A prehistoric survivor of the ice age, Sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in the world, some exceeding 2,000 pounds! Ancient Romans thought Sturgeon an aphrodisiac with life-extending properties. Henry I of England declared it the "Royal Fish." King Edward II was so devoted to Sturgeon he issued a decree that any Sturgeon caught must first be offered to the throne.
In 1609 Henry Hudson noted abundant Sturgeon in his namesake river, one large enough to sink a boat near what is now the George Washington Bridge. Throughout the 17th Century, Sturgeon was found in huge numbers from Alaska to Monterey Bay on the West Coast, in rivers throughout the East, in the Great Lakes, and in the Mississippi Valley. Sturgeon was so popular that in the 1830's a canning plant in New Jersey built for the unheard of sum of one million dollars, processed more than a thousand fish per shift. Less than 30 years later, over-fishing killed the sturgeon and the plant closed.
Sturgeon remains scarce to this day. A few farms experiment with Sturgeon culture but production is limited. The population of sturgeon in the fabled Columbia River Basin has strengthened recently, thanks to a hatchery operated by the California Department of Fish and Game. Baby sturgeon or "fry" are released to "seed" the Columbia, and managed for long-term sustainability.
Looking like an aquatic dinosaur, the sturgeon may be the ugliest fish swimming. But the lean, firm meat has a delicious flavor. It can be grilled, sautéed, baked, poached or fried. It stands up to the boldest of preparations and is almost impossible to over-cook. Those who love swordfish but are concerned about its status as a nearly endangered species will enjoy the mild taste of sturgeon and find it an excellent alternative.
Farmed white sturgeon offers a year round safe and sustainable alternative to wild stocks. Our sturgeon, raised near Hagerman Idaho in pristine oxygen rich 58° Fahrenheit waters on the Snake River Plain Aquifer, are some of the most flavorful in the world. Natural spring water sourced from an aquifer approximately the size of Lake Erie courses once through our ponds and back into the watershed in less than an hour. In fact, our optimal environmental conditions and efficient rearing practices mean our sturgeon grow antibiotic and pesticide free. Consistent care in handling and the highest quality of feed insures the ability to size grade fish.