In this paper, we assess patterns in activity of Gulf of Mexico sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi over a 24-h period in the Pensacola bay system, Florida. Although seasonal migration of sturgeon is well documented, little information is available pertaining to daily variation in activity. We surgically implanted 58 Gulf sturgeon with acoustic transmitters in the Escambia (n=26), Yellow (n=8), Blackwater (n=12) and Choctawhatchee rivers (n=12) in June, July, September and October 2005. Gulf sturgeon location was monitored using an array of 56 fixed-station acoustic receivers. The relationship between frequency of Gulf sturgeon observations recorded on all acoustic receivers and time of day for all seasons combined indicated a strong diel activity pattern. Gulf sturgeon were frequently detected at night in all seasons with the exception of summer. Consecutive hourly observations indicated lateral movement of Gulf sturgeon between independent acoustic receivers on 15% of all observations of individuals. The use of an acoustic receiver array not only provides continuous data within a defined area, but also provides insight into nocturnal behavior of Gulf sturgeon not previously identified. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.