The Eagles are here... but so are the Sturgeon
If you’re out here checking out the thousands of Bald Eagles that are flocking to the Harrison area, keep in mind that the mighty Fraser River, a main artery of millions of migrating salmon that pass through on the way to the spawning grounds, is as well, home to the long-lived white sturgeon, the largest fresh water fish in North America. These monster fish grow to over one thousand pounds and can live nearly 200 years. They are considered to be one of the most spectacular fresh water sports fish, having the reputation for their size, strength, and impressive jumps.
All guided sturgeon fishing trips with BC Sports Fishing Group, one of our local fishing companies, include the sampling, tagging, and releasing of all white sturgeon caught as per their ongoing commitment to the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.
One of the oldest families of fish in existence, sturgeon 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 18 feet (5.5 m). Most sturgeons are 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 of their long reproductive cycles, long migrations, and sensitivity to environmental conditions, many species are under severe threat from overfishing, poaching, water pollution and damming of rivers. Over 85% of sturgeon species are classified as at risk of extinction, making them more critically endangered than any other group of species.
Several measures have recently been taken to improve the White Sturgeon’s prospects for survival.
In 1994, commercial and sport harvest of sturgeon became illegal in the province, and First Nations people voluntarily stopped their sustenance harvests. This should allow more fish to reach reproductive age, and may help to rebuild some stocks. Designation of the White Sturgeon by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (cosewic) as a Vulnerable species in Canada has focused attention on its plight and stimulated some long-needed research.
Here are the facts if you are ever lucky enough to be in a place that offers sturgeon on the menu:
Amount Per 100 grams
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5 g 7%
Saturated fat 1.2 g 6%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 77 mg 25%
Sodium 69 mg 2%
Potassium 364 mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%
Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
Sugar 0 g
Protein 21 g 42%
Vitamin A 17%
Vitamin C 0%
Vitamin D 128%
Vitamin B-6 10%
Vitamin B-12 41%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Before 1800, swim bladders of sturgeon (primarily Beluga sturgeon from Russia) were used as a source of isinglass, a form of collagen used historically for the clarification of beer, as a predecessor for gelatin, and to preserve parchments.