Kits in progress to aid sturgeon release

The Nechako White Sturgeon Initiative (NWSRI) are working on creating 20 kits to aid fisher families in five first nation bands.

The Nechako White Sturgeon Initiative (NWSRI) are working on creating 20 kits to aid fisher families in five first nation bands.

The kits have come about after outreach activities with the bands revealed that sturgeon sometimes get caught in nets when families are fishing for salmon.

“The Sturgeon is a big fish and it can rip apart and wreck the nets – even if it just rolls up in the net and entangles itself with the scoots (sharp points along body) and the fins…instead of unrolling it which may be impossible – they have to cut the net,” said Brian Frenkel, Chair of the NWSRI Community Working Group.

“So we want them to release the fish if it is still alive and hopefully the kit will help with the damaged net,” he said.

The kits are still being finalized and will be worth around $200 when finished.

“Right now the kits contain such things as a knife, a soft measuring tape, mending kits, gloves, electrical tape, pliers, and a waterproof camera so they can take a picture of one of the fish and the damage,” said Frenkel.

“But we’re still working with first nations to determine exactly what they need in the kit,” he said.

The NWSRI is also hoping to produce a video that will go along with each kit and will show how to get the fish out of the net.

“This problem with by-catch is one of the issues that we can help with,” said Frenkel.

“Every fish is important and if it saves one or two fish a year, then it’s a good win for everybody,” he said.