Doroshov, Enhancing breeding and health of sturgeon broodstocks

Through the WRAC projects "Development of Sturgeon Broodstocks" and “White Sturgeon Domestic Broodstock Management,” significant strides were made in spawning captive broodstock, thereby shifting dependence from wild broodfish. Notably, these steps facilitated a fully self-sustaining domestic production of seed stock in California, enabling the local aquaculturists to supply sturgeon meat and caviar for the food market. However, challenges remain, such as lack of established artificial reproduction processes for indigenous (Snake River) white sturgeon broodstocks in Idaho, where culture using the native population is mandated by environmental regulations. The need for reliable sperm cryopreservation techniques to facilitate selective breeding and maintain genetic diversity is critical. Furthermore, viral diseases pose persisting hurdles to sturgeon culture expansion. To tackle this, diagnostic procedures that are sensitive enough to detect carriers and control disease outbreaks need to be developed and employed across sturgeon farms. Enhancing economic efficiency of caviar production is crucial in achieving a global presence as a producer of world-class sturgeon caviar. DNA techniques for sex detection in sturgeon and producing monosex offspring will play a significant role in this endeavor. Lastly, providing relevant and up-to-date information through a comprehensive manual and workshops is indispensable for supporting emerging sturgeon industries.


The project goal is to develop management practices that will enhance breeding and health of cultured white sturgeon. The specific objectives are:

1) to determine reproductive characteristics and to establish hatchery spawning of the indigenous sturgeon broodstocks in Idaho

2) to demonstrate that cryopreserved semen are viable and can be used efficiently in a hatchery environment

3) to establish diagnostic methods for detection of sturgeon viruses in broodstock carriers and develop management strategies to control disease transmission and outbreaks in sturgeon hatcheries

4) to develop molecular sex-markers and breeding approaches for production of monosex offspring in white sturgeon

5) to incorporate findings, that are essential to the industry, in the CD ROM Sturgeon Broodstock Manual and conduct a workshop on sturgeon broodstock management

Project Summary

Duration: 2 years
Funded Date: 09/01/2001
Funding level: $200,000
Location: California - CA, Idaho - ID
Species: Sturgeon
Topics: Broodstock, Culture/egg quality, Grow out

University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195
1122 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105


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