Paddlefish Eggs Sold as Caviar Funding Research

Thursday, April 16th 2009, 3:10 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell,

GRAND LAKE, ok -- The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is working with fishermen to study one of Oklahoma's largest, and strangest, fish.

Paddlefish cruise the bottoms of Oklahoma lakes feeding on plankton.

They're being harvested for their eggs, or roe, which is selling on the international caviar market for 100 dollars a pound.

"It's very expensive to manage these populations," said Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation Northeast Region Fisheries Biologist Brent Gordon.  "This way our fishermen are bringing in product, it kind of invests them as part of the data collection.  They bring it to us, we fillet that out very nice, return it to them and if it has any eggs in it we collect those out and sell them on the open market."

The money collected from the sale of the caviar is used to fund the ongoing research operation.

Watch the video to see Dick Faurot catch two Paddlefish when Wildlife officers took us out ‘snagging' this week.