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Laska

First Sand sturgeon... Pic...

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I was fishing for walleye's at the 5a Dam on the Mississippi river and caught this 22" Sand Sturgeon, I released it, it was one cool looking fish and my very first sturgeon I ever caught

sturgeon.jpg

sturgeon2.jpg

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Yep, its a shovelnose sturgeon, but called a sand sturgeon also wink

Nice sturg!

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Congrats on the sturgeon Laska.

That maybe a young Lake sturgeon you got there. I was confused last year, still am a bit, when the lake sturgeon are young they have a pointed nose and as they grow bigger they become snubber.

Also the the bottom row of plates get covered, still there but not noticeable when larger. I have not caught the shovelnose, up here on the St.Croix, yet so its hard for me to compare so I maybe wrong.

Either way, way cool fish to catch. Hope you get into a large lake sturgeon this year ounce you do you will be hooked.

-

Maybe dtro will chime in here, he helped (corrected) last year.

-

Sand sturgeon is another name for the shovelnose

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Tail fins look to close to the anal fins. Not argueing because Im only going off of side portaits and looks alot like the ones I was catching and we dont have shovelnose in the croix.

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Yep, I agree with Ralph and Shack, shovelnose for sure. Never heard them called a sand sturgeon before, but probably the same thing.

The easiest way to distinguish them from a Lake Sturgeon is the pencil thin tail section and the small whip at the tip of the tail. Not only that, but the distinct spade/shovel shaped head. When you see them next to each other they look a lot different.

If you hold a shovel nose up to the sunlight, the nose section is almost opaque it is so thin.

Nice Catch!

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I dont know, It was a really sandy color and didnt look greyish at all, Im surprised the picture turned out the way it did it was from my phone!Yeah hoping to catch a Lake sturgeon sometime, I hear their alot of fun n put up one heck of a fight!

5a Dam is located about 2 miles upstream of winona minnesota, Mississippi pool 5 i believe, pic was taken last wednesday along with the sturgeon pics

p_00265.jpg

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Tail fins look to close to the anal fins. Not argueing because Im only going off of side portaits and looks alot like the ones I was catching and we dont have shovelnose in the croix.

There are shovelnose in the Croix.

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Originally Posted By: croixflats
Tail fins look to close to the anal fins. Not argueing because Im only going off of side portaits and looks alot like the ones I was catching and we dont have shovelnose in the croix.

There are shovelnose in the Croix.

Not many if there are any , I have never caught one or seen one in 15 years of targeting sturgeon on the Croix. I'm sure I'm wrong I am only going by my experiance and what I have read from the DNR. Though the DNR has contradicting reports and info.

As I mentioned I mistakenly identified the young Lake Sturgeon as a Shovelnose(talk to others and they also missed This) as I assumed they were because they looked different from their big brother. At looking at pictures I have not caught a shovel nose.

-

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Yep, I agree with Ralph and Shack, shovelnose for sure. Never heard them called a sand sturgeon before, but probably the same thing.

The easiest way to distinguish them from a Lake Sturgeon is the pencil thin tail section and the small whip at the tip of the tail.

The pictures I see the anal fin is way close to the tail fin thus not creating the whip tail as you mention. Look by his boot on the right side of the tail of the sturgeon is that not, LOOK CLOSE, the anal fin close to the tail fin.

Please explain why that anal fin is so close to the tail fin.

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Dude, I don't know if you're trying to be difficult or if you're just unsure, but I am 100% positive it's a shovelnose.

From the pictures, it is tough to see the pencil-thin caudal peduncle that is characteristic of the shovelnose, but there are other characteristics that rule out the possibility of it being a small lake sturgeon. Look at the snout. See how it widens out near the eyes and forms a spade-shaped head. The head of a laker doesn't widen out like this. Also, in the second picture, check out the "lips" of the fish. See the lobes? Lakers don't have a mouth like this.

Sorry if I have come off as rude, but I guarantee it's not a lake sturgeon. I've caught lots of both species. If you see them side-by-side, they are easy to tell apart. Kind of like a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass or pike and musky. Once you have handled both, it is very easy to distinguish between the two.

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Thats definitely a Shovelnose Sturgeon. No doubt about it.

Here's a photo of a small Lake Sturgeon my dad caught, you can't really tell the head shape in this photo but you can see how thick the tail is.

041907randysturgeon1.jpg

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I know you guys have pretty much covered all this but I figure I would post it:

Shovelnose Sturgeon - Identification

shovstur_id.gif

Description: The shovelnose sturgeon is similar to the lake sturgeon in that its body is angular (5 sided) and torpedo-shaped with 5 rows of bony plates (called scutes): 14-19 dorsal plates, 38-47 lateral, 10-14 ventrolateral. However, the shovelnose sturgeon's body is much more elongated. Adult fork length (tip of snout to fork in tail) is about 635 mm (25 in). The snout is long and very spade-like. Unlike the lake sturgeon, there is no spiracle. The caudal peduncle (area in front of the tail) is slender, depressed, and completely encased in bony plates. Lower lip with 4 lobes. Barbels strongly fringed. The tail is heterocercal with the upper lobe of the tail fin is elongated into a threadlike extension (often broken off).

Color: Adults are olive to yellowish-brown above, sides lighter, and white below.

LAKE STURGEON

lakestur_id.gif

Lake Sturgeon - Identification:

With its heavy, torpedo-shaped body thick in front and tapering toward the turned-up tail in back, the young sturgeon resembles a shark but lacks the overall sleekness of the revered marine dweller. As befits a representative of fishdom's medieval era, the lake sturgeon wears "armor" in the form of bony, shell-shaped plates, or scutes, arranged in five rows - two on each side and one along the back - that run along the length of the body. Each scute comes to a peak with a sharp-pointed spur. As the fish grows older, the rows of spine-tipped bony scutes smooth out; on old, large individuals the scutes are barely visible and the fish appears relatively smooth. The sturgeon have never evolved to the point of replacing the cumbersome plates with smaller, thinner, flexible scales found on more modern species of fish.

