Lake Sturgeon Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Lake Sturegon

Scientific Name:

Acipenser fulvescens

Wild Status:

Least Concern


Aquatic- rivers and lakes




loose rocks on floor or rock crevices

Life Span:

55 years


7.5ft and 240lbs

Cool Facts:

  • The lake sturgeon is one of about 25 different species of sturgeon.
  • This fish has prehensile lips. This means they are adapted well for grasping things, helping them catch food.
  • They are sexually dimorphic by their lifespans. Males only live around 55 years but females can live almost 3 times as long!
  • Lake sturgeons are found across American rivers & lakes, from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River.
  • Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin is considered the home of one of the largest self-sustaining populations of lake sturgeon in the world.
  • Their diet includes animals at the bottom of the lake, like small invertebrates, leeches, snails, and more.


The lake sturgeon is a large fish that can reach a length of 7.5 ft. It has course skin that varies in color. Juveniles are a lighter and brighter olive and have dark blotching on it's side, fins, and rostrum. Adults are a dull and deeper olive tone. They have a flattened ventral side that helps them swim in the shallow waters. They have bumpy ridges along the spine and sides. Their rostrums are triangular and elongated with barbels and rubbery prehensile lips on the underside.  

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Acipenseriformes Family: Acipenseridae Genus: Acipenser Species: A. fulvescens

Conservation & Helping:

The lake sturgeon is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Rd List; however, nearly all sates within the original range of the lake sturgeon consider the fish as a threatened or endangered species. They have been popular in the commercial sector but have been partly protected by regulations and fishery closures. They are rare and sturgeon fishing is very limited. They are vulnerable to overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss.

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