The Technical Working Group, in partnership with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the District of Vanderhoof are pleased to announce that this second year of the pilot conservation fish culture program for Nechako White Sturgeon has been a success so far. During May, 8 adult sturgeon (4 males & 4 females) were were collected and transported to Prince George for spawning. The largest female, Anna, was an impressive 9 feet long and weighing 325 pounds.
Personnel from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (FFSBC) began the spawning process in late May. The eggs from 3 of the females were separately fertilized with the milt from 3 of the males in order to provide the greatest genetic diversity. The eggs, larvae and juveniles will be reared as three separate family groups in Vanderhoof until October of this year after which up to 3000 juveniles will be released back to the Nechako. These juveniles represent the beginning of the future for the highly endangered Nechako Stock. Each juvenile will be marked prior to release to aid identification if they are captured again.
After spawning, all the adults except Anna were released back to the Nechako River. On Friday, June 1st, a public event was held to watch Anna be returned to the river. Over 400 people attended the event, and everyone got to see this 100 years old and 325 lb fish up close! She was a magnificent sight to see, the crowd squeeled as she splashed the front row observers, then they shouted in chorus, "Goodbye Anna" when she was finally returned to her home. Pictures from this significant event are shown below.
The Recovery Initiative is planning a big release event in October for the juvenile sturgeon that are being reared in Vanderhoof. Please stay tuned for more information!
Special thanks to staff from Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the District of Vanderhoof for their invaluable contributions in making this critical conservation initiative a reality under very short timelines. Funding for this project was provided by the Ministry of Environment, Alcan, the Freshwater Fisheries Society and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.
Eagerly awaiting the first glimpse of Anna
The crowd is duly impressed by her size,at 9 feet long and 325lb!
Anna demonstrates her might and gets quite a few people wet!
Capturing a photograph of a large sturgeon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many!
Anna is release by Henry Klassen, Mike Keehn, Cory Williamson, Jeff Geisbrect, John Rustand, and Jako Prince
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