Lake sturgeon Facts

Lake sturgeon Facts
Lake sturgeon is a type of primitive fish that belongs to the sturgeon family. It can be found in the large rivers and lakes in the North America. Lake sturgeons coexisted on the planet with dinosaurs. They haven't changed much for the past 100 million years. Habitat destruction and over-harvest because of the oil (used as a fuel for the power boats) and eggs (consumed as delicacy worldwide) brought lake sturgeon to the brink of extinction at the beginning of the 20th century. Even though commercial and recreational fishing of this species are prohibited today, lake sturgeon is still on the list of threatened species.
Interesting Lake sturgeon Facts:
Lake sturgeon can reach 3 to 5 feet in length and 10 to 80 pounds of weight.
Lake sturgeon has grey, brownish-grey or olive-brown back and milky-white belly.
Lake sturgeon has torpedo-shaped body and shark-like tail.
Lake sturgeon has spade-shaped head with 4 barbels on the snout which facilitate detection of food. Fleshy mouth without teeth are designed for sucking.
Lake sturgeon has cartilaginous skeleton. Body is covered with bony plates (called scutes) arranged in five rows. Bony plates of young fish have sharp ridges on the surface.
Lake sturgeon is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on mussels, leeches, crustaceans, small fish and snails.
Small fish and crayfish eat eggs of lake sturgeon. Juvenile fish are often targeted by heron, walleye and pike. Humans are the greatest enemies of adult fish.
Mating season of lake sturgeons takes place during the May and June.
Males and females migrate toward the shallow waters with gravelly bottoms. They do not eat until the end of the spawning season.
Lake sturgeons perform tail walking and often jump out of the water and spin in the air during the mating season.
Fertilization takes place in the water. Females are able to produce and release 100.000 to 800.000 eggs per season. Fertilized eggs sink to the bottom of the stream. 5 to 8 days later, larvae emerge from the eggs.
During the first 10 days of their life, larvae eat remains of the yolk. Afterwards, they travel toward the rivers with sandy bottoms rich in small invertebrates. At the age of 5 month, lake sturgeons are 7 inches long and they are known as fingerlings. They are not ready to migrate toward the large rivers and lakes until the age of 5 years (when they reach body length of 20 inches).
Lake sturgeons reach sexual maturity late in life. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 15 years, females at the age of 25 years.
Lake sturgeons reproduce slowly. Females spawn every 4 to 8 years, males once in two years.
Lifespan of lake sturgeon depends on the gender. Males can survive 65 to 90 years, females up to 150 years.

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