While the lake sturgeon isn't likely to be mistaken for Jaws, it does have a heterocercal (sharklike with the upper lobe being longer than the lower) caudal (tail) fin. And instead of a backbone with separate vertebrae, the sturgeon has a continuous, flexible, cartilage-encased rod called a notochord that runs the length of the body and ends at the tip of the upper lobe in the tail fin.

Lake sturgeon have long, tapering snouts that become shorter and blunter with age. Four barbels, or feelers, dangle in a row on the lower side of the snout just in front of the mouth. The barbels are important sensory organs that alert the fish to the presence of food as the fish coasts slowly over the bottom. The mouth and lips of the lake sturgeon protrude to suck up food and retract when not in use - and this venerable fish need never fear a trip to the dentist, since it has no teeth. Two spiracles (vents) are located on top of the head just forward of the gills.

Lake sturgeon exhibit considerable color variation due to age and differences in locality. Wisconsin's lake sturgeon are generally slate-gray, olive-brown or black over the body with a milky or yellow-white underside. Young lake sturgeon are usually lighter in color than the adults and have dark blotches on their sides and snounts.

Young lake sturgeon caught in Wisconsin waters that drain into the Mississippi River are frequently confused with the smaller shovelnose sturgeon. This distinct species can be distinguished from the lake sturgeon by the long, rounded, shovel-shaped snout; the bony plates that cover the caudal area; a long filament that extends from the upper lobe of the caudal fin; and the lack of spiracles.

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Here is some more info from Iowa on the shovelnose:

Shovelnose Sturgeon

snstdist.gif

Scaphirhynchus platorynchus

Other names - sand sturgeon, hackleback, switchtail, flathead sturgeon

This species is rather widely distributed in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and is occasionally collected in the larger tributaries of these rivers. Nowhere is it abundant, but it is considered common in many navigation pools of the Mississippi.

Color of the shovelnose is buff or olive-drab above and light beneath. The entire body is armored with heavy plates. The snout is markedly flattened or shovel-shaped. There are no spiracles. There is a very long, thread-like filament attached to the top lobe of the tail fin, from whence the fish gets one of its common names -- "switchtail." This filament is very fragile and is often missing, especially in older individuals. This species commonly attains a weight of 6 to 8 pounds, although 4 or 5 pound specimens are more common. The state record is 12 pounds and was caught in the Des Moines River in Van Buren County.

The shovelnose is primarily a river fish, very seldom being found in the absence of a current. In the Mississippi River it frequents the tailwaters below wing dams and other structures which accelerate current flow.

Spawning occurs in May and June, with the spawning run being greatest during years of low flow. Little is known about the spawning activity of this species. Fish mature at 5 to 7 years of age when around 20 to 24 inches in length. Females do not spawn every year, and the larger specimens produce about 50,000 eggs. Growth in the Mississippi River is 8.4 inches FL at age I, 12.5 at age II, 16.1 at age III, 18.8 at age IV, 20.7 at V, 22.5 at VI, 23.8 at VII, 25.0 at VIII, 25.9 at IX, 26.7 at X, 27.1 at XI, and 27.4 at XII. Fish over 12 years of age are very rare.

The food habits of the shovelnose are similar to those of lake sturgeon. Primarily a bottom feeder, shovelnose sturgeon feed principally upon insect larvae, small mollusks and other bottom organisms. Algae and bits of higher aquatic plants are also consumed, but ingestion is probably incidental to feeding on bottom organisms.

Shovelnose are the only sturgeon which can be legally taken in Iowa, and they are actively sought by commercial and sport fishermen. Approximately 50,000 pounds are harvested annually by commercial fishermen from the Mississippi River.

*Mayhew, J. (editor). 1987. Iowa Fish and Fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.

Encyclopedia of Life:

Scaphirhynchus platorynchus (Rafinesque, 1820)

Sand Sturgeon

42672_large.jpg

Wis. DNR:

shovsturgeon_bottom1.jpg

A shovelnose sturgeon, also known locally as sand sturgeon, lies motionless on the river bottom.

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sweet pictures guys. I think one way u can tell is the spines on the back, comparing the two pics from the bottom of the last page, sand sturgeon seem more smooth on their back and Lake sturgeon seem to have more "spikes" on its "spinal column" hope that makes sense, and sand sturgeon from lookng at other pic seem to always be more of a light sandy brown color rather than the darker sides of a lake sturgeon in my opinion of course. smile

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Thank you, did not mean to come across as difficult or arrogant. Those pictures did jog my memory of what a young lake sturgeon looks like and I now agree. What threw me off was the tail fin. The bottom part of the fin is folded under and appeared to look like the anal fin with it is not. And the peduncle is way to long and narrow.

Very good info thanks again.

Laska I apoligise for taking anything away from you from your catch of these awsome creatures.

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Thank you, did not mean to come across as difficult or arrogant. Those pictures did jog my memory of what a young lake sturgeon looks like and I now agree. What threw me off was the tail fin. The bottom part of the fin is folded under and appeared to look like the anal fin with it is not. And the peduncle is way to long and narrow.

Very good info thanks again.

Laska I apoligise for taking anything away from you from your catch of these awsome creatures.

LOL you didnt, I caught a STURGEON WOOHOOO thats what matters to me no matter what kind! It was my very first of any kind so yeah its cool, if I catch a Lake Sturgeon now ill have to post it haha!

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