspecies Lower Columbia/Coastal SMU


Special needs

Nearshore coastal waters, estuaries, and spawning and rearing habitats below Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls are essential.

Limiting factors

Long-lived, late-maturing species with relatively low population size. Habitat: Limited spawning habitat. In-water work effects, including dredging and ocean/estuarine energy projects, as well as navigation. Hydro-system impacts, including direct mortality, dewatering of early life history stages associated with load following and power peaking water fluctuations, and blocked access to historic range. Harvest: Lower Columbia River white sturgeon are subject to a variety of fisheries, and over-harvest could negatively impact lower Columbia River white sturgeon. In addition to regulated fisheries white sturgeon may be subjected to significant illegal harvest due to the monetary value of their roe. Predators: Steller Sea Lion predation, harassment on- and displacement from-spawning grounds.

Conservation actions

Use species-specific population assessments and habitat requirements to guide management actions. Minimize incidental catch and bycatch in fisheries (nearshore ocean, estuaries, and freshwater). Ensure that development and other non-fishery, human related activities do not occur in habitat (space and time) or result in direct mortality that may result in negative impacts. Monitor to understand the effects of pinniped predation/harassment.

Key reference or plan

Lower Columbia River and Oregon Coast White Sturgeon Conservation Plan: https://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/CRP/docs/lower_columbia_sturgeon/LCR_white_sturgeon_conservation_plan.pdf