Black sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River
Have you ever heard about the black sturgeon? With its prehistorical look, this fish mainly live on America’s Northeastern coast. From the St. Lawrence’s Gulf down to Florida, it stays at the bottom of the sea, where it finds its food, mainly based on shellfishes.
Able to measure as much as 4 meters, the black sturgeon can live up to 50 years old. Some specimens can live longer, up to over 100 years old, which is highly unusual for a fish. Very discreet, the black sturgeon is an anadromous fish, which means that while it lives in salted water, its reproduction ritual takes place in fresh water. As weird as it may sound, the reproduction happens every 4 to 10 years for the female, and every 2 to 4 years for the male.
Fishermen noticed that depending on the period of the year, the sturgeon is more difficult to catch when using a fishing line than by using a fishing net. Why is that so? The mystery can be explained by the fact that when the fish goes up to the surface where the water is hotter, it stops eating. It becomes more difficult to lure with a fishing line in that particular case. Being a ground fish, the black sturgeon is very discreet and can swim unnoticed. Ironically, in rare occasions, it may reveal itself by jumping spectacularly out of the water to get rid of small parasites.
Finally, did you know that the commercial fishing of the black sturgeon mainly occurs between Montmagny and Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, or in other words, in the Isle-aux-Grues archipelago?
Note that the fishing stop during the summer, mainly because the water temperature rises. When the water temperature is too high, the fishes die in the nets, which compromises the freshness of the product. That’s why the commercial fishing occurs in June and September.
Where can I eat it?
What’s special with the Montmagny and the Islands region, is that you can easily have access to home and local produce. Black sturgeon is one of those products that you can find in many restaurants and delicatessen. Some restaurant, like La Goulue at the Maisons du Grand Héron, prepare and serve this fish in their own particular way. You’ll find as many spots to eat it as there are ways to prepare it.
Why don’t you bring some to your friend and your family? In Montmagny, you can get it at the Poissonnerie Donald Lachance.