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.
RECENT STURGEON NEWS AND NWSRI PROGRAMS
A RECOVERY FACILITY FOR NECHAKO WHITE STURGEON!!
The sun shone and the geese and swans flew overhead as years of dedication by Community and Technical working group members was realized in a public announcement made Wednesday April 10th at 11 am at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof – The Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Facility is going to become a reality!
The facility will allow us to produce, raise and release up to 12,000 juvenile sturgeon each year back into the Nechako River. Our hope is that these fish will be past the stage of recruitment failure identified by our Technical Working Group and therefore a greater number will survive to breeding age.
As always, the NWSRI remains committed to identifying, maintaining and potentially restoring critical sturgeon habitat. Our ultimate goal is to find the more permanent solutions required to achieve a self-sustaining sturgeon population. We also celebrate the immense achievement the recovery facility provides for Nechako white sturgeon recovery and the maintenance of genetic diversity – this announcement came at a critical time for the future survival of Nechako white sturgeon. We thank everyone involved in making the recovery facility a reality!
To view the CKPG newstory, click this link: http://ckpg.com/vanderhoof-hatchery-made-permanent-video
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.