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Acipenser transmontanus:   (click for more)

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  • Acipenser acutirostris  Ayres, 1854:2 (The Pacific, v. 4, nº 1), San Francisco, California.
  • Acipenser aleutensis  Fitzinger, 1836:285, in Fitzinger & Heckel, 1836 (Ann. Wien. Mus. Naturges, vol. 1, nº 12), Canaga I., Aleutian Is., Alaska.
  • Acipenser brachyrynchus  Ayres, 1854:2 (The Pacific, v. 4, nº 1), San Francisco, California.
  • Acipenser (Antaceus) ayresii  Duméril, 1867:171, Pl. 12 (figs. 1-1b); Pl. 16 (fig.3), (Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Nat., Paris, v. 3), San Francisco, California.
  • Acipenser (Antaceus) caryi  Duméril, 1867:169, Pl.12 (figs.2, 2a-b), ( Ibid.), San Francisco, California.
  • Acipenser (Antaceus) putnami  Duméril, 1867:178, Pl.13 (figs.1, 1a-b), (Ibid.), San Francisco, California.
    FAO Names
    En - White sturgeon, Fr - Esturgeon blanc, Sp - Esturión blanco.
    3Alpha Code: APN     Taxonomic Code: 1170100109
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Acipenser transmontanus  Richardson, 1836: 278, Pl. 97 (fig.2). Fauna Boreali-Americana Part 3 Vancouver, Washington, USA, Fort Colville, Columbia River.
    Diagnostic Features
    Spiracle present. Snout and caudal peduncle subconical. Gill membranes joined to isthmus. Mouth transverse.  Gill rakers long, 34-36 on first arch.  D: 44-48, A: 28-30 rays;  11-14 dorsal scutes, large, pointed; 38-48 lateral scutes, large, diamond-shaped; 9-12 ventral scutes. No scutes between dorsal and caudal or anal and caudal fins; 8 or 9 small scutes, in pairs between anus and anal fulcrum. Body covered with patches of very minute dermal denticles, and sometimes secundary rows of small scutes between usual rows.  Dorsal surface dark to lighter grey, pale olive, or grey-brown, sometimes speckled with white. Sides pale grey to white. Ventral surface white. Fins dusky to opaque grey. Viscera pale black and heavily pigmented. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Pacific coast and rivers of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California (Scott & Crossman, 1990). Translocated to lower Colorado, Arizona; reported from northern Baja California, Mexico (Eschmeyer et al., 1983; Lamb & Edgell, 1986; Scott & Crosman, 1990).
    Habitat and Biology
    This anadromous sturgeon spends most of its time in the sea. It is thought to stay close to shore in shallow water were it has been seen leaping.It has been taken in water temperatures ranging from 0.0º C to 23.3º C, in salt, brackish and fresh water.  Mature adults move grat distances and may enter fresh water in the fall and winter (Scott & Crossman, 1973).White sturgeon take a wide range of food, but about one-half of stomachs containing fish, especially eulachons (Thaleichthys pacificus), their main food item, and sculpins (Cottus spp.), sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), and lampreys. Of the invertebrates, chironomid larvae are the most important food item followed by caryfish (Pacifastacus sp.), stoney fly larvae Ephemeroptera larvae, mysids, Daphnia spp. and freshwater copepods.
    The age at attainment of sexual maturity is variable. First spawning in Fraser River is from 11 to 22 years for males, and from 11 to 34 for females. Subsequent spawning is apparently at increasing intervals of years: in young females the interval is 4 years, and 9-11 in older females (Semakula & Larkin, 1968). The spawning period and water temperature is variable: usually May and June, at a water temperature from 8.9 to 16.7º C, but could be later for distant migrants (Scott & Crosman, 1990); March to June (Moyle, 1976); February to June in the Sacramento River, at a water temperature from 7.8 to 17.8º C, peaking at 14.4º C (Kohlhorst, 1976); spawning probably takes place over rocky bottom in swift currents, near rapids; the eggs are adhesive (Scott & Crosman, 1990). 
