Spawning and rearing habitat use by white sturgeons in the Columbia River downstream from McNary Dam

Publication Date



Columbia River, habitat, spawning, sturgeon, Substrate, eggs, larvae, juvenile, incubation, dams, water velocity

Journal or Book Title

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society


Spawning and rearing habitats used by white sturgeons (Acipenser transmontanus)were described from water temperature, depth, and velocity measurements and substrate typespresent at sites where eggs, larvae, young-of-the-year, and juveniles (ages 1-7) were collected.Spawning and egg incubation occurred in the swiftest water available (mean water columnvelocity, 0.8-2.8 m/s), which was within 8 km downstream from each of the four main-stem Columbia River dams in our study area. Substrates where spawning occurred were mainlycobble, boulder, and bedrock. Yolk-sac larvae were transported by the river currents fromspawning areas into deeper areas with lower water velocities and finer substrates. Young-of-theyearwhite sturgeons were found at depths of 9–57 m, at mean water column velocities of 0.6 m/sand less, and over substrates of hard clay, mud and silt, sand, gravel, and cobble. Juvenile fishwere found at depths of 2–58 m, at mean water column velocities of 1.2 m/s and less, and oversubstrates of hard clay, mud and silt, sand, gravel, cobble, boulder, and bedrock.





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