White Sturgeon

(Acipenser transmontanus)

Find Me In
Treasures of the B.C. Coast
IUCN Conservation Status
Least Concern (LC)


Anadromous, migrating up rivers from the sea to spawn/Pacific Coast & Rivers of North America


Size: 12 to 20 ft. • Weight: Up to 1,500 lbs.

The colossal White Sturgeon can only be found in western North America and, within Canada, only in British Columbia. They can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 1,500 pounds. It’s basically like a swimming school bus in your local river!

White Sturgeons have characteristic barbels on their snout, an extendable mouth, and a shark-like tail. Along their exterior run lengthwise rows of diamond-shaped bony projections, despite their skeleton being mainly composed of cartilage. These prehistoric-looking creatures may look strikingly similar to sharks, but they are not!

So… are they dinosaurs then? White Sturgeon can live to over 100 years of age and while these aquatic behemoths may resemble dinosaurs (and have been around for 175 million years when dinosaurs roamed the earth), they are actually a species of freshwater fish! One of the biggest in the world, in fact. The White Sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in all of North America! Unfortunately, White Sturgeon populations have declined in recent years due to overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction. But conservation efforts are underway to help protect these magnificent creatures and ensure they'll be around for future generations to marvel at.

Stop by the Vancouver Aquarium’s Treasures of the B.C. Coast gallery or Strait of Georgia habitat to feast your eyes on the epic White Sturgeon. Take a moment to appreciate the size, strength, and resilience of these “dinosaurs of the deep”.

Things To Know


Where To Find Me?

Treasures Of The BC Coast Exhibit

Travel from serene sand flats to swaying kelp beds to wave-swept rocky coasts. British Columbia boasts a great diversity of coastal habitats that host a large variety of marine species uniquely adapted to their homes.

Learn More

Get the latest news and special offers

Subscribe to our newsletter, special offers and promotional emails.