All major retinoids (vitamin A) stored in the liver of lake sturgeon from two Québec lakes were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Four HPLC peaks represented approximately 90% of all liver retinoids. Their relative proportion was remarkably consistent in the two sturgeon populations with dehydroretinyl palmitate/oleate accounting for the largest proportion (50–60%). Most retinoids demonstrated significant positive correlations with age, but only in the Lake Berthelot sturgeon. The concentrations of all major retinoids were significantly (P<0·0001) lower, as much as 40 times lower, in the Lake Saint-Louis population. Possible explanations for the extremely low liver stores in the Lake Saint-Louis sturgeon are discussed.