About 1,000 10-month-old white sturgeon were released into the Kootenay River yesterday afternoon in an annual public event. About 400 Creston Valley schoolchildren released 1,400 in the morning prior to the public release, for a total of 2,400.
The release is part of a plan to help revitalize the endangered species that has been affected by dams along the river. The event is co-ordinated by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (a partnership between the province of B.C., BC Hydro, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), with support from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, FortisBC, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.
Out of every 1,000 sturgeon released, 280 will survive two years, 220 will survive five years and 190 will survive eight years. After 12 years, about 180 are still alive.
The release has been going since 1999.