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 400. 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.

Recovery Projects

The NWSRI has many recovery projects underway that involve hands-on stream-level work, to multi-year research projects. You can read about some of the most recent projects by downloading our 2015-2016 Annual Report. The 2016-2017 Annual report is almost ready, and you can expect it by mid-March 2018.

Resource Connector North Article > View the Magazine

The NWSRI recently was featured in the Resource Connector North Magazine (see page 27). Have a read of this informative article. Thanks to Resource Connector North for the invitation to be in the magazine.

Teacher Input Requested! > Link to Survey

The NWSRI is currently looking for input from teachers on their use and ideas regarding the Nechako White Sturgeon Curriculum resources. We ask all teachers within School District 91 to participate in this quick 9-question survey, even if you have not used any of the curriculum resources in the past.

Nature Guide of the Nechako WatershedAlso for teachers - the Nature Guide and Educational Resource to the Nechako Watershed is now at your school. Please ask your Principal or Librarian about using this resource in your classroom. If you would like additional copies for your school, please contact the NWSRI Coordinator.



Storm Drain Painting Project > Read More

In October, the NWSRI with funding from the Habitat Stewardship Program and Rio Tinto, has partnered with School District 91 and the communities of Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake and Fort St. James to undertake a public education and outreach project for the endangered Nechako white sturgeon. School children painted sturgeon and salmon images at storm drains that will help remind citizens that storm drains lead to fish habitat. Putting hazardous materials, or even soap from washing your car, down storm drains can negatively impact aquatic systems and fish populations including the endangered Nechako white sturgeon. This project will continue in the spring of 2018.

The City of Prince George has resources and great videos about keeping pollutants out of storm drains and some great videos on their website. These are easy videos to follow, and great to show students. 

Where is My Fish?

We have updated the database with all the 2017 student released sturgeon, as well as all the recaptures of student released sturgeon we have caught in the past two years (up to Sept 30, 2017). Have fun exploring the Where is My Fish database for your fish!

Every Sturgeon Counts!

Emergency Sturgeon Live Release Boat Kit are being used now by First Nation fishers to help reduce harm to sturgeon caught as by-catch in the sustenance food fishery. Learn more about this project.

Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre

HATCHERY TOUR Schedule: Call to Book 250-567-6673

Due to lower demand and reduced staff hours in winter, hatchery tours are by appointment only until April 7, 2018. Please call the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre at 250-567-6673 to book your tour (7 days a week as time permits).


Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has posted the 2018 job opportunities for the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre. Go to the FFSBC website for the job descriptions and application information. Applications are due by January 26, 2018.

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. The funding will provide tour guides for the 2018 summer, so make sure to come and see us again next year.


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. 



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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