**2009 Update! Gene pursued his passion and it paid off. He and his crew just successfully spawned sturgeon at their farm, and Growing Bolder was the only news crew in the world allowed access. Click here to see why everyone is so excited.

In large concrete tanks on his Volusia County property, Gene Evans is building one of the few commercial sturgeon-farming operations in the Western Hemisphere. Russian sturgeon — about the size of a porpoise — are native to the Caspian Sea, where it normally takes 20 to 30 years for the fish to produce top-shelf caviar and “white as snow” meat.

Evans thinks he can reduce that to seven years in Florida’s warm waters and has launched a complex operation aimed at raising the fish from hatchlings. If he is successful, he will have a near-monopoly on the production of top-quality caviar and prime sturgeon steaks in the United States, which could be highly profitable.