A six-year-old project to restock Atlantic sturgeon in Estonia's Narva River reached another milestone on Wednesday this week, when another 20,000 sturgeon juveniles were released into the river on the Estonian-Russian border, local paper Põhjarannik reported.
The first Atlantic sturgeons—400 one-year-old juveniles brought in from Canada by plane—were released into the river in October 2013. Of the next consignment, raised in Germany, some were released into the Narva River young while others were released in several batches later on after being given time to grow bigger at the Haaslava fish farm in the area.
According to researcher Meelis Tambets, altogether 50,000 hatchlings had been brought in from Germany this time, 20,000 of which were released into the river this week all at once. The remaining 30,000 were distributed among the fish farms of Haaslava and Polula, to be released at a later time.
The remainder of the last batch, still at Haaslava, will be released in the fall this year, Tambets added.
Bigger fish are easier to tag and they can be tracked telemetrically as well, he said. "By the fall the fish will be two summers old, a year older than the ones we've just released into the river," Tambets said.
Before Wednesday, the last time that sturgeons were released into Narva River was in November 2018, when President Kersti Kaljulaid, who was working out of Narva at the time, took part in the effort. The batch released on Wednesday was the first this year, with a second one likely to be released in two or three months, probably October.
Editor: Dario Cavegn