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CONNECTING WITH STURGEON

Conservation and sport fishing come together in Harrison Hot Springs

Nearly a century ago, commercial fishing nearly cleaned out sturgeon from the Fraser River system. Today, thanks to extensive research and determined conservation, the numbers — as well as the size —of these prehistoric fish have bounced back.

The return of sturgeon to the Fraser River creates a unique catch-and-release sport fishing opportunity, one that Yves Bisson of the BC Sportfishing Group is happy to be a part of. He hooked his first sturgeon as a child and knew from then he always wanted sturgeon to be a part of his life.

Today, he guides clients near Harrison Hot Springs, connecting people with fish that often exceed eight feet in length and weigh hundreds of pounds.

Sarah Schreier, with the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, says the success of the sturgeon recovery program has, in large measure, been made possible because of the work of many volunteers, including sport anglers who collect important data with every fish caught.

Anglers provide researchers regular data about individual fish, their size and weight and where they live. Each fish caught is tagged before its release. Other anglers who subsequently catch the fish are able to provide scientists valuable information about the species.

Bisson says he is grateful to be a part of an effort that will ensure his children as well as their children will always be able to fish for sturgeon. “They are amazing animals to be around,” Bisson says.

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Bull Trout Fernie

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