help save the nechako white sturgeon

Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative (NWSRI)

Dwelling in deep pools of the Nechako River is a survivor from the age of the dinosaurs - the Nechako white sturgeon. This mysterious creature is the largest freshwater fish in Canada, and has existed relatively unchanged for millions of years – surviving volcanic eruptions, ice ages and climatic upheavals. But the Nechako white sturgeon is now swimming in a current of change that is taking it to the very brink of extinction. It is ranked as Critically Imperiled by the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre and is an Endangered Species according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

In the last 50 years, the Nechako white sturgeon population has dropped from what some scientists believe was a minimum of 5000 fish to less than 300. And the vast majority of those fish are more than 40 years old. The lack of younger fish means that sturgeon are either not reproducing successfully or that the young are not surviving to adulthood. As sturgeon do not begin spawning until they are 20 to 40 years old, the lack of young sturgeon in the Nechako means that an entire generation is already missing.

But it is not too late! With your help, and the help of other concerned citizens, organizations and governments, the Nechako white sturgeon can be saved.


Hot off the press - the 2015-2016 Annual Report of the NWSRI is now available. Learn more about the projects both the TWG and CWG have been working on > Download Report




Monday-Friday: 2pm

Sat/Sun: 10am and 2pm

NOTE: Mon-Tue-Wed and Sun tours include viewing inside the hatchery! Meet our guides at the main door of the Conservation Centre (by the benches). Have fun! Please note that there is limited parking space at the Conservation Centre, please plan to park at Riverside Park, or by the Nechako River at the boat launch area.


July 25, Aug 8, 22 and Sept 5 - 2pm
Walking tours along the Nechako River are being offer every second Tuesday during the summer, starting July 25. Meet at the boat launch at 2pm (off of Burrard Street under the bridge), and the NWSCC Tour Guides will lead you along the Riverside Nature Trail to the Observation Tower in Riverside Park. The tour ends back at the NWSCC for a look at the big sturgeon. The walking tour is about 20-40 minutes, and you will hear about river ecology, sturgeon habitat and much more!

These tours are part of the Rio Tinto sponsored internships at the NWSCC this year. This is a two year project.

Spencer and Alyssa will be happy to lead you through these Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre tours. Funding for these tour guide/intern positions has been generously provided by Rio Tinto through their Donations and Sponsorships Program, which contributes to community-building initiatives in their host communities. Funding is dedicated for a program to increase opportunities for those interested in career paths in the fields of fisheries, fish culture or teaching for people in the communities of the Nechako Watershed.  

Spencer and Alyssa NWSCC tour guides
Spencer and Alyssa, the NWSCC 2017 summer tour guides!


One way for you to be a part of the recovery process of Nechako white sturgeon is to support us through donations and/or picking up some great souvenirs! We have lapel pins, sturgeon stuffies, and t-shirts. Check with our tour guides for prices.

NWSRI lapel pins.
Gold plated and pewter lapel pins for sale.

School Tours - If you would like to book a tour for your classroom, please email the NWSCC tour guides: or and they will do their best to accomodate your class before the end of the school year. Please note however, that tours from now until the end of June will be outside only, due to biosecurity issues for the young sturgeon. 



Every Sturgeon Counts!  Learn about our Emergency Sturgeon Live Release Boat Kit Program.

Download our most recent annual report.

For more information on any of our programs please visit the individual web page tab. 


CONGRATULATIONS!! On January 31st 2008, at the regional Premier's Awards in Prince George, the NWSRI won a Silver Award in recognition of our our teamwork and success in promoting white sturgeon stewardship and work towards recovery of the population.

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