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Sturgeon hatchery construction half complete
Construction of the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre in Vanderhoof has reached the halfway point.
The facility is on track to begin operating in the spring of 2014.
The conservation centre is one of the key components in a multi-pronged recovery plan for the Nechako white sturgeon. The Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative’s (NWRSI), technical working group has prepared a recovery plan for the species that includes not only a sturgeon conservation hatchery but a comprehensive research program that aims to identify and remove survival bottlenecks for wild sturgeon and improve the health of the Nechako watershed for sturgeon and other species.
“We are pleased with the progress of the facility and I’m very excited that this coming spring the conservation centre staff will be capturing brood stock (mature male and females) and raising the group of young sturgeon,” community working group Chair Brian Frenkel said in a press release,
Frenkel stressed, however, that the fight to rehabilitate sturgeon spawning habitat is far from over.
“While the Sturgeon Conservation Centre is a key component of the sturgeon recovery plan, it alone will not save the species,” he said. “It is important that all the research and habitat projects continue with the goal to identify issues that can be resolved”
The construction and operation of Conservation Centre is the responsibility Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., a private, non-profit fisheries services organization.
“I am excited to see this project well on its way, not only will the new facility produce young sturgeon to rebuild the population, it will serve as a centre for white sturgeon research in the north,” said Cory Williamson, facility manager for Freshwater Fisheries B.C.