sturgeon

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  May 30, 2022

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Sturgeon is the common name used for some 25 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus, and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common names, notably sterlet, kaluga, and beluga. Collectively, the family is also known as the true sturgeons. Sturgeon is sometimes used more exclusively to refer to the species in the two best-known genera, Acipenser, and Huso. Sturgeons have been referred to as “primitive fishes” because their morphological characters have remained relatively unchanged since the earliest fossil record. Sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. They are distinctive for their elongated bodies, lack of scales, and occasional great size: sturgeons ranging from 7–12 feet (2-3½ m) in length are common, and some species grow up to . Most sturgeons are anadromous bottom-feeders, spawning upstream and feeding in river deltas and estuaries. While some are entirely freshwater, a very few venture into the open ocean beyond near coastal areas. Several species of sturgeons are harvested for their roe, which is made into caviar — a luxury food which makes some sturgeons pound for pound the most valuable of all harvested fish. Because they are slow-growing and mature very late in life, they are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and to other threats, including pollution and habitat fragmentation. Most species of sturgeons are currently considered to be at risk of extinction, making them more critically endangered than any other group of species.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.