Caviar Comeback: Sturgeon in the James

Sturgeon

  Giant sturgeon have returned to the James River, but will their offspring survive?
(Credit VCU Rice Rivers Center)

Since colonial times, American fishermen have treasured the Atlantic sturgeon – a source of meat, oil and caviar they could export to Europe.

Many of these fish would leave the ocean each spring or fall to spawn in the James, Delaware and Hudson Rivers, but as demand for their salt-cured eggs grew, the population of sturgeon fell until – in 1974 – Virginia became the first state to ban catching them.

Now, Sandy Hausman reports, this source of caviar is making a comeback and scientists are hoping to help.

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