Conservation Aquaculture

To supplement existing wild populations in the upper Columbia River, juvenile hatchery reared White Sturgeon have been released annually since 2002. These fish  are the progeny of wild  broodstock (a group of mature fish collected for breeding) collected in the Columbia that are spawned, their eggs fertilized and hatched, and the larvae/juveniles are reared at hatchery facilities in British Columbia and Washington. Most have been released as 5 to10 month old juveniles, although there have been some experimental releases of fed (35 days old) and unfed (2 days old) larval sturgeon downstream of Revelstoke Dam. Since 2010, supplementation in the US portion of the Upper Columbia River has relied solely on the capture of wild larvae, rearing these individuals in the hatchery, and releasing them as juveniles.

As of 1 January 2012, approximately 164,585 hatchery juveniles have been released into the upper Columbia recovery area  In addition, 1,454,010 larvae have been released downstream of Revelstoke Dam. All juveniles have been marked using a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag as the primary mark and scute removal as a secondary mark.

Follow this link to hatchery photo gallery, where many tasks are described with imagery. You may also preview or download the conservation aquaculture fact sheet in PDF form here.