There are prehistoric giants living among us...
What keeps a legend alive?
Sleek and perfect, the majestic white sturgeon of the Fraser River is the last truly wild population of this species in the world. More than a link to our distant past, the white sturgeon are a key part of our shared future. And that future is in very real danger.
Fraser River white sturgeon have survived virtually unchanged for 65 million years, however it has taken humankind little more than a century to reduce their numbers and threaten their survival.
Dedicated to saving the FraserRiver White Sturgeon
In 1997, a diverse group of committed people came together from a broad spectrum of interests to form a not-for-profit, charitable organization called the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society (FRSCS). Dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of wild Fraser River white sturgeon, we have made great progress identifying and addressing issues that affect the recovery of white sturgeon in the Fraser River watershed using critical data collected through our award-winning, volunteer-driven monitoring and assessment program. Priority areas include: mortality, habitat erosion, technology, and recruitment of juvenile stocks.
In order to produce reliable estimates of the population of Fraser River white sturgeon, novel life history and migration information for the species, and heightened awareness levels in the public regarding the state of this culturally and ecologically significant species, the Society designed a cost-effective monitoring and assessment program. This significant, volunteer-driven program has coordinated activities and in-kind contributions from true stewards of the resource: sport fishing guides, recreational, commercial, and aboriginal fishermen, test fishery and enforcement personnel, and various fishery monitors. The program is supported by sponsorship and grants from provincial, federal, and aboriginal governments, plus non-government institutions, associations, and foundations.
Program volunteers tagged and released over 40,000 live white sturgeon since the program began, within a study area that spans over 185 linear kilometers of river from the Fraser Canyon to the Fraser estuary. The program has resulted in one of the best baseline datasets on sturgeon in the world, creating an internationally recognized population model.
As an environmental stewardship and research organization, the FRSCS brings together leaders, all areas of government and First Nations, commercial and recreational fishing sectors, research and education to work together and make a difference for Fraser River white sturgeon. Guided by the inspiring leadership of founding, and now honourary Chair, Rick Hansen, we focus our resources and talents towards helping the white sturgeon populations in the Fraser River to become strong, healthy and naturally sustainable for future generations.
Did you know? Fraser River white sturgeon:
- Can live for over 150 years, and grow to 6 meters long;
- Have survived two ice-ages; are living in the Fraser River;
- Survive in both fresh and salt water;
- Have captured the imagination of hundreds of students and future ‘sturgeon stewards’, through the FRSCS Sturgeon Education Program;
- Are threatened and need our help!