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Paddlefish Caviar

The American Paddlefish Caviar

Paddlefish (Polyodon Spathula), also known as Spoonbills, is a cousin of the Caspian sea sturgeon found in various U.S. states, including rivers in Mississippi and Tennessee. As a sustainable alternative to the endangered Caspian sea sturgeons, the American paddlefish tastes similar to the sevruga’s caviar. The paddlefish caviar is light to dark gray in color, generally lighter than the typical black caviars and tend to be of smaller size eggs. The flavor is rich and crisp, but light enough for minimal aftertaste. For individuals that like a mildly salted, or malossol caviar, the American paddlefish available on the market today is a preferred choice.


Caviar Production

The American paddlefish reaches maturity from 15 to 30 years of age. Female paddlefish can reach more than 75 pounds in weight and contain 20 or more pounds of eggs. Spawning occurs only once during a 2 to 3 year period which may be due to requiring a particular environment to do so. The harvest of the the paddlefish is highly regulated as its numbers were rapidly declining due to overfishing, sedimentation and man made dams. The natural environment, which still has many dams, still hinders a meaningful regrowth in its population. Water reservoirs are being used to harvest this popular fish. In addition to the demand of its meat and roe, it is also popular for sport fishing due to the snagging method in which the paddlefish needs to be caught.


Paddlefish Availability

Due to the heavy regulatory controls placed on wild paddlefish, much of the caviar comes from fish that are not caught in the open waters in efforts to keep their numbers sustainable. Two major factors which cause paddlefish caviar to be in high demand are it’s taste similarity to the prized sevruga sturgeon’s caviar and the decline of harvest production from the Caspian sea. The farming of paddlefish has spread to other parts of the United States and permits are being issued to catch/snag the fish in wild. This provides for a sevruga quality caviar that is sustainable, meets the markets’ demand at a lower cost than roes from Beluga, Osetra and Sevruga sturgeons.

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  1. American Paddlefish Caviar

    American Paddlefish Caviar


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