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October 28, 2017 4:31 am

Nechako Sturgeon Release

Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 2:05 PM


Getting set to let one go. – photo William Dobbs

Vanderhoof, B.C.- Hundreds of children from School District 91, were among those on hand at  Riverside Park in Vanderhoof today for the release of young sturgeon into the Nechako River..

The fish have been  growing and thriving  in the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre hatchery.  About one half of the young fish population (1250)  raised at the hatchery were released last month to  coincide with ice-off in the river.  The fish ready for release  are  larger than the initially planned  150-200 gram size, with the average being 550grams and up to 900 grams.   That is much larger than  what most sturgeon predators  on the Nechako encounter, so the survival rates for the young fish should be much better .

The  new releases will also  help fish biologists learn more about juvenile  habitat requirements.  All  released fish have been  tagged with micro chips and 30 have radio transmitters that  can be tracked by boat, plane or fixed stations.

:while we have a fair amount of information about the cause of this decline(in the sturgeon population) and the requirements for successful egg and larval incubation, we need to learn more about the specific steps than can be taken to rebuild  a self-sustaining Nechako sturgeon population” says Cory Williamson, Manager of the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre.  She says the release today  is a step forward on three fronts “We are rebuilding a population, researching the causes of the decline and working with a highly engaged community to fix  the problems for these fish.”

The juvenile fish released today will become mature adults in 30 to 40 years.


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