Once the roe is removed from the skein—the membrane that holds eggs together—it is screened, rinsed, salted, graded, and frozen in plastic containers, ready for sale.
Since this is a state enterprise, lots are sold in order to the highest bidder. On a continental scale, CITES lists paddlefish as "vulnerable," a ranking between "near threatened" and "endangered." But because the Grand Lake population is robust, and CITES recognizes that a resource's monetary value is a motive for managing it sustainably, ODWC was granted permits to export caviar. The agency is now among the biggest wholesalers of roe in North America. Buyers come from around the globe, especially Asia.