PALLID STURGEON (Scaphirhynchus albus)
The Pallid Sturgeon may reach a length of 60 inches, but no Kansas specimens have been seen that were longer than 30 inches. The belly is entirely naked of scales and the barbels across the snout are unequal in length, the outer pair being longer. Pallid Sturgeons prefer the main channel of large excessively turbid rivers, frequenting areas of swift currents over firm sand substrate.
In Kansas, Pallid Sturgeons are restricted to the main stem of the Missouri River. Although Pallid Sturgeons have occurred in the Kansas River at Lawrence during flood flows, the river does not seem to provide permanent suitable habitat.
SPECIES PROTECTION AND CRITICAL HABITATS
Pallid Sturgeons are protected by the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act, the Federal Endangered Species Act, and state and federal regulations applicable to those acts. Any time an eligible project is proposed that will impact the species’ preferred habitats within its probable range, the project sponsor must contact the Ecological Services Section, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, 512 SE 25th Ave., Pratt, Kansas 67124-8174. Department personnel can then advise the project sponsor on permit requirements. Sponsors of projects impacting Pallid Sturgeon habitats must also contact the Endangered Species Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 315 Houston Street, Suite E, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.
DESIGNATED CRITICAL HABITATS
As defined by Kansas Administrative Regulations, critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations(s) of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as those areas determined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to be essential for the conservation of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife. Currently, the following areas are designated critical for Pallid Sturgeons:
(1) All Kansas reaches of the main stem Missouri River that are congruent with the Kansas-
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has authority to designate areas of critical habitat for federally listed endangered species, but has not done so for Pallid Sturgeons.