Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, Delaware River and Nanticoke River
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Rare - Protected
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Atlantic Sturgeon, though born in fresh water, spends most of its adult life at sea. When in Delaware waters, it mostly lives at the bottom of freshwater rivers.
They are bottom feeders. They feed on amphipods, marine worms, and other organisms.
Atlantic Sturgeon have dark bronze to brown sides that fade to lighter browns and a white belly.
Atlantic 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?
Atlantic Sturgeon are an endangered species.
Atlantic Sturgeon do not have true scales, instead they have five rows of boney plates known as scutes.
The Atlantic Sturgeon, a Delaware native, has been around since the time of dinosaurs.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
No fishing is allowed for Atlantic 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 Atlantic Sturgeon can reach lengths of fifteen feet and weigh over eight 800 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Atlantic Sturgeon are a protected species and are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
Atlantic Sturgeon are a protected species and are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.