“They have outlived the dinosaurs and survived two ice ages, but the Fraser River White sturgeon has almost been wiped out by mankind in the last 100 years.”
-Rick Hansen, Chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
Sturgeon have been dated as far back as 65 million years , to when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The Fraser River is lucky enough to have some of the largest known populations in North America.. However, sturgeon populations in the Fraser River are not what they used to be , but fortunately conservation efforts are helping the issue.
Sturgeon numbers started to diminish in the late 1800s due to overfishing. By the 1900’s the fishery was only one tenth of the original population. Reasons to blame for the decline were over fishing and habitat loss. However, no conservation efforts were established until 1994 just after 34 sturgeon mysteriously washed up along the shore dead. After considerable research, no one could find the answer as to what caused the sturgeon’s demise , but this event jump started sturgeon conservation efforts.
The concern over the status of the species led to a 5-year (1995-1999) Provincial project called the Conservation of White Sturgeon in the Lower Fraser River and the start of catch and release for sturgeon. As a result of this project, the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS) was created. To this day, the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society collects data to research issues that affect the recovery of sturgeon in the Fraser River.
The Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS) has spent more than the past decade investigating issues that affect the recovery of Fraser River white sturgeon using data collected through a volunteer tagging and recapture monitoring program. We are part of the volunteer sturgeon tagging program and tag each sturgeon that we encounter. You will see this process on your sturgeon fishing trip with us.