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2,600 juvenile sturgeon released into Kootenay River near Creston

The former West Creston ferry landing was the site of a public juvenile sturgeon release on Wednesday...
The annual sturgeon release was a popular event on Wednesday at the former West Creston ferry landing.

The annual sturgeon release at the former West Creston ferry landing was a popular event on Wednesday, when spectators and participants packed the area for the chance to release a juvenile white sturgeon into the Kootenay River.

A total of 2,600 were released, with Creston area schools placing 1,600 into the river in the morning, and the public releasing 1,000 following the arrival of the Rick Hansen Relay.

The release is an attempt to repopulate the dwindling species in the Kootenay River in Canada and the U.S. About 25 per cent will survive the next six months. Of those, 80 per cent will survive the next year, and 90 per cent of those will survive the following year.

The annual sturgeon release event is supported by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (a partnership between BC Hydro, the province of B.C. and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Ktunaxa Nation council, Lower Kootenay Indian Band, Canadian Columbia River Inter-tribal Fisheries Commission, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI) and FortisBC.