New York Natural Heritage Program
Shortnose Sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum LeSueur, 1818
Ray-finned Fishes

Habitat [-]
In New York State, shortnose sturgeon inhabit the Hudson River estuary. These fishes reportedly prefer deep pools with soft substrates and vegetated bottoms, but individuals may vary in preference for various water depths and substrate types (Seibel 1991 cited in NatureServe 2003). Adults have separate summer and winter areas, moving upstream and downstream with the seasons. Spawning occurs upriver from summer foraging and nursery grounds. Spawning occurs over rubble substrate with some gravel and large rocks (Carlson 2003). Larvae may drift with the current near the river bottom. In the Hudson River, larvae are generally found between Albany and Poughkeepsie. Juveniles remain in the river near the salt front. Older individuals spend time in the lower estuary or possibly go out to sea (Carlson 1986).

Associated Ecological Communities [-]
  • Freshwater tidal creek
    The aquatic community of a shallow, tidally flooded freshwater creek with submerged areas averaging less than 2 m (6 ft) deep at low tide.
  • Tidal river
    The aquatic community of a river under the influence of daily lunar tides. We restrict this community to the continuously flooded portions of the river where plants do not grow out of the water. A deepwater zone has depths averaging more than 2 m (6 ft) at low tide. Salinities at any one place in the river may fluctuate as the tides flow in and out.