The Beluga Sturgeon (Huso huso) is the biggest freshwater fish in the world. The largest Beluga ever caught weighed 1,571 kg and was 7.2 m long. The Beluga is extremely long lived and females do not reach maturity until at least 15 years of age. Individuals can reach more than 100 years in age and can still be caught in areas where their spawning sites have been cut off. Beluga Sturgeons are listed as Critically Endangered.
Facts and Figures
- The Beluga migrates further upstream to spawn than any other sturgeon. However, this migration has been interrupted – as for all other sturgeons – by the Iron Gates dams.
- Though mainly eating fish, the larger individuals can feed even on aquatic birds. The Belugas are the only true predators among Danube sturgeons.
- 11th century chronicles mention Huso huso as providing important rations for troops marching along the Upper Danube in Austria.