Written by

The beneficial purposes of the nets at Santa Ana River Lakes

Hi Martin,

We are happy that you have just recently began fishing our Lakes, and that you are excited about all of the fish that we stock on a weekly basis.  It would be sad for us to lose you as a customer because you were given the wrong information about how we manage the fish at Santa Ana River Lakes, because what you were told was incorrect.

Thank you for your email, I know that this is a little long, but I have been meaning to put together something like this for publication on our website because we do get questions about our nets, and have heard several misconceptions that are completely wrong.

I would be happy to discuss some of my tips for catching trout at Santa Ana River Lakes, and if you follow them, you will begin to catch plenty of fish at the Lake. You can call me at the number below.

The beneficial purposes of the nets at Santa Ana River Lakes

Most of our anglers understand the benefits that the nets provide, however some have grand misconceptions about their purpose, so the following will help you understand why they are important and will help you understand that they will help you catch more trout on a more consistent basis at Santa Ana River Lakes.

Keep in mind, our goal is to give you the best opportunity to catch fish at our Lakes, ensure that you have a good time, and make you want to come back on your next fishing adventure. One thing we have learned over many years of operating our Lakes is that in the final analysis, most fishermen want to catch fish over anything else.  And providing a consistent and even supply of fish in our Lakes at any given day of the week is the best way to ensure great fishing and gives fisherman what they want, FISH.

First of all, we do not use the nets at Santa Ana River Lakes all the time, nor have we used them at Corona Lake this Season. We also don’t need to use nets during catfish season, because we own the largest catfish farm in California, Imperial Catfish, and deliver our own catfish several times a week.  Only under certain circumstance during Trout Season, which will be explained below, do we use the nets at Santa Ana River Lakes. 

Additionally, we have found in the past, that the nets are not necessary at Corona Lake, because the lake is a very old lake with lots of natural underwater structure, which gives the fish a lot of cover. And with that structure, the majority of the fish stocked will not be caught on the first or second day after each stocking. However, with Corona Lake’s water being as low as it is currently, the fish are being caught much faster than when the Lake is full. Santa Ana River Lakes on the other hand, has no natural underwater structure or cover for the fish to disperse into and are usually caught much quicker after a stocking than at Corona Lake.

Secondly, when we do use the nets, we only hold very little of the entire stocking that is delivered for the week in the nets. Usually about 70% of the delivery is released on the day of delivery and around 30% is held in the nets. Many people think that we put most all of the fish we stock into the nets, this is simply not true. If anybody wishes to watch how we stock the fish and then later see the fish stocked around the lake with our portable stocking trailer, they can come fishing on one of our stocking days and see it for themselves.  Additionally, we try to avoid putting any of our large trout in the nets. The majority of the trout, as set fourth above, are delivered and released directly into the Lakes on the day of delivery. Either immediately from the big stocking truck out the pipe and directly into the Lake, or from our portable stocking trailer, you will see dumping trout around the Lake after the stocking truck leaves.  The portable stocking trailer is used because it depends upon which trout supplier is delivering trout that week, and how their tanks are loaded when they arrive. For economic reasons, they usually arrive at our Lakes with a full load, and with fully loaded fish tanks, but sometimes, they will have a smaller load in one of the fish tanks that can be stocked directly into Chris’ Pond or somewhere else we would like them stocked into the Lake. That eliminates the need for us to initially stock some of those fish into the nets.

If the delivery trucks are fully loaded with full tanks then it impossible to safely stock trout unless the entire tank is dumped all at once. This is because when you open the hatch, all of the water goes out the hole in the bottom of the tank first, and all of the trout are left flopping around at the bottom of the tank. If you have watched any of our stocking videos, you will know exactly what we are referring to. Trout out of water die quickly and injure themselves very easily. Trying to dump half the load of one big tank, and then dumping the other half at a different spot in the lake from a tank with little or no water, and just fish, is nearly impossible without killing or overstressing the trout. Additionally, because of the quagga mussel issue in this area, we are not permitted to put any of the Lake water into the delivery tanks. This is why we have not been tempering the delivery water before each tank is released like we did in the past.  So to avoid killing the trout we just purchased for our anglers to catch, we will send some of the trout down the tube and into the holding net. Then a few hours latter, after giving the fish a chance to reduce some of their stress from the long trip, our staff will get the trout out of the nets, puts them into the portable stocking trailer and safely distribute them to different locations around the Lake.

In the past, we would stock Santa Ana River Lakes with deliveries of trout several times a week. This helped us insure that we had an even supply of trout stocked in the Lakes all week long and provided our anglers a good opportunity of catching fish any day of the week they came fishing.

However, since about 3 or 4 years ago, things have changed dramatically in our business. Mainly, the big change has been the much higher costs of fish, and the ridiculous costs of transportation. With the high costs of long distance transportation, multiple weekly stockings are now cost prohibitive. Back when we were receiving deliveries of trout several times a week, our fish cost was about half of what we pay today, and there were no transportation cost or extra fuel surcharges added to the cost of the fish. Additionally, our admission price for fishing 3 to 4 years ago, was only a few dollars less than what it is today. However, we still stock the same quantities of fish we stocked back then if not more in some cases.

If we were like most businesses that passed these extra costs along to the consumer, our admission price would probably be twice the cost it is today or more. But with the economy the way it is now, we knew that our customers could not afford such an increase. In fact, this year, even though we desperately needed to raise our admission prices, we decided not to and this has made business difficult.  Our admission fee of only $22 dollars, which allows for a 5 fish limit. When compared to many of today’s commonly purchased items, $22 is a real bargain.  It costs $60 or more just to fill a pickup truck with gas. Parking at any event or at the airport will cost you as much if not more than the cost of our admission. And they did not have purchase any fish for you to catch. Many anglers don’t realize how much a five fish limit of fish costs us to stock. If you figure an average of 3 pounds per fish, which would be a very conservative figure for our Lakes, that’s 15 pounds of trout. Our cost for those fish is around $60.00, and we only charged you $22 for opportunity to catch them. Plus, you get to enjoy the using the Lake all day, not to mention the fun you will have catching the best quality trout available, and eating some of the finest trout you will ever taste.

Therefore, without raising our admission fees, we have tightened our belts in other ways, developed new ways to attract business and created strategic partnerships with our fish suppliers to be able to stay in business, and all without lowering the quality of the trout, or the quantities of fish we stock.  In fact, the quality of the fish you will catch at our Lakes today is much better than anything we have ever stocked in the past.

As you may know, the majority of the trout we stock are transported very long distances like Nebraska or Northern California, before they get to our lakes and the cost of that transportation is outrageous with the high and constantly fluctuating costs of diesel fuel.  Example: The “Taliwalkers” come from Nebraska, which is nearly a 30-hour drive in a big rig diesel truck and trailer. That delivery truck probably averages around 5 miles per gallon, if that. Our other main supplier, which provides us with the “Sierrabows” and our record breaking sized rainbow trout, travels from Northern California, and that delivery is about a 14-hour trip or longer. Their truck also likely averages around 5 miles per gallon. All of our contracts for the purchase of trout are negotiated for transportation costs and fuel surcharges which can be very costly depending upon the price of fuel at the time of delivery.

Our trout suppliers have invested a lot of money to build their huge 18 wheeler tractor truck and trailer delivery rigs, so that they could deliver enough fish in ONE deliver to satisfy our weekly stocking needs. One large weekly delivery cuts our transportation costs in half or more, and allows us to purchase extra fish for our anglers to catch from the savings. Actually, about 500 pounds or more a week in extra trout is delivered because of this savings.

The problem we found in the past with delivering one huge load, all at one time directly into Santa Ana River Lakes, is that the majority of all the trout stocked are caught on the first, second or third day. Which is usually Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and when Saturday and Sunday arrives, the days when most people are able to come fishing and bring their families and friends, little if any fish are left for them to catch, which made for a lot of unhappy anglers on the weekend and that is not good for business. This is because as stated above, Santa Ana River Lakes has NO underwater structure or cover for the fish to go to, but more importantly, the Lake is a relatively small body of water, around 120 acres in total. Which would include the Big Lake and Chris’ Pond. The Catfish Lake is not stocked with trout, but some do swim up current through the connecting pipes.  So a huge load of trout stocked in Santa Ana River Lakes, creates a fish density situation that would not be possible if the same amount of trout were stocked into a lake that had around 750 acres. In a 750-acre lake, it would be impossible to catch most of the stocked fish in just a few days after a stocking, because the trout would have plenty of water to find cover and disperse throughout the lake. As such, a holding net would be useless in a lake that provides plenty of natural underwater structure, cover and vast areas of water to despurse.

Sure, back when we did not use nets, the few guys that fished right after these stockings were very, very happy. And it is those anglers who remember those days, that are the most outspoken critics about our use of the nets. They want it the way it was when we dumped the entire load and did not have nets. They took advantage of the situation and had no regard for how others might do latter in the week. Some guys we learned, were making a fortune catching and selling them to the local fish markets.  As stated, about 70% of the trout delivered are either directly stocked into the Lake from the stocking truck or from our portable stocking trailer that day. The other 30% or so are then released on top of what was directly stocked, to satisfy our anglers that come to fish with their friends and families on the weekend.

Additionally, sometimes we order extra trout for company fishing derbies or large events that reserve Chris’ Pond for a particular day and we will hold those specially purchased fish exclusively for that event in the nets and then transfer them over just before the event.

Simply stated, here are the main benefits that the nets provide:

The nets help us save money by cutting our transportation costs in half or more, which allows us to stock approximately 500 pounds or more of extra trout each week for the same amount of money it would have cost us for twice a week fish deliveries.

The nets help even out the playing field so that all of our anglers have an equal opportunity to catch fish throughout the week by giving us the ability to regulate the population of trout in the lake, especially on days when a lot of anglers are at the lake.

The nets have not really changed things all that dramatically, from how we stocked trout in the past. If you think about it, we would stock two or sometimes three times a week, but in smaller quantities. Effectively, the multiple weekly stockings we did in the past, regulated and evened out the population of fish in the Lake throughout the week. Now, the nets give us the same ability to do this, but they are more efficient and much more cost effective which allows us to stock more trout for our anglers to catch. Admittedly, the nets did have a dramatic effect for those anglers who fished on stocking day when we dumped the entire load into the lake before we had any nets, and again, those anglers are the most outspoken critics on the subject of the nets.

Additionally, by equaling out the opportunity for everyone to catch fish, and not allowing just a few to catch all of the trout on stocking day, when often the 5-fish limit was disregarded, makes it possible for us to enforce the 5 fish limit rule much less stringently than many lakes do with Lake Cops, that come around and hassle you about how many fish you have on our stringer or how many you have hidden in your car.  We like to believe that most fishermen are sportsmen that respect the sport and understand that those that do not respect the 5 fish limit rule, are unfairly taking fish that were stocked for someone else who paid good money to catch.  Many of our sportsmen that fish our Lakes, do report over limit fishing to our Staff for us to take appropriate actions, and we really appreciate that !!

So as a business decision, here are the options:

  1. Get rid of the nets and go back to stocking two to three times a week, spending a lot of your fish budget money on transportation and not on trout and then raising the cost of admission to be able to stock enough trout to make our customers happy?
  1. Get rid of the nets and allow those few that can fish on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday during the day to catch all of the fish, or catch and release fish all day long which either kills the trout or stresses the trout making them prime prey for the cormorants an pelicans to eat. Which in turn will make the majority of our weekend anglers unhappy when they don’t have any fish to catch?
  1. Hire a bunch of Lake Cops to hassle everyone to make sure that no one gets more than a 5 fish limit? If you don’t mind driving customers away from your business, this is the option for you.
  1. Leave the nets, and save money a lot of money on transportation costs by being able to receive a large supply of trout in one delivery, and use those savings to stock more fish for the anglers to catch.  Safely use the nets to capture fish from the stocking truck tube, so that they can be carefully distributed in our portable stocking trailer by Staff to the other areas around the Lake, when it is impractical to stock smaller loads from the big delivery truck. Effectively use the nets to hold and release fish for the weekend, when most of our anglers are able to fish with their friends and family, so that they have just as good of a chance to catch trout as those that fished earlier in the week.

Option # 4 is the one we have chosen for now, but we are always trying to look for better ways to improve our business operations. Until we find a better way, option #4 is our choice.

Again, thank you for your email Martin, I hope the above information helps clarify some of the misguided information you were told about the nets.


Craig Elliott

Written by

How to clean and fillet Sturgeon – Step by Step Photos



Illustrated below are photos taken at the commercial processing facility
at Sterling Caviar LLC.

You can visit the Sterling Caviar website at www.sterlingcaviar.com.

You will find all kinds of interesting information about their
Sturgeon and the highly praised caviar they produce and sell
all around the world. You can even order caviar right from their

Also here is a great YouTube “HOW TO” video by Totalfisherman.com (above)

If you operate a fishing lake in the Southern California area and are
interested in stocking Sturgeon in your lake and you have the proper
permits from the California Fish and Game, contact Imperial Catfish at
www.imperialcatfish.com for more information and pricing.

FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT, be careful when using a sharp knife and
be sure to use protective gloves.  If you have never cleaned a fish before
get help from some one who has plenty of experience. I’m sure they
would love to share in the bounty.

Kill the fish as soon as possible and bleed it out, otherwise the blood will
disperse thru this white meat and the flavor could become fishy. Cutting
the gills will do this. You may also cut a ring just in front of the tail which
will allow more of the blood to get pumped out of the meat.  It is advisable
to hit the fish on the head to stun or kill it before you attempt bleeding
the fish. You don’t want a fish jumping around with a cut gill or tail and
this is better for the fish in terms of humane slaughter.

Keep the fish cool or on ice if you continue to fish and begin the cleaning
process as soon as it is possible.

Thoroughly rinse off your fish in clean
water before you begin cleaning your fish.

Cut the tail off as shown. You will need a knife that is sturdier than your
typical fillet knife.

Then cut the head off. Work the knife through the meat on both sides then
cut through the backbone.

Remove the top scutes by cutting away from your body.

Remove the lateral scutes on both sides.

Remove the remaining fins as shown and slit the belly open. Insert the knife
tip just enough to make the cut, try to avoid cutting into the gut.

Properly done, your bullet should look like this.

Remove the gut, scrape and clean the cavity and rinse with clean water.

At point you have 2 options.  As you will find discussed later,
Sturgeon must be aged in the refrigerator for 48-hours.

Sturgeon are not like other fish where it is best to eat it as soon as possible.
When Sturgeon die they go into riggers and the fibers in the fillets tighten
and tense up.  It takes 48-hours for the fibers to let go and loosen up so
that the fillet is tender and has the proper texture and flavor when it is
cooked. This is extremely important if you want to enjoy Sturgeon done
properly, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Option 1)   Commercial processors stop at this point and put the whole
gutted and rinsed bullet in a bag and into the refrigerator for
the 48-hour aging period.  You may also use a large ice chest
but be sure you use plenty of ice and check on it periodically to
make sure your fish stay cold for the 48-hour period.  After that,
the bullet can be easily filleted and then cooked or frozen.

    Option 2)    If you don’t have the room in your refrigerator or have a large
ice chest to age the whole gutted and rinsed bullet, or several
of them if your a good fisherman for the 48-hour period, then
you can proceed as shown below.

When you try and fillet fresh, the muscles are still reactive and
the fillets made from fresh fish may twitch heavily on the cutting
board which makes it difficult to fillet as much meat as possible
from the fish but it can be done if you are careful, but it is not
the best way to do it.

Remove the backbone by cutting down one side first. Cut as close to the
bone as possible.

Then lay the body open and cut down the other side of the backbone.

When both sides of the backbone have been cut, slide the knife under the
backbone and lift it out.

Properly done, it should look like this after the backbone has been removed.

Next, remove the ribs from both sides. Cut as close to the ribs as possible.

Ribs and backbone removed.

Split the fillets down the middle where the backbone was removed.

Remove the skin by starting at the tail. Slide the knife with forward pressure
between the skin and the fillet while holding the skin in place with your other

It helps if you move the knife in a back and forth sawing motion while you
slide the knife down the fillet and hold the skin in place.

Once the skin is removed, you will find a blood line that must be cut away.
You will want to get rid of any red or darker colored flesh and any skin that
might remain.

If you followed the above process, you should have a pile of beautiful white
sturgeon fillets just like the ones they sell for as much as $18.00 per pound
to gourmet restaurants all across the country.


You must age your fillets in the refrigerator for 48 hours before cooking if
you have not already aged the whole cleaned and rinsed bullet as discussed
above, and proceeded with the filleting your fish in one step.

Again, Sturgeon are not like other fish where it is best to eat it as soon as
When Sturgeon die they go into riggers and the fibers in the fillets
tighten and tense up.  It takes 48 hours for the fibers to let go and loosen
up so that the fillet is tender and has the proper texture and flavor when it is
cooked.  If you are going to freeze the rest of your fish for another day,
do it after it has properly aged it for 48 hours.

Many people recommend soaking the fillets in milk during the aging
process. The milk helps tenderize the fillets and makes the flavor very
mild and delicious. Others prefer to just use water, you might try both
to find your preference.

If you cook it to soon and don’t wait the 48-hours the texture will be tough,
the flavor will be wrong and you will have cheated yourself out of what
could have been one of the best tasting pieces of fish you have ever enjoyed !!

Properly done, you will be able to toss a fillet on the barbeque, flip
it with your spatula and delicately cut it with your fork.  Many say its
texture is similar to a perfectly cooked piece of swordfish and it’s flavor
is even better with no fishy taste at all.

Click here to go to our sturgeon information page with lots of tips,
information and fantastic recipes.

All information appearing on this page, Copyright © 2009 Corona Recreation Inc.,  All Rights Reserved.


Written by

Great Sturgeon recipes and other interesting stuff



















Firm-textured fish such as sturgeon is an excellent choice for grilling because it doesn’t fall apart easily when grilled.


To prevent sticking, the grid should be very clean.  Heat the grid 2 or 3 minutes then brush lightly with oil.  Oil fish to keep it from sticking to grid.


Allow 4 to 5 minutes grilling time for each ½ inch thickness.  Fish continues to cook off the grill and you can always return it to cook a bit longer if necessary.


To test for doneness separate the fish with a fork or tip of a knife.  The flesh will just be slightly translucent in the center, and it will look very moist.  As you remove it from the grill the fish will turn from translucent to opaque throughout.


Using a grill cover will intensify the smoky flavor and help keep fish moist and tender.


Note:  Sturgeon marinates easily with virtually any kind of marinade – even for a short duration.




4  servings


Butter or Margarine                                       3 tablespoons

Mushroom, fresh                                           3 cups sliced

Marsala wine                                                 ½ cup

Chicken stock, unsalted or

low-sodium canned broth                              1 cup

Soy sauce                                                     2 teaspoons

STERLING® White Sturgeon                      4 fillets (5 to 7 oz. each)

Salt and pepper                                            as needed

California wild rice                                        2 ½ cups, cooked

Red bell pepper                                            3 tablespoons, diced 1/8 to ¼-inch

Chives or parsley                                          2 tablespoons finely chopped

Lemon slices                                                 4 each


Melt butter in a large sauté pan.  Add mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring constantly until browned.  Slowly add Marsala and chicken stock; boil about 5 minutes until sauce reduces by about half.  Add soy sauce.  (Sauce will be brothy).  Set aside.


Rinse fish fillets; pat dry with paper towels.  Season with salt and pepper.  Grill fillets over charcoal or gas briquettes 6 to 9 minutes, turning once; or bake fillets on an oiled baking sheet at 400°F 7 to 10 minutes, until fish turns from translucent to opaque throughout.


Reheat sauce; ladle onto 4 serving plates.  Portion wild rice in center of each plate.  Place fish on top.  Scatter diced red pepper and chopped chives over rice and mushrooms.  Top fish with lemon slices.

Created by:   Chef Kenny Fukumoto – Flying Fish Grill, Carmel, California






24  appetizer portions


STERLING® White Sturgeon               24  pieces (4 oz. each)               Method: Season sturgeon with salt/ pepper

Salt, pepper                                           as needed                                 to taste. Dredge each piece in flour; dip

Durum flour                                            as needed                                 into buttermilk; coat with mixture of bread

Buttermilk                                             as needed                                 crumbs, Romano cheese and chervil. Sauté

Dry bread crumbs                                  3 cups                                      on each side until golden brown and cooked

Romano cheese                                     1 lb. finely grated                       through. Place 1 gaufrette on plate; top with

Chervil, minced                                     6 oz.                                         ¼ cup mashers. Repeat. Place sturgeon on

Butter                                                   as needed                                 top. Drizzle sauce around plate. Dot with

Gaufrettes                                             recipe follows                             basil oil and garnish with chervil sprigs.

Garlic chive mashers                              recipe follows                             Serve immediately.

Red wine sauce                                     recipe follows

Basic-infused olive oil                             garnish

Chervil sprigs                                         garnish



Peel 4 60-70 ct. russet-type potatoes, slice on mandoline to make waffle pattern. Deep fry potatoes in hot oil until crisp.  Sprinkle with salt.



Centennial, Norkotah or

Nugget potatoes,                                   60-70 ct. – 6 lbs. (about 8)          Method: Peel potatoes; cube. Boil in salted

Butter                                                    12 oz.                                       water till tender. Drain. Heat butter with half-

Half-and-half                                          2 cups                                      and-half until butter melts. Mash with

Garlic chives                                          ¼ cup, finely chopped                potatoes. Add garlic chives; season to taste

Salt, pepper                                           to taste                                     with salt and pepper. Note:  Russet potatoes

                                                                                                              can be substituted.


Red wine                                               4 cups                                      Method: In heavy pot, reduce wine with

Shallots, finely chopped                          6 each                                      shallots and garlic to a glaze. Add veal stock

Garlic cloves, minced                             4 each                                      and peppercorns; reduce till syrupy. Season

Veal stock                                             8 cups                                      to taste; add lemon juice to finish.

Green peppercorns                                2 tablespoons

Salt, pepper                                           as needed

Lemon juice                                           as needed


Created by:   Chef-owner Bruce Auden – Restaurant BIGA, San Antonio, Texas







Olive oil                                        ½ cup

Garlic, crushed                             2 cloves

Onion, sliced                                ½ medium

Salt and pepper                            to taste

Garlic                                          1 large clove, in diaphanous slices

STERLING® White Sturgeon     2 pounds

Dijon mustard                             ½ teaspoon

Onion powder                             ½ teaspoon

Garlic, minced                             1/8 teaspoon

Lemon juice                                1 tablespoon

Nicoise olives, pureed                 1/3 cup pitted

Butter                                         ½ pound

Sun-dried tomato tapenade         1 teaspoon

Ratatouille                                   3 cups (must be cut into bruniose size cuts)




1.      Combine olive oil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper.  Stud the sturgeon with the garlic slices

      and coat with olive oil mixture.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.


2.      Meanwhile prepare the olive butter by beating the mustard, onion powder, minced garlic,

      lemon juice, olives, butter and tapenade until homogenous.  Set aside.


3.      Roast the sturgeon in a 375°F. oven until just cooked through.


4.      While the fish is roasting heat the ratatouille.


To serve


Remove fish from oven and place on a bed of ratatouille.  Top with a spoonful of the olive butter.

Created by:  Chef Colin Clifford,  Director of Education – The Restaurant School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania





4 to 6  servings


STERLING® White Sturgeon                   4 to 6 each (5 to 7 oz. each)

Olive Oil                                                    as needed

Salt and pepper                                         as needed

Flavored butter                                          recipe below

Lime or lemon wedges                               as needed for garnish

Fresh herbs for garnish, such

as mint, parsley or cilantro


Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels.  Brush fish lightly with oil; season with salt and pepper.  Oil grid to help prevent from sticking.  Grill fillets over gas or medium-hot charcoal briquettes, 6 to 9 minutes.  Turn fillets halfway through cooking and continue grilling until fish turns from translucent to opaque throughout.  Serve each fillet with a spoonful of flavored butter and a wedge of lime or lemon.  Garnish with fresh herbs.


Honey-Lime Butter

Butter or margarine, softened                 ½ cut (1 stock)                          In a food processor or with electric beater,

Lime juice                                             2 tablespoons                            work butter until smooth.  Add remaining

Honey                                                   1 tablespoon                              ingredients and mix until well blended.

Garlic (pressed or minced)                     1 clove                                      Makes about ½ cup.

Lime peel                                              1 teaspoon finely grated

Red pepper flakes                                 ¼ teaspoon, crushed


Nicoise Butter

Butter or margarine, softened                   ½ cup (1 stick)                          In a food processor or with electric beater,

Nicoise olives or other brined-                                                                  work butter until smooth.  Add remaining

cured olives, pitted, finely chopped          1/3 cup                                      ingredients and mix until well blended.

Basil, finely chopped                               2 tablespoons                            Makes about 2/3 cup.


Fresh Fruit Butter

Cantaloupe, papaya or peaches              1 cup, coarsely chopped (soft ripened)

Butter or margarine, softened                  ½ cup (1 stick)

Green onion, finely chopped                   2 tablespoons

Lime juice                                             1 teaspoon

Lime peel, finely grated                          1 teaspoon

Sugar                                                    ¼ teaspoon

Ground black pepper                             ¼ teaspoon


In a food processor or blender, process fruit to a smooth puree.  Pour puree into a fine wire mesh strainer; strain off juice.  In food processor or blender, work butter until smooth.  Add fruit pulp (there should be ¼ cup or more) and remaining ingredients.  Process until well blended.  Makes about ¾ cup.


Created by:  Charlotte Walker




4  servings



STERLING® White Sturgeon Fillet                              4 each (5 to 7 oz. each)

Salt                                                                              as needed



Sweet butter                                                                  8 tablespoons

Veal stock                                                                     2 cups

Marsala wine                                                                 1 cup

Soy sauce                                                                      4 oz.

Mushrooms, Shiitake and shimoji                                    1 cup, sliced

Mushroom, enoki                                                           1 small bunch

Garlic                                                                             25 cloves or roasted*

Tomato, sundried                                                           4 tablespoons, pureed



Sliced Lemon

Chopped chives

Diced red bell pepper

2 cups wild rice (cooked according to package directions)


1.     Salt and charbroil sturgeon fillets, 3 to 5 minutes on each side depending on thickness, till springy to touch.


2.     For Sauce:


On high heat in a large sauté pan, add butter and mushrooms.  When butter starts to brown on the outer edge, flame with marsala wine.  When the alcohol has burned off, add veal stock and soy sauce.  Add roasted garlic, and sundried tomato puree.


Divide sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted garlic evenly among 4 service plates.  In the center, place 2-3 large tablespoons of wild rice.  Place sturgeon fillet on top of wild rice.  Garnish with lemon slices, diced red pepper and chives.


*For roasted garlic, peel garlic cloves and put in roasting pan.  Cover with olive oil and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes at 400°F.  Garlic is done when it is easily pierced with toothpick.


Created by:  Charlotte Walker





6  servings


STERLING® White Sturgeon                       2 lbs.

Tropical fruit nectar, such as

mango, papaya or pineapple                          1 cup

Vegetable oil                                                 1 tablespoon

Salt and pepper                                             as needed

Tropical fruit salsa                                         recipe below


Cut fish into approximately ¾ inch cubes.  Combine nectar and oil in a shallow glass dish; add fish.  Turn cubes to lightly coat with marinade; let stand while preparing salsa.  Remove fish from dish; thread on 12 (approximately 10 inch) metal or bamboo skewers.  (Soak bamboo in water at least 20 minutes to prevent them from burning).  Season with salt and pepper.  Grill fish over charcoal or gas briquettes 6 to 9 minutes, turning once, or place skewers on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 400°F 6 to 9 minutes, until fish turns from translucent to opaque throughout.  Serve with salsa.


Tropical Fruit Salsa

Mangos                                                          2 each … or

Papaya                                                           1 each … or

Peaches                                                         2 each (large)

Kiwifruit                                                        2 each

Red bell pepper                                             ½ cup finely chopped

Red onion                                                      finely slivered or chopped

Lime juice                                                      2 tablespoons

Mint, fresh                                                     1 tablespoon, finely chopped

Cilantro, fresh                                                1 tablespoon, finely chopped

Sugar                                                             1 teaspoon

Salt                                                                ¼ teaspoon

Red pepper flakes                                          ¼ teaspoon, crushed


Peel fruit and cut into ¼ inch pieces.  Combine with remaining ingredients in medium bowl; adjust flavors to taste.  Makes about 2 cups.


Created by:  Charlotte Walker

Herb Seared Sturgeon with Mango Coconut Curry Sauce

Yield: 6 servings

4    6-ounce sturgeon fillets, salt and pepper to taste
2    tablespoons olive oil

Season sturgeon fillets with salt and pepper. Preheat a large sauté pan on medium-high; add oil then carefully add fillets. Sauté fillets for 3 to 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of fillets. Serve with Florida Mango Coconut Curry Sauce.
Yield: 4 servings

Florida Mango Coconut Curry Sauce

2          ripe Florida mangoes, cubed
½         cup mirin rice wine
¼         cup dry white wine
1          tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
½         teaspoon turmeric
2          cups whipping cream
¾         cup unsweetened coconut milk
½         teaspoon Thai red curry paste
salt and pepper to taste
Place mango cubes, mirin rice wine, white wine, ginger and tumeric in heavy medium-size saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add cream and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer sauce until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in curry paste. Season the sauce to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Reserve mango cubes for garnish and strain remaining sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside. Note: Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated.

Baked Sterling White Sturgeon with a Potato Crust

1 ea.     6 oz. fillet of Sterling White Sturgeon

1 ea.     Russet potato, large

1 tsp.    Fresh thyme, chopped


            Salt and pepper

Grate potato with medium cheese grater: squeeze out excess water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top sturgeon fillet (skinless) with herbs, then a dense layer of potatoes ¼ inch thick.  Place potato side down in a saute pan with ¼ inch hot oil.  Cook until potatoes are browned.  Transfer to small baking pan.  Place in 450° oven for 8 minutes or until fish is cooked.  Remove from pan and serve with shallot-chive blanc or baby greens.

Hot Smoked Sturgeon Serving Suggestions

Smoked sturgeon is great on salads, included in a cheese spread or served just as it is. 

Try this recipe and impress your guests with the great flavor of Sterling Hot Smoked Sturgeon.  


and APPLE SALAD with

Craig Von Foerster ~ Sierra Mar Restaurant ~ Big Sur, California



Yield: 6 servings

12 oz.      unflavored, soft goat cheese

4 oz.        Oregon Hazelnuts, toasted, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 ea.        Large Washington State Gala, Fuji or Braeburn apples, cored

1/2          Tbsp.       Canola  oil

1/2          Tbsp.       Sugar

1 ea.        Green endives, leaves cut lengthwise into thin strips

1 ea.        Purple or red endives, leaves cut lengthwise into thin strips

                             Apple Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

3 slices   Sterling Hot Smoked Sturgeon, about 3 oz.

1 oz.        Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar 


1.   Form goat cheese into 2-oz.  round patties.  Coat on all sides with chopped hazelnuts.  Refrigerate until serving.  Cut 1 of the apples into 6 slices or into wedges.  Lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with sugar.  Grill apple slices until crisp-tender.

2.  Cut remaining apple into thin strips.  Toss with the endive and 1 cup of the vinaigrette.

3.  For each serving, arrange about 1 cup apple and endive mixture.  Arrange 1 apple slice, 1 goat cheese patty and 1/2 slice smoked sturgeon on endive mixture.  Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon Sterling Caviar.  Drizzle some of the vinaigrette around the edge of the plate.

4.  If desired, garnish plate with additional toasted hazelnuts, apple slices and whole endive leaves.



             1 qt.         apple juice                                             ¼ tsp.       pepper

                         ½ cup       apple cider vinegar                              1 cup       canola oil

             1 tsp.       salt                                                          ¼ cup       hazelnut or pumpkin seed oil

                         2 ea.        shallots, minced    


In a saucepan, cook apple juice until reduced to ½ cup (about 45 minutes).  While syrup is warm, stir in vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper.  Gradually whisk in oils.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Makes 2 cups.

Easy Smoked Sturgeon Recipe

Sturgeon flesh isn’t like fish. It’s more like meat. Very white meat. And it doesn’t taste fishy at all, either. Because of that, it doesn’t need a lot of added flavors to make it good. Just a simple brine, and simple seasoning is all it takes to bring out the best of this fish.


  • 5 pounds sturgeon fillet, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Combine the brine ingredients; water, salt, sugar, onion powder and one teaspoon of the black pepper. Stir until the sugar and salt are complete dissolved. Drop in the sturgeon and brine overnight in the fridge.

Remove the brined sturgeon from the bucket and rinse well. Pat dry and season lightly, both sides, with the remaining teaspoon of black pepper. Place the fillet sections on raised racks to air dry for an hour or two, until the surface becomes slightly dry, and not tacky to the touch.

How to Smoke Sturgeon

Sturgeon is best smoked at between 180-200 degrees. If you can, keep it closer to 180. Use a mild wood for smoke so you don’t overpower the mild flavor of the fish. I prefer alder. Apple would be good, too.

Smoke the sturgeon, using two handfuls of chips or a couple of chunks of your alder or apple. Watch the sturgeon as it smokes. If it starts weeping, blot off the liquid as it forms. A hotter smoker will cause the sturgeon to weep more.

After one hour of smoking, start checking the internal temperature of the sturgeon with a thermometer. When it reaches 150 degrees, remove it and let it air cool. Then store it in tight sealing containers, in the refrigerator. This smoked sturgeon recipe will keep for one week in the fridge, if you can make it last that long!  If you vacuum pack it and freeze it will last several months.

Written by

How to catch Sturgeon, rigging techniques, and bait to use


     Sturgeon are bottom-feeding fish, like catfish, that will eat just about anything that lives on the lake bed and ends up there when it dies. Large sturgeon living in Pacific rivers and bays feast on salmon and shad that die after spawning. They will eat all kinds of roe, clams and mussels, crawdads, or bottom-dwelling fish like freshwater sculpin that try to hide instead of fleeing.
In Santa Ana River Lakes and Corona Lake, it is likely the sturgeon will quickly adapt over to feeding on the huge threadfin shad populations in both lakes, which routinely die-off and cover the bottom of these lakes. Frozen shad and other cut baits like those used for catfish are certain to catch the new additions to these two lakes. In the past at the Lakes, shrimp slathered with Gravy has also worked well catching the big ones.
A standard sliding egg sinker rig should be perfect. Since few of the initial plants will be larger than 15 pounds, so six to 12-pound main line with a 1/4 to 1/2-ounce weight should suffice. An appropriately-sized barrel swivel between the weight and the leader is the next part of the rig and keeps the line from twisting. The leader is then tied to a baitholder hooks from No. 4 up to a 1/0, depending on the size of the bait, and this completes the rig.
The fish quickly learn what a baited hook is all about and anglers might have to fish lighter leaders and more delicate set-ups to consistently get action. The question if you scale down to six- or even four-pound test will be whether or not you can land the fish.
When first hooked, sturgeon frequently head right to the surface and leap out of the water, tailwalking across the surface like a marlin. Then the angler will be faced with long, sustained runs and head-shaking. When finally tired and brought into shallow, shoreline water, the fish is likely to spin, catching and breaking the line on the bony barbs along all four sides of its body.

1 3 4 5 6 7 8