The Safina Center

Coho salmon.Coho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Sturgeon, White – U.S. Lower Columbia River These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

White Sturgeon live along the U.S. west coast and primarily use the Sacramento and Lower Columbia Rivers for reproduction. White Sturgeon are long-lived, do not reproduce until late in life, and only reproduce periodically, making them highly vulnerable to overfishing. Sturgeon are highly valued for their eggs or caviar.

White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River are at a healthy abundance level. There is a clearly defined conservation plan in place for White Sturgeon in the Lower Columbia River that has guided recovery of this species.

Fishermen use gillnets to catch White Sturgeon. The fishing has a moderate impact on river habitats and ecosystems. The fisheries accidentally catch endangered green sturgeon, but managers require that fishermen return green sturgeon to the water unharmed when possible.

Full Seafood Watch species report here.

This fish may have moderately high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury and PCBs in sturgeon. Check out our mercury in seafood section.