The body of the green sturgeon is long, roughly cylindrical and has five rows of bony plates on its back. The snout is narrow, long, and cone-shaped, and more or less depressed below the level of the forehead. The mouth is toothless, protruding, and sucker-like. Four barbels extend from the underside of the snout. The color is olive green above, whitish below, with olive stripes on the sides. The green sturgeon can be distinguished by its olive green color, the number of bony plates along the side of the body (mid lateral plates; 23 to 30), a very pointed snout, and the barbels are closer to the mouth than to the tip of the snout.