When it comes to the Nechako River, there’s soon going to be even more fish swimming its waters.

Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and members of the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative are looking to continue their efforts as they look forward to an upcoming release event.

The Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative will see over 400 school children from the Nechako Watershed each name and release a hatchery-reared one-year-old juvenile Nechako white sturgeon into the river. The event will also have the students circulate through a number of educational booths that focus on different aspects of fish biology, river ecology, the Nechako watershed and research conducted by the NWSRI’s Technical Working Group partners.

In November 2003, the white sturgeon was downgraded in ranking from a species of special concern to endangered. On August 24, 2006, the white sturgeon populations of the Nechako, Upper Fraser, Kootenay, and Columbia were officially designated as endangered under the Federal Species at Risk Act. A survivor from before the time of the dinosaurs and a species relatively unchanged for 175 million years, this fish has, in the last 50 years, come to the brink of extinction.

The sturgeon that will be let into the Nechako River are on average 150 grams and were reared at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre in Vanderhoof.

The release event will take place on May 3, 2019, at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof.