Endangered Florida Fish



Shortnose Sturgeon
Shortnose Sturgeon
Illustration credit:
George Brown Goode





Shortnose Sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum


To begin: what is a Fish?

A fish is an aquatic vertebrate (has a backbone)

that is cold blooded, has fins, breathes through gills

 and may be covered with scales.

The Shortnose Sturgeon, the smallest of the three

Sturgeon species of the Eastern US, is a primeval

species that may be as much as 200 million years old,

dating back to before the Dinosaurs or

 about the time of Sharks.


One looking at this remarkable fish would be

reminded of the Alligator Snapping Turtle

which also has a primordial appearance.

The Sturgeon body is covered with bony plates,

 instead of the usual scales of modern fish species,

 just one of several physical features

that sets this fish apart from others.

Shortnose Sturgeon
A Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: Noel Burkhead


The physical appearance of Sturgeons only adds

 to their mysterious appeal for those who study it.

Endangered in Florida since 1967, the

Shortnose lives primarily in the St. Johns River.

Shortnose Sturgeon
Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: Jerry Payne/USDA


As they are no longer allowed to be caught,

the greatest danger to this Sturgeon now is

in environmental pollution of the water

that they inhabit.

Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: USFWS


Sturgeon are bottom dwellers whose diet

consists mainly of insects and mollusks.

Morrison Springs
Morrison Springs
Choctawhatchee Bay Area
Photo credit: NWFWMD


This Sturgeon may reach up to four feet

and can weigh as much as 50 pounds.

The maximum lifespan is up to 60 years,

 with the female outliving the male

by nearly twice as many years.

Shortnose Sturgeon at Surface
Photo credit: Nancy Haley/NOAA


Places to learn more:

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

A Comparison of Three Sturgeon Species


Fish Base

Acipenser brevirostrum



Shortnos Sturgeon


National Geographic

Attacks Over for Now

Giant Jumping Sturgeon

Jumping Sturgeon


Nature Conservancy

Shortnose Sturgeon



Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeons

Shortnose Sturgeon

Shortnosed Sturgeon


Science Daily

Endangered Billfish


Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Decline in Florida's Reef Fish


Smithsonian Marine Station - Fort Pierce

Report Template - Shortnose Sturgeon



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Last edited March 8, 2018

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