Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: DFO-17-PPAC-00008

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. DFO-17-PPAC-00008 is issued.

Scientific research for the conservation of the species
Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

Activities consist of the following: i. Capture of wild and hatchery-origin White Sturgeon (adults and juveniles) for collection of basic biological and stock assessment information required for the ongoing conservation and management of the Upper Columbia population of White Sturgeon; ii. Collection of full gonad samples from 60 hatchery-origin individuals to help further describe the reproductive structure of the hatchery population and to further define the risk that over-represented families present to the wild population; iii. Identification of White Sturgeon from specific over-represented hatchery-origin families towards alleviating unequal family abundance which threatens to overwhelm the genetic balance of the White Sturgeon population and weaken the population’s genetic diversity desirable for recovery; transport over-represented fish and collection of important biological information (sexual maturity, diet, etc.); transfer and disposal; iv. Capture of fertilized embryos and larvae to confirm spawn timing and to contribute to the conservation aquaculture program; and, v. Capture of fertilized embryos for stream-side incubation as part of the conservation aquaculture program required in the Recovery Strategy for the species.

Start Date: 2017-05-07   End Date: 2018-03-31

Issuing Authority: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • British Columbia

Affected Species:

a) Alternatives: i) This ongoing research and monitoring provides data which are required for conservation and management of this population. Research goals align with those of the national recovery strategy for the species whose development included consideration of alternatives. Research activities were discussed and developed with technical experts that are members of the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative. ii) and iii) The technical experts of the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative considered alternatives to the removal of over-represented hatchery-origin individuals and concluded that removal is the best alternative. The alternative of no removal was rejected as it could jeopardize the long-term persistence of the population. The permit holder will identify which of the fish belong to the over-represented families. iv) and v) Live capture of wild-spawned eggs and larvae for streamside rearing is a preferred alternative to hatchery fertilization and rearing of broodstock progeny in that it provides opportunity for greater genetic representation of the wild population. b) Measures to minimize impact: The safe capture, handling and release of embryo/larvae, juvenile, and adult White Sturgeon during activities i), iv) and v) will follow protocols that were developed and applied over multiple years. These protocols are designed to gain valuable stock, biological and life history information from captured fish, and to provide safe handling and release of live fish. Application of the fish handling procedures has seen minimal risk of mortality to captured fish over decades of use. c) Effects on survival and recovery: None of the activities are anticipated to jeopardize survival or recovery of White Sturgeon Upper Columbia River population. All of the activities will inform existing knowledge gaps and activities iv) and v) contribute to the annual production of juvenile white sturgeon meant to augment a population that is experiencing chronic recruitment failure. Activities ii) and iii) will contribute to alleviate unequal family abundance which threatens to overwhelm the genetic balance of the White Sturgeon population and weaken the population’s genetic diversity desirable for recovery.

Contact Person(s)
Species at Risk Program, Pacific Region
200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC
V6C 3S4