If you haven’t already read it, check out the Wall Street Journal article that was written about Black River Caviar back in 2009!:
“We call it wild raised,” Gaspard says. Like cattle that wander the open, but fenced, plains of Montana, these fish lead a replica of real life, following their natural reproductive cycle. “When it’s time to swim upstream to spawn, we increase the water flow in the canals to simulate a return to the river,” Gaspard says.
“These are not like goldfish in a pond getting fat,” Alcalde adds.
And with technology—in this case, microchips embedded in the fish’s snout—the farmers accurately monitor each individual fish’s egg development. Part of the expense of wild caviar comes from the random nature of sampling fish. “Fishermen don’t know what stage of pregnancy the fish are in. They have to kill so many to get enough for a high-quality tin,” Gaspard says. With such close monitoring, no fish is killed unless it’s ready for harvest.
This delicate attention to a sturgeon’s biography is what attracts chefs like Ford. “It’s important to trace the source,” Ford says. “Anytime you do that, you’re more respectful of what you’re working with.” And at Black River, they’re doing things properly, he says.
Read more about our wild-raised production of caviar here