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  • Acipenser orientalis  Pallas, 1814:107 (Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica, vol.3) Amur River, Schilmam and Argunum, along Pacific Ocean.
    FAO Names
    En - Kaluga, Fr - , Sp - .
    3Alpha Code: AHM     Taxonomic Code: 1170100502
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Acipenser dauricus  Georgi, 1775. Bemerkungen einer Reise im russischen Reich in 1772. St. Petersburg. 2 vols. Reise Russ. Reich. 1-920:352. Amur River, Schilkam and Argunum, along Pacific Ocean.
    Diagnostic Features
    Spiracle present. Snout and caudal peduncle subconical. Gill membranes free from isthmus and broadly joined to one another. Mouth crescentic. Four flat barbels, without foliate appendages, on ventral side of snout.  D:43-57; A:26-35 rays.  10-16 dorsal scutes; 32-46 lateral scutes; 8-12 ventral scutes. 
    Geographical Distribution
    The kaluga is distributed in the Amur river bassin from the estuary to its upper reaches, including several large tributaries and lakes. Young have been caught during summer in coastal waters of the Sea of Okhost, in the northern part of the Tatar Strait and in the Sea of Japan (Krykhtin & Svirskii, 1997).
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    Habitat and Biology
    The kaluga inhabits rivers, lakes and coastal sea waters.There are four populations in the Amur River, being the estuary population the more studied (Krykhtin & Svirskii, 1997). This populations is represented by two ecological morphs: the freshwater morph (which is the predominant and feeds only in fresh water). The brackish water form spends winter in the river or estuary and in late June-early July, migrates to the Tatar Strait and the Shajalin Gulf; in autum, when the salinitiy of the estuary increases, it return to the river where they overwinter together with the freshwater form.In the first year of life, kaluga consume mostly invertebrates, later swiching to juveniles of Oncorhynchus keta and, at age of three to four years, kaluga start to feed on adult fishes: Eleginus gracilis, Sebastes alutus. Cannibalism is, also, frequent. During winter and during spawning migrations, kaluga do not feed.
    In autumn and early winter, most of the future spawners migrate from the estuary into the Amur River, where they spend the winter in preparation for spawning during the next spring. The peak of spawning usually occurs in the middle of June; pebble deposits in the main river bed serve as spawning grounds. After spawning, the fish return to the estuary to feed. Males first mature at ages of 14-21 years of age, and females at 14-23; males spawn once every three to four years, and females, every four to five years. 
    Maximum size: more than 5.6 m TL; reaching more than 1.000 kg in weight, and an age of more than 80 years (Krykhtin & Svirskii, 1997).
    Interest to Fisheries
    In 1958, USSR autorities banned the catch of kaluga. A band is formally still in effect (Krykhtin & Svirskii, 1997). In the Chinese side of the Amur River there are now 2 to 5 sturgeon fishing boats per kilometer along the mid reaches of the river (Wei et al., 1997).
    Local Names
    CHINA : Manchurian sturgeon .
    FINLAND : Amurinkitasampi .
    GERMANY : Kaluga-Hausen .
    JAPAN : Dauria-chôzame .
    POLAND : Kaluga .
    RUSSIAN FED. : Kaluga .
    SPAIN : Kaluga .
    UNITED KINGDOM : Kaluga .
    USA : Kaluga .
    Berg, L.S - 1962. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. Israel Program for Scientific Translations Ltd, Jerusalem. Volume 1, 4th edition. .  Russian version published 1948.
    Dulmaa, A. - 1999. Fish and fisheries in Mongolia. FAO Fisheries and Technical Paper.  . No. 385. Rome, FAO. pp. 187-236..
    Krykhtin, M.L - 1987. Rate of Sexual maturation and reproductive Rhytm of kaluga sturgeon Huso dauricus (Georgi) in the Amur Liman. J. Ichthyol. .  26: 66-75..
    Krykhtin, M.L. & V.G. Svirskii - 1997. Endemic sturgeons of the Amur River: kaluga, Huso dauricus, and Amur sturgeon, Acipenser schrenckii. Environ. Biol. Fish. .  48:231-239..
    Masuda, H, K. Amaoka, C. Araga, T. Uyeno & T. Yoshino - 1984. The fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokai Univ. Press. Fish. Japanese Arch. .  Text: i-xxii + 1-437, Atlas: Pls. 1-370..
    Reshetnikov, Yu. S., N. G. Bogutskaya, D. E. Vasil'eva, E. A. Dorofeyeva, A. M. Naseka, O.A. Popova, K.A. Savvaitova, V.G. Sideleva & L.I: Sokolov - 1997. An annotated check-List of the freshwater fishes of Russia. J. Ichthyol. .  37 (9):687-736..
    Wei, Q., F. Ke, J. Zhang, P. Zhuang, J. Luo, R. Zhou & W. Yang - 1997. Biology, fisheries, and conservation of sturgeons and paddlefish in China. Environm. Biol. Fish. .  48: 241-255..
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