Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 50 m (Ref. 50550). Temperate; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2059); 55°N - 43°N
Asia: Amur basin, ascending far up to the Argun, Shilka, and Onon. In the Amur Liman to the Amur estuary in the Sea of Okhotsk. Adults inhabit some lakes, like Orel Lake above Nikolaevsk. Also in the Ussuri and Sungari, China. International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II).
Four populations are recognized in the Amur River basin: one lives in the estuary and coastal brackish waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan, second is found in the lower Amur, third in the middle Amur, and fourth in the lower reaches of the Zeya and Bureya rivers in the Russian river banks (Ref. 40142). Two ecological morphs are present in the estuary population, the 'freshwater' and the 'brackish' water forms (Ref. 40142).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 180.0, range 170 - 190 cm
Max length : 560 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40142); max. published weight: 1.0 t (Ref. 40142); max. reported age: 80 years (Ref. 56448)
soft rays: 26 - 35. Gill membranes free from isthmus and broadly connected with each other. Barbels flat, attached on ventral side of snout. Body shields in 5 rows; dorsal shields 10 to 16, lateral 32 to 46 and ventral 8 to 12.
Adults inhabit rivers and lakes. Adults do not spawn every year but at least every other year. With increasing age, the spawning interval increases to three, four and more years (Ref. 593). Feed on invertebrates in the first year then switch to juveniles of pelagic fishes, e.g., Oncorhynchus keta, at age 3 to 4 yrs., kaluga feed on adult fishes (Ref. 40142).
Males spawn once in three to four years while females do every four to five years (Ref. 40142). Water temperature affects the onset of maturity of females. Females spawn a year earlier during warm years than they would during cold years (Ref. 40142).
Berg, L.S., 1962. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. volume 1, 4th edition. Israel Program for Scientific Translations Ltd, Jerusalem. (Russian version published 1948). (Ref. 593)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion