Siberian Sturgeon Returned to Yertis Waters After 50 Years

ASTANA – For the first time in 50 years, Siberian sturgeon are being reintroduced to the waters of the Yertis River. Five hundred one-year-old, strong individuals were released into the upper reaches of the river, collectively weighing more than one and a half tons, Khabar TV reported on June 17.

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Specialists from Astrakhan raised these sturgeon for over a year. According to the experts, if these fish adapt well, they will produce their first offspring only after eight years. Ichthyologists are already making history by restoring the ichthyofauna of Kazakhstan’s longest river.

Sturgeon bred in the Yertis until the 1970s, migrating from the Arctic Ocean to the Ob River and then into the Yertis, extending all the way to China. However, the construction of hydroelectric power plants in the East Kazakhstan and Pavlodar Regions blocked their spawning grounds.

Zharkyn Kabdolov, Director of the Fisheries Research and Production Center at the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture, emphasized that artificial stocking is currently the only way to support the sturgeon population.

“It once lived along the entire length of the Yertis. When stocking fish, it is recommended to ensure a genetic passport of the broodstock and compliance with all sanitary standards,” he said.

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