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West Kootenay Elementary students release 230 endangered juvenile White Sturgeon in Columbia River

By Contributor
May 14th, 2018

Elementary school students from the West Kootenay braved the cold wind and rain last week, to help release approximately 230 endangered juvenile White Sturgeon into the Columbia River in Castlegar.

The students were part of at total of 460 juvenile sturgeon being released in the Canadian portion of the Columbia River; the remaining fish will be released after Critter Day at Beaver Creek Park, south of Trail, this Saturday.

Not all schools planning to attend were able to do so. Two schools in the Grand Forks area had to cancel because of the wet weather and the local evacuation orders. But those students who were able to make it learned about the life cycle of the White Sturgeon, the threat they face, and the efforts underway to help them – including the stocking of juvenile sturgeon. The aquaculture program to help support White Sturgeon is funded by BC Hydro, which has helped release more than 140,000 juveniles since 2000. The survival rate is more than 25%. All of the sturgeon being released were originally collected as eggs and larvae from the Columbia River and come from wild spawning adults.     

The release event was organized by the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program and BC Hydro, with additional funding support from Teck, Fortis BC, and Columbia Power. The juvenile White Sturgeon were raised in the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s hatchery, east of Cranbrook.

Photo Caption: Volunteer helper Kathy Letham, helped keep the mood buoyant during the wet weather experienced at the recent juvenile White Sturgeon release, organized for local school students on May 10. — Submitted


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