An October 16th article in the Toronto Star quotes a Great Lakes Fishery Commission representative as saying, “One big sturgeon could be worth almost $200,000,” noting that even legal caviar can sell for $100 an ounce or more.
Due to these prices, authorities in both Canada and USA, including Ontario Crime Stoppers, have increased efforts to address poaching for sturgeon. Such incidents often see the fish carcass being left to waste and the caviar harvested for sale. The fish is listed under the endangered species act and sport and commercial fishing for sturgeon has been banned in Ontario since 2008.
The article encourages anyone hiking or boating along waterways and noticing “furtive activity” to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Telltale signs could include, “large pools of blood on the ground, piles of heavy fishing line needed for sturgeon, and, in some cases, sturgeon tied up along a riverbank and kept alive until a buyer can be contacted.”