Characteristics of the Reproductive Cycle of Wild Acipenser sturio

  • Patrick Williot
  • Thierry Rouault
  • Rémi Brun
  • Jörn Gessner


This chapter provides data on age at puberty, duration of sexual activity, frequency of spawning, period of spawning, and zones of spawning grounds. Previous data as well as recent information are reported, mainly for the Atlantic population in France. When available, other data have also been mentioned, particularly from the River Guadalquivir (Sp) and the Elbe/Eider Rivers (D). Puberty was reached between 13 and 15 years for males and 19 and 22 years for females. Corresponding length (TL) was 140–145 cm for males and 185 cm for females. Duration of sexual activity was probably in the range of 6–10 years for males and 17–22 years for females. Frequency of spawning is mostly under-documented. The main spawning season is May–June in the Garonne basin. Some characteristics varied with latitude, e.g., age at puberty, onset of reproduction migration. Characteristics of puberty and sexual cycles in farmed sturgeon are given, including the few available data on A. sturio.


  1. Blankenburg A (1912) Die Fischerei in der Unterelbe. 35 Jahresbericht des Central-Fischerei-Vereins e.V. für Schleswig-Holstein 1911–1912, pp 125–140Google Scholar
  2. Brosse L, Berrebi P, Desse-Berset N, Lepage M (2009) Sturgeon recovery plan in the Rhône River (France); Preliminary results on species determination and habitat suitability. In: Carmona R, Domezain A, Garcia Gallego M, Hernando-Casal J, Rodriguez F, Ruiz Rejon M (eds) Biology, conservation and sustainable development of sturgeons, Fish & fisheries series. Springer, New York, pp 403–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Classen TEA (1944) Estudio bio-estadistico del esturion o sollo del Guadalquivir. Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia, Ministerio de Marina, Trabajos, N° 19, 112p + XVII planchesGoogle Scholar
  4. Doroshov SI, Moberg GP, Van EZenennaam JP (1997) Observations on the reproductive cycle of cultured white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Environ Biol Fishes 48:265–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ehrenbaum E (1936) Naturgeschichtliche und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Seefische Nordeuropas. In: Lübbert H, Ehrenbaum E (eds) Handbuch der Seefischerei Nordeuropas vol 2. E. Schweizerbart, Stuttgart, pp 3–5Google Scholar
  6. Elvira B, Almodovar A, Lobon-Cervia J (1991) Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio L., 1758) in Spain. The population of the River Guadalquivir: a case history and claim for a restoration programme. In: Williot P (ed) Acipenser. Cemagref, Antony, pp 337–347Google Scholar
  7. Gutierrez-Rodriguez F (1962) El esturion del rio Guadalquivir. Ministerio de Agricultura, Servicio Nacional de pesca fluvial y caza. 5 Folleto informativo (temas piscicolas), 58p + photographsGoogle Scholar
  8. Holčik J, Kinzelbach R, Sokolov LI, Vassilev VP (1989) Acipenser sturio Linnaeus, 1758. In: Holčik J (ed) The freshwater fishes of Europe. Aula Verlag, Wiesbaden, pp 367–394Google Scholar
  9. Jego S, Gazeau C, Jatteau P, Elie P, Rochard E (2002) Les frayères potentielles de l’esturgeon Européen Acipenser sturio L. 1758 dans le bassin Garonne-Dordogne. Méthodes d’investigation, état actuel et perspectives. Bull Fr Pêche Piscic 365(366):487–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kinzelbach R (1987) Das ehemalige Vorkommen des Störs, Acipenser sturio (Linnaeus 1758) im Einzugsgebiet des Rheins (Chondrostei: Acipenseridae). Z Angew Zool 74(2):167–200Google Scholar
  11. Kluge M (1904) Zum Störfang am Cracauer Wehr in Magdeburg. Fischereizeitung 7:153–155/187–188Google Scholar
  12. Kohlorst DW, Botsford LW, Brennan JS, Caillet GM (1991) Aspects of the structure and dynamics of an explored central California population of white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). In: Williot P (ed) Acipenser. Cemagref, Antony, pp 277–293Google Scholar
  13. Kozhin NI (1964) Sturgeon from USSR and their reproduction. Trudy VNIRO LII:21–58 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  14. Magnin E (1962) Recherche sur la systématique et la biologie des Acipenséridés Acipenser sturio L., Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchill et Acipenser fulvescens Raf. Ann Stat Cent Hydrobiol Appl 9:7–242Google Scholar
