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Common / European Sturgeon

The European Sturgeon is an IUCN Red List Species – critically endangered. This is the same category as Eels, which makes them more endangered than the Black Rhino.

Sturgeon Sturgeon

Status:

IUCN Red List Species – critically endangered. This is the same category as Eels, which makes them more endangered than the Black Rhino.

Several Sturgeon species are listed under CITIES to limit their sale and exploitation.

Sturgeon cannot be kept in a fishery in England and Wales, under the terms of the Keeping & Introduction of Fish Regulations, 2015. This is regulated by the EA and NRW across England & Wales.

Confusingly they are sold as an ornamental fish species and can be kept in aquaria and isolated garden ponds under the terms of the Prohibition of Keeping and Release of Live Fish (England) Order 2014.

To protect the genetic integrity of the European Sturgeon, the regulatory bodies won’t permit them to be introduced into fisheries or the wild.

British record:

A 388lb specimen was caught (foul hooked) by Alec Allen on Rod & line in 1932 on the River Towy, Wales.

Lifespan:

The average life-span is 50 to 60 years, but some can live to well over 100 years and reaching sexual maturity at 20 years or more.

Appearance:

The European Sturgeon is instantly recognisable with their elongated bodies, flattened snout, distinctive plates (although no scales), barbels, small mouth on the underside of their body, and elongated upper tail lobes.

They can grow up to 6 metres and weigh up to 400kg! Their body structure is more similar to sharks, in that they have cartilaginous skeleton rather than a bony one

Where to catch a Sturgeon:

It is currently unlikely that you’ll catch a wild European Sturgeon in a UK river although historically they were present in significant numbers in the larger UK rivers. According to renowned angling historian, Fred Buller they don’t feed in freshwater. It is understood that every sturgeon caught on rod and line in the UK had been foul hooked.

The advice is that if caught it must be reported to the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales, with a photograph (include a distinctive area landmark) and returned to the water unharmed - or retained and offered to the queen because sturgeon are royal fish.

Last date edited: 4 July 2017