In the 19th century, sturgeon abounded in the Garonne and the Dordogne. This European sturgeon was called the Sturio (Ascipenser Sturio). He was fished a lot for his flesh.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the first Russian emigrants arrived in the region and explained to the fishermen of the Gironde that it is preferable to fish sturgeon for their eggs and taught them the secrets of caviar production.
Several caviar counters are set up between Saint Seurin d'Uzet and Blaye. But until 1939, production remained anecdotal. It was after the war that production exploded and caviar was transported to Paris where famous amateurs such as Jean Gabin, Danielle Darieux, Léon Blum or Gilbert Bécaud made it known to all of Paris.
But from the 1960s, production ran out of steam and Sturio fishing was to be completely banned in 1982.
A technical center that has become a research body, CEMAGREF has taken an interest in the breeding in an experimental station of a freshwater sturgeon, the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri), in order to study reproduction and breeding techniques. larva that can then be applied to the European migratory sturgeon (Acipenser Sturio).
This research aimed to halt, through artificial reproduction from wild or acclimatized parents, the decline of the last natural population of this species, whose cradle is the Gironde basin.
The aquaculture interest of the Siberian species has led CEMAGREF to study its growth with several breeders, with a view to producing sturgeon flesh and then farmed caviar, compensating for the scarcity of wild caviar worldwide. The Moulin de la Cassadote in Biganos was one of the sites chosen in the mid-1980s to conserve the first spawners and monitor the growth of fry, allowing from 1993 to continue the caviar adventure in Gironde, with a species of 'breeding.