  15. Ninua NSh (1976) Atlantic sturgeon of the Rioni River. Editions Metsniereba, Tbilissi, p 122 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  16. Quantz H (1903) Störfischerei und Störzucht im Gebiete der deutschen Nordseeküste. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Seefischerei-Vereins XIX:176–204Google Scholar
  17. Randall MT, Sulak KJ (2007) Relationship between recruitment of gulf sturgeon and water flow in the Suwannee River, Florida. In: Munro J (ed) Anadromous sturgeons: habitats, threats, and management. Symposium, vol. 56. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD, pp 69–83Google Scholar
  18. Reznik D, Ghalambor C, Nunney L (2002) The evolution of senescence in fish. Mech Ageing Dev 123:773–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rochard E, Jatteau Ph (1991) Amélioration de la méthode de détermination de l’âge de l’esturgeon commun, Acipenser sturio et premières applications. In: Williot P (ed) Acipenser. Cemagref, Antony, pp 193–208Google Scholar
  20. Sulak KJ, Clugston JP (1999) Recent advances in life history of Gulf of Mexico sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi, in the Suwannee River, Florida, USA: a synopsis. J Appl Ichthyol 15(4–5):116–128Google Scholar
  21. Tabardel M (1994) Le point sur la situation de l’esturgeon (Acipenser sturio L.) en Méditerranée occidentale et possibilités de réintroduction dans le Rhône. Mémoire de fin d’études ENSA, Rennes, Rennes/Arles, 57pGoogle Scholar
  22. Van Eenenaam JP, Doroshov SI, Moberg GP, Watson JG, Moore DS, Linares J (1996) Reproductive conditions of the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) in the Hudson River. Estuaries 19(4):769–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vibert R (1945) Les poissons migrateurs dans l’économie du sud-ouest. Bull Franc Piscic 136:121–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Williot P, Brun R (1998) Ovarian development and cycles in cultured Siberian sturgeon, Acipenser baeri. Aquat Living Resour 11(2):111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Williot P, Rouault T (2008) Basic management for spawning the cultured sturgeon, Acipenser sturio L., 1758, a critically endangered species. Cybium 32((2 suppl):334–335Google Scholar
  26. Williot P, Rochard E, Castelnaud G, Rouault T, Brun R, Lepage M, Elie P (1997) Biological characteristics of European Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, as the basis for a restoration program in France. Environ Biol Fish 48:359–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Williot P, Rouault T, Brun R, Pelard M, Mercier D (2002) Status of caught wild spawners and propagation of the endangered sturgeon Acipenser sturio in France: a synthesis. Inter Rev Hydrobiol 87:515–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Williot P, Brun R, Rouault T, Pelard M, Mercier D, Ludwig A (2005) Artificial spawning in cultured sterlet sturgeon, Acipenser ruthenus L., with special emphasis on hermaphrodites. Aquaculture 246:263–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Williot P, Rouault T, Pelard M, Mercier D, Jacobs L (2009a) Artificial reproduction of captive endangered European Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser sturio. Endanger Species Res 6:251–257. doi:10.3354/esr00174 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Williot P, Rochard E, Kirschbaum F (2009b) Acceptability and prerequisites for the successful introduction of sturgeon species. In: Carmona R, Domezain A, Garcia Gallego M, Hernando-Casal J, Rodriguez F, Ruiz Rejon M (eds) Biology, conservation and sustainable development of sturgeons, Fish & fisheries series. Springer, New York, pp 369–384, 467pCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Williot
    • 1
  • Thierry Rouault
    • 2
  • Rémi Brun
    • 2
  • Jörn Gessner
    • 3
  1. 1.Sturgeon ConsultantAudengeFrance
  2. 2.Cemagref, Estuarine Ecosystems and Diadromous Fish Research UnitCestas CedexFrance
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations