Photo by Jessy Dou. Used with permission.


The reproduction habits of Huso huso are relatively complex. The beluga males are not repoructively mature until they are approximately 10-15 years of age, while the females generally fall between 15 and 18 years old before hitting maturity. (Kottelat, 2011) Members of this species spawn once every two to four years. (Hudson, 2003) The two spawning seasons for the beluga sturgeon typically happen in the late winter/early spring months and then again in the late summer/early autumn months. (Kottelat, 2011)

The spawning waters for H. huso must are also quite particular. Migration of both adults and juveniles is at its best when the water is between 6 and 14 degrees Celsius and with current waters running at a speed of .8-1.2 m/sec. (Kottelat, 2011) In captivity, the specifications are even more precise. Alkalinity, pH, and salinity are extra factors that are monitored in the conservation farms in order to produce the absolute most offspring possible. (Coppens International, 2007)

Rocky river bottom. Public domain. Used with permission.Once up river and actively spawning, an adult female can release anywhere from 300,000 eggs to 7.5 million eggs that attach to the rocky substrate. When the juveniles emerge from the eggs, they migrate down river back to the sea where they will carry out their juvenile years. (Hudson, 2003) This hefty quantity of eggs is also one of the number one reasons why this species of sturgeon is slowly decreasing. These eggs are also the highest quality caviar that can be found on the planet.

To investigate other threats against the beluga sturgeon, click here!

Click here to go back to the homepage.