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Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 48, Issue 1–4, pp 231–239 | Cite as

Endemic sturgeons of the Amur River: kaluga, Huso dauricus, and Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii

  • Mikhail L. Krykhtin
  • Victor G. Svirskii
Article

Abstract

General biological characteristics and the contemporary status of the kaluga, Huso dauricus, and Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii, are described. Both inhabit the Amur River basin. Kaluga is the largest freshwater fish in this river system reaching more than 5.6 m in length and more than 1000 kg in weight. We recognize four populations of kaluga: the first is from the estuary of the Amur River and coastal brackish waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan, the second is from the lower Amur River, the third is from the middle-Amur, and the fourth occurs in lower reaches of the Zeya and Bureya rivers. Freshwater and brackish water morphs exist in the estuary population, with the freshwater morph predominating in number. The number of individuals in the lower Amur River population at age 2 or greater was recently estimated to be 40 000, and in the middle Amur, 30 000. The population will continue to decline because of rampant overfishing. The Amur sturgeon is represented in the Amur River basin by two morphs: brown and gray. Brown morphs occur in the middle and lower parts of the Amur River; they grow more slowly than the gray ones. Today, the lower Amur River population of Amur sturgeon is made up of 95 000 fish at age 2 or greater and is approximately half as large as the population in the middle Amur River. Populations of kaluga and Amur sturgeon in the Zeya and Bureya rivers are extremely small and on the verge of extinction.

anadromy population hybridization endangered species poaching 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikhail L. Krykhtin
    • 1
  • Victor G. Svirskii
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Research Institute of Fisheries and OceanographyVladivostokRussia

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