The Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) is the smallest member of the European sturgeons, and has been introduced as a sport-fish into a number of commercial fisheries. Hard-fighting, and growing to some twenty pounds, the sterlet is a favourite with many anglers Although confined to ponds and lakes and monitored by the Environmental Authority, it is only a matter of time before the sterlet finds its way into our river systems, because some of the waters presently holding sterlet lie upon flood plains. In its native Eastern Europe the sterlet inhabits still, flowing, and brackish water, so will readily colonise such habitats.Sterlets have a long snout, with four barbules in a transverse row underneath, and a protrusible mouth behind them. The head is encased within bony plates. Four rows of bony scutes run the length of the body - one each side, one in the median dorsal line, and one along the ventral surface. The tail is heterocercal - a large upper lobe and a small lower one. The general colour is smoky grey.
Sterlet feed on the bottom, normally eat any benthic organisms they find, and will also eat carrion. Any bait with a meaty basis will tempt sterlet - a bunch of worms, fishmeal pellets. raw liver or cubes of luncheon meat. They are powerful fish, so tackle of adequate strength is necessary.