Genetic data base of wild populations and hatchery stocks

Through genetic analysis, it will be clarified if there are differences between the remaining populations in the Danube and broodstock in commercial aquacultures. All animals caught within the project as well mother fish used for reproduction will be molecular-genetically characterized to assure that only sterlets deriving from the Danube are stocked.

Hatchery container

For fishes such as sturgeon or salmon, nowadays it is state of the art to rear and hatch the fish in natal waters to initiate “homing” behaviour, the remigration and spawning at their birthplace in the stream they hatched. To facilitate the incubation and rearing with Danube water, a conservation hatchery was built into a shipping container on the Danube Island (area of the “Inselinfo”, MA45, Vienna Water bodies). The hatching and rearing of juvenile fish is carried out according to the latest state of the art under most natural like conditions to prepare the animals to conditions in the wild. In addition, the station has a high value in the field of environmental education and is accessible for the public.


The release takes place in young stages of the fish and in areas with suitable habitat. Younger fish are more likely to adapt to different and varying conditions in the wild than fish reared for many years in artificial conditions. Depending on the size of the fish, they are tagged before stocking to identify later recaptures.


In order to exploit synergies as efficiently as possible, methodological approaches, findings and results of the project are regularly exchanged with other conservation projects for sturgeons.

In the frame of the International Symposium on Sturgeons (ISS8) in September 2017 in Vienna, the first results and strategies are presented and discussed with a brought international audience from the fields of research, fisheries, aquaculture, nature conservation and legislation. In addition, the conference participants visit the conservation hatchery.
DANGER DANGER; hier noch iss8 link zu dolly buster 


For the long-term establishment of a self-sustaining population, it is necessary to identify and protect key habitats. Therefore a number of adult fish will be tagged with transmitters to follow their migrations and document their habitat use over several years. Catch statistics from fishermen further help to monitor the development of stocks.