Lake Sturgeon – Physical Features
• Adult lake sturgeon can vary in colour from olive-brown to slate grey with a milky white belly.
• Lake sturgeon have a cartilaginous skeleton and shark-like caudal fin that is asymmetrical
• Lake sturgeon have an elongated and pointed snout that they use like a spade to stir up the substrate and sediments on the beds of rivers and lakes while feeding.
• The lake sturgeon has four purely sensory organs that dangle near its mouth. These organs, called barbels, help the sturgeon to locate bottom-dwelling prey.
• The five rows of bony bumps or 'scutes' you see on young fish will smooth out as they get older. Scutes have little hooked spurs that make the young sturgeon hard-to-swallow, protecting them from predators like walleye and pike.
• Young sturgeon are often marked with black blotches on their sides, back, and snout to help them camouflage with the lake or river bottom. These blotches will lighten or disappear when they are about 60 cm long – too large for most natural predators.
• Special thanks to Cam Coleman and Troy Norman for the trophy pictures.