Fish Identification Guide

Pallid Sturgeon
Scaphirhynchus albus
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: Primitive fish having several rows of thorny scales or plates and 4 barbels near its mouth which is located far back under the long, pointed snout. Barbels are fringed and lower lip has 4 lobes. Bases of outer barbels usually behind bases of inner barbels and belly without plates. Endangered species, illegal to possess. Feeding habits similar to lake sturgeon; however, diet primarily consists of aquatic invertebrates (primarily aquatic insects) and small fish (mostly minnows). Natural reproduction has been documented in our stretch of the Missouri River. Some stockings have been done to bolster the population.
Note: Report suspected captures to AkSarBen Aquarium at (402) 332-3901.
Family: Sturgeon
Type: Endangered Fish
Range: Missouri River, lower portions of the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers.

Source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at