Green Sturgeon

bioGreen sturgeonepi#10016Since the age of the dinosaurs, green sturgeons have roamed the Pacific Ocean and select rivers on the West Coast, remaining almost entirely unchanged in their appearance for more than 200 million years. This ancient fish can reach over 7 feet in length and migrates in huge numbers, until very recently. Green sturgeon are among the largest and longest living species found in freshwater, living up to 70 years and weighing up to 350 pounds. They resemble a prehistoric creature, possessing a skeleton that is more cartilage than bone and rows of bony plates for protection rather than scales. Green sturgeon are olive green in color and have a vacuum cleaner-like mouth that is used to siphon food. The green sturgeon is one of the many forgotten wonders of the North Coast, and for the first time in its long history, it has slipped quietly towards the brink of extinction.

The American Fisheries Society recently released a status review of the green sturgeon that concludes the species has declined by 88 percent throughout most of its range and is in danger of becoming extinct. EPIC, with the Center for Biological Diversity and Waterkeepers of Northern California formally petitioned the National Marine Fisheries Service to protect the green sturgeon and its habitat under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In 2006, NMFS listed the species as threatened under the ESA.