Mortality and recovery of runt white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) in a commercial farm in California, USA

M. P. Georgiadis, Ronald Hedrick, W. O. Johnson, Ian Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We investigated the effect of raising runt white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) separately from dominant fish during the initial stages of grow-out in a commercial farm. Runt fish are poorgrowers, have underdeveloped muscle mass, swim slowly and are more-frequently found at the top of the water column. The objective of the study was to describe the mortality and recovery rates (and their determinants) of white-sturgeon runts after separating them from dominant fish. Runt white sturgeon were stocked into twelve 2 m x 2 m rectangular tanks and graded periodically during a follow-up of 46-102 days. Overall mortality rates ranged from 0.3 to 7 dead fish per 1000 sturgeon-days at risk and overall recovery rates from 3.9 to 13.5 recovered fish per 1000 sturgeondays at risk. Period-specific mortality and recovery rates increased over time. The period-specific mortality rates for all three periods were significantly higher for tanks of runts originating from grow-out tanks with high mortality (p-values: first period = 0.06; second period = 0.09; third period = 0.03), but were similar for tanks of runts of high- and low-mean initial weight. The period-specific recovery rates were significantly higher in runts originating from high-mortality grow-out tanks only for the third period (p = 0.05) but not the first and second periods (p-values = 0.33 and 0.25, respectively). Recovery rates were significantly higher in the higher-mean-weight runts tanks for the first and third period but not for the second (p-values: first period = 0.02; second period = 0.65; third period = 0.06). We concluded that the proportion of runts that recover during a 46-89 day period is substantial (16-58%); therefore, it might be worthwhile growing such fish separately in a fish farm for about three months. Financial analysis showed that this practice was profitable, if the value of white sturgeon fish for the farm exceeded $2.05 per kg. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-281
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 29 2000


  • Financial analysis
  • Mortality
  • Recovery
  • Runt
  • White sturgeon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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