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Atlantic Sturgeon 

Basic Biology

Characteristics / Anatomy


Atlantic sturgeon are anadromous, remaining primarily in coastal and estuarine waters during much of the year and entering rivers in the spring to spawn. Adults generally spawn over hard cobble and gravel bottoms and young seek out the spaces between the rocks for cover from predators. Sub-adults are often found in estuarine reaches (near the river mouths), particularly during the summer, and where food is most likely to be abundant.


Spawning adults migrate (move) upriver in spring. After spawning, female Atlantic sturgeon most often return quickly to saltwater, while the males sometimes remain near the spawning grounds for months before returning to saltwater. In some areas, a small spawning migration may also occur in the fall.

Atlantic sturgeon are benthic feeders, which means they eat prey found on the bottom such as mussels, worms, and shrimp.