10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava > 60 cm
Gösta Sundman: Suomen Kalat (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Lauri Urho, Jouko Lehmuskallio
- Family: True sturgeons – Acipenseridae
- Similar species: Stellate sturgeon
- Size: 60–150 cm, 1–15 kg, can reach 200 cm and weigh over 100 kg, though much smaller in Finnish waters.
- Appearance: Snout unusually short and rounded for a sturgeon. Row of four barbels closer to tip of snout that mouth. Lateral scutes number 21-50. These features distinguish the Russian sturgeon from the stellate sturgeon, the only other member of the family to inhabit Finnish waters in recent years.
- Colouring: Back dark, greyish green or brown. Belly pale. Scutes lighter in colour.
- Reproduction: Ascends rivers to spawn. In Russia, spawning takes place between April and June. Not known to reproduce naturally in Finland. Numbers are largely dependent on aquaculture.
- Food: Benthic organisms and fish.
- Distribution and habitat: Natural populations of Russian sturgeon are found in the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and adjoining Azovskoye Sea as well as rivers feeding into these waters, including the Danube, Don, Dnepr and Kuban. Introduced on several occasions into the Gulf of Finland by the Russians. A number have been caught off Finland’s S and SW coasts over the past 10 years, the largest weighing 2.6 kg.
Wild sturgeon (Common sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon, Baltic sturgeon, European sea sturgeon, Acipenser sturio) have not been caught off Finland’s coast since the 1930s. The most likely species to be caught in Finnish sea waters are stellate and Russian sturgeons. These too may disappear as stocked specimens and escapees die off. Sturgeons are ling-lived, so that this process will take time.