Friday May 12, 2023

The Nelson Daily

The Yaqan Nukiy Lower Kootenay Band will release more than one million burbot in a restored wetland in the Creston Valley this year. 

“We hope that by releasing the burbot in the wetlands, that they have a chance to become self-sustaining,” said Norm Allard, community planner for the Lower Kootenay Band. “Their survival rate after being released in rivers and lakes before they are able to feed on their own is disappointing, but the wetlands are warmer with abundant food.” 

Since 2004, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho has been running a burbot hatchery using Canadian brood stock, in cooperation with the government of British Columbia. Now, the descendants of those fish are coming home. 

Burbot is related to cod, but they spend their lives in freshwater. The lobster-like flesh was historically an important winter food for local Indigenous people, Allard noted. 

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