White (Acipenser transmontanus) and Green (Acipenser medirostris) Sturgeon are native to California and are often observed together in the same habitat. They are anadromous, meaning they move from the salt and brackish water to freshwater to spawn. Sturgeon reach sexual maturity at around 15 years old, and can live to be 100 years or older. Mature females spawn every 2 to 4 years. Large females produce many more eggs than their smaller counterparts. Very high flow years lead to sturgeon spawning success. Long life, late sexual maturity and infrequent spawning contribute to the vulnerability of the sturgeon population.
Status in California's Bay and Delta
Green Sturgeon was federally listed as threatened in 2006. White Sturgeon is not state or federally listed, but the American Fisheries Society considers their survival dependent on conservation measures taken to protect them.
Take Action to Help Sturgeon
What is CDFW doing now?
- Enhancing monitoring programs
- Collecting valuable information via Sturgeon Fishing Reports
- Making regulation changes as needed
- Evaluating changes in habitat quality
- Examining delta hydrology and water project operations year-round
What can you do?
Anglers can assist the Delta ecosystem and sturgeon recovery in several ways:
- Report sturgeon fishing harvest ONLINE, or mail report cards to PO Box 944209, Sacramento CA 94244.
- Report Green Sturgeon Satellite Tags (PDF)
- Water conservation - the more water we conserve the less water needs to be exported from the Delta.
- Stop the spread of invasive species - thoroughly clean your fishing gear and vessels (waders, boat bilge, bait tanks) before moving from one water to another.
- Storm drains - be aware that what goes into a storm drain comes out in the Delta and impacts our fisheries. Use pesticides wisely and as directed.
- Stay informed and share information with your friends.
For more information, please contact CDFW Fisheries Branch, Russ Bellmer, Russ.Bellmer@wildlife.ca.gov