The general habitat of the shovelnose sturgeon is big rivers ranging from Russia, to Canada, and to the united States. The Missouri, the Mississippi, the Kansas and the Ohio River are examples of some big rivers they have been found. (Bramblett & White, 2001)

The specific niche of the shovelnose sturgeon is a blend of sandy and gravel substrates on the river  bottom, moderate to high water velocity, and a water depth range from 1 to 5 meters. With this being said, these niches can vary due to the seasons.

 In rivers there are three habitat types shovelnose sturgeon prefer: main channel, main channel borders, and tail waters. The majority of them live in main channel regions while the minority live in tail water regions.

During the spring, habitats change because of the fluctuation in precipitation. During extreme low water flow shovelnose sturgeon prefer high water velocity and either main channel or tail water habitats. In normal water flow they occupy waters with swift currents and a water depth around 5 meters. Over the winter shovelnose sturgeon are usually found in water with temperatures between 2 and 9 degrees Celsius, because of this, the favored water depth at this time of year is between 1 to 2 meters. (Curtis et al, 1997)

Figure 3. shovelnose sturgeon on rocky substrate by South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks 2012.

As bottom dwellers, shovelnose sturgeon use their streamlined body and flat rostrum to take advantage of river bottoms and maintain position in high current velocity habitats. With this physiological advantage they prefer main channel rivers with sandy or graveled substrates on river bottoms and a moderate to high current velocity. (Hurley et al, 1987)



back to Classification or continue to Vulnerability