Back to All Events

Living Dinosaurs: Lake Sturgeon in Southern Alberta Rivers

  • Helen Schuler Nature Centre Indian Battle Road South Lethbridge, AB Canada (map)


Sturgeon have been around for about 175-200 million years and have remained relatively unchanged. This family of fishes contains the largest freshwater fish in existence (Beluga and then White Sturgeon) in the world today. Much the same as other sturgeon species, lake sturgeon that occur in the prairies are slow growing and late to mature when compared to other fish species. Generally, once a lake sturgeon reaches about two years old it has no natural enemies except humans. Historically it was not unusual to find lake sturgeon that were well over 100 years old. In southern Alberta lake sturgeon utilize very large tracts of riverine habitat and can travel great distances during the open water season only to return back to the same over-wintering areas time and time again. Biologists in Alberta and across Canada are working to better understand this living dinosaur to help ensure that they persist in our waters for many years to come.  


Shane Petry Bio

Prior to coming to work for the province of Alberta in 2013, Shane spent 14 years with the federal government and worked in the Yukon and Ottawa before coming to Lethbridge as a senior biologistwith Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2001. Currently, Shane is a senior fisheries biologist and responsible for fisheries and fish species at risk in southeastern Alberta. Shane grew up in Manitoba and started out in broadcasting school prior to attending the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College in environmental sciences. He also briefly attended the University of Northern British Columbia. Shane and his wife Kate have three kids (including twins) which keeps them very busy. He enjoys golf, hunting and of course fishing.