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Shortnose Sturgeon

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
CLOSED - no harvest permitted
Size Limit
CLOSED - no harvest permitted
Daily Limit / Person
CLOSED - no harvest permitted
Delaware Range
Delaware River
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Rare - Protected
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Shortnose Sturgeon spends most of its life in fresh water. When in Delaware waters, it mostly lives at the bottom of freshwater rivers. Sturgeons are bottom feeders.

They feed on mussels, marine worms, and other organisms.
General Description
The Shortnose Sturgeon is generally olive-yellow to gray or bluish on the back, and milky-white to dark yellow on the belly.

Shortnose Sturgeon have four barbels, or "whiskers" underneath their snout that they use to detect bottom-dwelling food items.

They also have a tube-like mouth for sucking food off the bottom.
Did You Know?
Shortnose Sturgeon are an endangered species.

Shortnose Sturgeon do not have true scales; instead they have five rows of boney plates known as scutes.

The Shortnose Sturgeon, a Delaware native, has been around since the time of dinosaurs.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
No fishing is allowed for Shortnose Sturgeon in Delaware waters. Like all prohibited species, if caught by accident, they must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival.

Please report dead Sturgeon to Delaware Fish and Wildlife by calling Ian Park at 735-8650.
Typical Sizes Caught
The Shortnose Sturgeon adult is smaller than the Atlantic sturgeon adult, rarely exceeding 3.5 feet in length and 14 pounds in weight.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Shortnose Sturgeon are a protected species and are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
Shortnose Sturgeon are a protected species and are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.