The White or as it is also sometimes known, Pacific Sturgeon is without doubt the largest freshwater fish in the whole of north America, growing to incredible sizes. The upper half of the sturgeon’s body is greyish to brownish in colour, commonly speckled with white, and is protected by a series of bony plates that run along it’s back,. The lower half of its long body is a pale grey to white. It has a large head and toothless mouth with four barbules located at the bottom, plus a snout that is short and somewhat flattened looking when viewed from above.

Interesting Facts

The largest White Sturgeon is probably over 100 years old. Growth is considerably faster in the southern areas of their range.

Scientific Name Acipenser transmontanus
IGFA World Record 468lbs. Carquinez Straits, California, 1983
Unofficial Record 1387lbs. Fraser River, British Columbia, 1897.
Other Names French: Esturgeon jaune; Spanish: Esturión lacustre


Most White Sturgeon are anadromous, spending the majority of their time in estuaries of large rivers entering these coastal rivers to spawn, but some spend their entire lives in the upper reaches of these rivers where the water is cleaner with a moderate current, hundreds of miles from the sea. Their distribution is fairly widespread, along the Pacific coast of North America from Ensenada in Mexico, in the south, to Cook Inlet, Alaska, in the north. Although they are very common along its Pacific coastal range, they do not exist anywhere along the east coast of the North American continent.

Feeding Habit

Although White Sturgeon are primarily bottom feeders they eat a wider variety of foods than other sturgeon. In addition to insect larvae, crustaceans and fish eggs, they feed on dead and live fish, frogs, and clams. A domestic cat was found in the stomach of one large sturgeon. They feed most heavily in the evening.

Tackle and Methods

A heavy saltwater rod is definitely required when fishing for these fish, with large multiplyer reels being the preferred. 100-pound-monofiloment line, and a 12/0 hook. The best baits to use are sections of cut fish, shrimps deadbaits, and large clusters of nightcrawlers.

White Sturgeon Holidays

White Sturgeon Explorer Holiday

White Sturgeon Explorer

This 10-day fishing adventure explores the mighty Fraser River near Vancouver in Canada in search of the monstrous prehistoric White Sturgeon. We do battle against these giants amongst some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. A true nature lovers paradise and every fisherman’s dream.