The acute toxicity of cadmium, copper, and zinc to white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were determined for 7 developmental life stages in flow-through water-only exposures. Metal toxicity varied by species and by life stage. Rainbow trout were more sensitive to cadmium than white sturgeon across all life stages, with median effect concentrations (hardness-normalized EC50s) ranging from 1.47 µg Cd/L to 2.62 µg Cd/L with sensitivity remaining consistent during later stages of development. Rainbow trout at 46 d posthatch (dph) ranked at the 2nd percentile of a compiled database for Cd species sensitivity distribution with an EC50 of 1.46 µg Cd/L and 72 dph sturgeon ranked at the 19th percentile (EC50 of 3.02 µg Cd/L). White sturgeon were more sensitive to copper than rainbow trout in 5 of the 7 life stages tested with biotic ligand model (BLM)-normalized EC50s ranging from 1.51 µg Cu/L to 21.9 µg Cu/L. In turn, rainbow trout at 74 dph and 95 dph were more sensitive to copper than white sturgeon at 72 dph and 89 dph, indicating sturgeon become more tolerant in older life stages, whereas older trout become more sensitive to copper exposure. White sturgeon at 2 dph, 16 dph, and 30 dph ranked in the lower percentiles of a compiled database for copper species sensitivity distribution, ranking at the 3rd (2 dph), 5th (16 dph), and 10th (30 dph) percentiles. White sturgeon were more sensitive to zinc than rainbow trout for 1 out of 7 life stages tested (2 dph with an biotic ligand model–normalized EC50 of 209 µg Zn/L) and ranked in the 1st percentile of a compiled database for zinc species sensitivity distribution.