Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: DFO-17-PPAC-00012

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. DFO-17-PPAC-00012 is issued.

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

Activities consist of the following: i) Capture and retain, using setlines and angling of up to 32 mature White Sturgeon (12 ripe females and 12 ripe males and up to 8 maturing females) annually for use in producing juveniles through the conservation aquaculture program. Select captured fish will be transported to the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre, where up to 12 mature females and 12 mature males may be held a maximum of 6 weeks and released after spawning. Up to 8 Maturing fish may be held at the hatchery up to two years. ii) Implant annually up to 30 adult White Sturgeon in excess of conservation aquaculture purposes with radio or acoustic transmitters to track their movements and behaviour during and outside of the spawning season. All White Sturgeon captured will be assessed (length, weight, health, age), PIT tagged and have fin ray sections removed. iii) Capture of wild egg and larval White Sturgeon to confirm spawn timing and distribution, as well as to contribute to the conservation aquaculture program. Up to 20-30 one-metre square mats will be deployed for capturing eggs and larvae. Captured eggs and larvae will be transported to the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre.

Start Date: 2017-04-26   End Date: 2019-11-15

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) and ii) This ongoing research and monitoring provides data which are required for conservation and management of this population. Research goals align with conservation aquaculture goals included in the national recovery strategy for the species and which included consideration of alternatives. Conservation aquaculture and research activities and alternatives were discussed and developed with technical experts that are members of the Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative. iii) Live capture of wild-spawned eggs and larvae for conservation aquaculture 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. Juvenile supplementation is part of the recovery strategy for this population which lacks wild juvenile recruitment. b) Measures to minimize impact: The proposed approaches and methods were developed and applied over multiple years of standardized research data and egg/larvae collection. They 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. The proposed work is not expected to negatively impact White Sturgeon or its habitat, and the residence concept does not apply to White Sturgeon. c) Effects on survival and recovery: None of the activities are anticipated to jeopardize survival or recovery of Nechako Upper Columbia River population. Activities inform existing knowledge gaps, to contribute to the annual production of juvenile white sturgeon and to augment a population that is experiencing chronic recruitment failure.

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