Pallid Sturgeon - Scaphirhynchus alubus - Endangered
Description: The pallid sturgeon has a "shark-like" appearance with rows of bony plates running the length of the fish. The sturgeon can weigh up to 80 pounds. The back and sides of the fish are a grayish-white color. At the front of the mouth, the "whiskers" known as barbels, vary in length. The inner barbels are about half as long as the outer barbels.
From Egg to Fish: In North Dakota, the pallid sturgeon spawns in May or June over gravel or other hard surfaces. The eggs take 5 to 8 days to hatch. Both male and female sturgeon may go 3 to 10 years between spawning.
What's for Dinner?: The pallid sturgeon feed on aquatic insects, mollusks and small fish.
From Here to There: In North Dakota, pallid sturgeons are found in the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers.
Habitat: The pallid sturgeon lives close to the bottom of large silty rivers with swift currents. Dams on the rivers have changed the habitat for the pallid sturgeon, causing a decline in species population.
Reasons for Decline: The main reason for the decline in the pallid sturgeon population has been the changes their natural habitat has undergone. Dams, new deep river channels, and other areas of rivers have been impounded which has resulted in lake-like habitats.
Road to Recovery: In North Dakota, efforts to hatch pallid sturgeon in captivity are underway.