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Shovelnose Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus


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Shovelnose Sturgeon
credit: Kbh3rd/CCSA

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Family: Acipenseridae, Sturgeons view all from this family

Description The shovelnose sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, is the smallest species of freshwater sturgeon native to the United States of America. It is often called "hackleback", "sand sturgeon", or "switchtail." Switchtail refers to the long filament found on the upper lobe of the caudal fin (often broken off as adults). Shovelnose sturgeon are the most abundant sturgeon, found in the Missouri River and Mississippi River systems, and the only commercially fished sturgeon in the United States of America (Pflieger 1997).

Dimensions Up to 3' (91 cm); 7 lbs (3.2 kg).

Habitat Rivers & streams.

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, Texas.