Sturgeon facing predation challenges in the Nechako

Vanderhoof Omineca Express –

The sturgeon hatchery are putting a cap to the number of fish they will release next year, but will be releasing chinook fry at the same time.

“Our community is aware that we are having predation challenges with our sturgeon, especially the juveniles that are in there,” Wayne Salewski, chair of the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative said.

He said the biggest challenge for the sturgeon is with otter and otter families in particular. The hatchery is trying to adapt in different ways including growing larger fish so that they have a better chance of survival.

“So that is a work in progress,” he said.

As a result, next year’s release which will take place in the first week of May, is being capped at 200 super size fish. These fish are more than 60 cm in size so they have a better chance of reaching adulthood and don’t have an otter tied to their food chain, he said.

Because they have reduced the number of sturgeon being released next year, the hatchery is partnering with Spruce City Fish and Game Club in Prince George, who are giving 1500 chinook fry to be released at the same time, Salewski said.

“This will be part of the release with our school kids and the community next year.”

Read more