    Maximum size: 6.10 m TL; maximum weight: 816 Kg; maximum reported age: 106 years.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Local Names
    CANADA : Columbia esturgeon ,  Esturgeon blanc ,  K'toyethen .
    FINLAND : Valkosilmäkuha .
    FRANCE : Esturgeon blanc .
    GERMANY : weißer Stör ,  Sacramentostör .
    ITALY : Estorione bianco .
    MEXICO : Esturión blanco .
    NETHERLANDS : Pacific steur .
    POLAND : Jesiotr amerykanski .
    PORTUGAL : Esturjao-branco .
    SPAIN : Esturión blanco .
    UNITED KINGDOM : White sturgeon .
    USA : White sturgeon .
    Birstein, V.J. - 1993. Sturgeons and paddlefishes: threatened fishes in need of conservation. Conserv. Biol. .  7:773-787..
    Carl, G.C., W.A. Clemens & C.C. Lindsey - 1959 . The freshwater fishes of British Columbia B.C. Prov. Mus. Handb. (3rd revision). 5. .  192 p.. Reprinted 1977.
    Clemens, W.A. & G.V. Wilby - 1961 . Fishes of the Pacific coast of Canada. Fish. Res. Bd. Canada Bull. 2nd ed. .  (68):443 p..
    Doroshov, S. - 1997. Culture of white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. In Book of Abstracts. World Aquaculture '97. February 19-23, 1997, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. .  p. 126..
    Duke, S., P. Anders, G. Ennis, R. Hallock, J. Hammond, S. Ireland, J. Laufle, R. Lauzier, L. Lockhard, B. Marotz, V.L. Paragamian & R. Westerhof - 1999 . Recovery plan for Kootenai river white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). J. Appl. Ichthyol. .  15:157-163..
    Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald & H. Hammann - 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. .  336 p..
    Escobar-Fernández, R & M. Siri - 1997. Nombres vernáculos y científicos de los peces del Pacífico mexicano. Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Sociedad Ictiológica Mexicana, A.C. Mexico. . 
    Fry, D. H., Jr. - 1973. Anadromous fishes of California. California Department of Fish and Game. .  111 pp..
    Goodson, G. - 1988 . Fishes of the Pacific coast. Alaska to Peru including the Gulf of California and the Galapagos Islands. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. .  267 p..
    Hart, J.L. - 1973 . Pacific fishes of Canada. Fish. Res. Board Can. Bull. .  180. 740 p.. Reprinted 1988.
    Kohlhorst, D. W - 1976. Sturgeon spawning in the Sacramento River in 1973, as determined by distribution of larvae. Calif. Fish Game .  62(1):32-40..
    Lamb, A. & P. Edgell - 1986. Coastal fishes of the Pacific northwest. Harbour Publishing Co. Ltd., B.C., Canada. .  224 p..
    Miller D. J. & R. N. Lea - 1972 (1976). Guide to the coastal marine fishes of California. California., Department of Fish and Game Bulletin 157 .  249 pp..
    Morrow, J.E. - 1980. The freshwater fishes of Alaska. University of. B.C. Animal Resources Ecology Library. .  248p..
    Moyle, P. B. - 1976. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley. .  405 pp..
    Page, L.M & B.M. Burr - 1991 . A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. .  432 p..
    Quast, J.C. & E.L. Hall - 1972 . List of fishes of Alaska and adjacent waters with a guide to some of their literature. U.S. Dep. Commer., NOAA Tech. Rep. NMFS SSRF-658. .  47 p..
    Radtke, L. D. - 1966 . Distribution of smelt, juvenile sturgeon, and starry flounder in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with observations on food of sturgeon. In J. L. Turner and D. W. Kelly (comp.) Ecological studies of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Part II Fishes of the Delta. .  p. 115-129..
    Scott, W. B. & E. J. Crossman - 1990. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Board Can. .  184. 966 pp..
    Semakula, S. & P. Larkin - 1968. Age, growth, food and yield of the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) of the Fraser River, British Columbia. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. .  25:2589-2602..
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