Saskatchewan River Man holding sturgeon in a net

Habitat Use

  • Lake sturgeon use a variety of habitats at different times throughout their life. Spawners prefer fast water over cobble, boulders or bedrock. Other life stages use slower water, often foraging over sandy bottom.
  • In the Saskatchewan River little is known about how lake sturgeon use the habitat available to them, with the exception of spawning sites.
  • Traditional knowledge and recent studies have shown that Saskatchewan River sturgeon spawn at several sites including Bigstone Rapids, the Torch River and below E.B. Campbell Dam.
  • To understand how sturgeon use the Saskatchewan River during and after spawning, SRSMB members conducted sturgeon tagging and tracking studies between 1994 and 1997:
  • They found that:
    • Sturgeon move between Manitoba and Saskatchewan and show considerable overlap in areas used by those tagged at different spawning sites.
    • Most mature-size fish tagged near spawning sites in Saskatchewan moved downstream after spawning season.
    • Juvenile sturgeon tagged in Manitoba tended to move some distance upstream and remain there.
    • Sturgeon were tracked primarily in the mainstem of the river with longest individual movements of 74 km upstream and 89 km downstream.