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©2019 by Fish Breeders of Idaho. Photography by Tod Ray.

IDAHO CAVIAR

When European populations of Beluga sturgeon were depleted in the early 1900s, harvest moved to the Pacific Coast of North America. The White Sturgeon of the Snake and the Columbia rivers were found to be very similar to the Beluga. The White Sturgeon is the largest North American fish and, like the Beluga, it has large eggs, color varying from black to light grey, and often a very pronounced eye. With Beluga caviar rare and expensive, the White sturgeon caviar was shipped to Europe where it was repacked and labeled as Beluga. Much of this was then sold back to the United States. Word of this spread causing the American White sturgeon become known as, "The American Beluga". As the Columbia and Snake River were over-fished, the name disappeared. Then, when production transitioned from wild caught to farm raised, the Idaho White sturgeon reappeared on the market. People started saying, "The American Beluga is back." We are happy to say that Fish Processors of Idaho has received wonderful compliments from our customers who frequently refer to our Idaho Caviar as "American Beluga."