Vulnerability of Young White Sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, to Predation in the Presence of Alternative Prey

  • Dena M. Gadomski
  • Michael J. Parsley


We conducted laboratory trials to test the vulnerability of young white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, to predation when an alternative prey was available. In trials with two species of predators, we observed two feeding patterns. When equal numbers of white sturgeon and goldfish, Carassius auratus, were available, prickly sculpins, Cottus asper, ingested more white sturgeon. Conversely, northern pikeminnow, Ptychocheilus oregonensis, ate more juvenile coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, than white sturgeon in three out of four sets of trials, but ate more white sturgeon in one set of trials. White sturgeon size and the availability of cover did not affect the proportions of prey species ingested. Our results indicate that predation may be affecting survival of white sturgeon larvae and juveniles in the wild and could be one factor limiting recruitment of young-of-the-year white sturgeon in some locations.


northern pikeminnow prickly sculpins larvae juveniles cover recruitment 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyWestern Fisheries Research Center, Columbia River Research LaboratoryCookUSA

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