- Description of Needs of the Species / Threats / Habitat Trends / Knowledge Gaps
- Recovery / Critical Habitat
- Upper Fraser River Population
- Nechako River Population
- Upper Columbia River Population
- Kootenay River Population / Activities Likely to Result in the Destruction of Critical Habitat / Schedule of Studies to Identify Critical Habitat
- Basin Overview for each Recovery Population / Implementation
- Activities Permitted by the Recovery Strategy / References Cited
- Appendix A
- Appendix B
- Appendix C - E
- Arrow Lakes Reservoir
- British Columbia
- BC MOE
- British Columbia Ministry of Environment
- Canadian Council on Animal Care
- Canadian Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Commission
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
- Conservation Fish Culture
- Confidence Interval
- Critical Habitat Parcel Approach
- Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
- Community Working Group
- Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Deoxyribonucleic acid
- Designatable Unit
- Environmental Monitoring System
- Environmental Non-governmental Organization
- FDR Dam
- Lake Roosevelt, impounded by Grand Coulee Dam
- Freshwater Fisheries Society of British Columbia
- Fish Health Management Plan
- Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society
- Food, Social, Ceremonial
- HLK Dam
- Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside Dam
- Introductions and Transfers Committee
- Kootenai River White Sturgeon Recovery Team
- Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
- Lower Columbia River
- Lethal Concentration, 50%
- Minimum Viable Population
- Effective Population Size
- National Recovery Team for White Sturgeon
- Nationally Significant Population
- Nephelometric Turbidity Units
- Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative
- Passive Integrated Transponder
- Pacific Science Advice Review Committee
- Population Viability Analysis
- Revelstoke Dam
- River Kilometer
- Species at Risk Act
- Strategic Environmental Assessment
- Total Gas Pressure
- Technical Working Group
- UC T&H
- Upper Columbia River Sturgeon Capture, Transport and Handling Manual
- Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative
- United States of America
- Variable Flow Flood Control
- Hatchery Manual for White Sturgeon
- Young of Year
Table D-1. Glossary (with two columns: “Term” and “Definition”) for the following 68 terms (read from top to bottom): Abiotic; Accumulated Temperature Unit (ATU); Action Plan; ALR Arrow Lakes Reservoir; Aquatic Species; Beneficial Use; B.C. MOE; Biological Function, Feature and Attribute; Biotic; Biotic Diversity; Bycatch; Competent Minister; Conservation Fish Culture; COSEWIC; Critical Habitat; Dam-Affected System; DFO; Ecological; Ecosystem; Effective Population Size (Ne); Endangered species; Environmental stochasticity; Exemption; Existing Facilities; Extinct species; Extirpated species; FDR; Fecundity; Federal Land; Fish; Food, Social, Ceremonial (FSC); Habitat; Habitat for Aquatic Species; Habitat Variable or Feature; HLK Dam; Hydraulic Condition; Hydrograph; Important habitat Non-SARA Listed Populations; Individual; Invasive / Non-Native Species; Life Stage (Spawning, Incubation, Yolk sac, larvae, Larvae, Early Juvenile, Late Juvenile and Adult); List; Migration; National Recovery Team for white sturgeon; Overwintering; Physical Habitat; Population Viability Analyses; Precautionary Approach; Prey; Prohibitions; Recovery; Recovery Strategy; Recruitment; Recruitment Failure; Regulated River; Regulation; Residence; REV Dam; SARA; SARA Public Registry; Self-Sustaining; Spawning; Substrates; Species at Risk; Status Report; Survival; Threats; Threatened species; Turbidity.
|Abiotic||Not associated with or derived from living organisms. Non-living chemical and physical factors in the environment. Abiotic factors in an environment include such items as sunlight, temperature, wind patterns, and precipitation.|
|Accumulated Temperature Unit (ATU)||A unit of measurement used to describe the cumulative effect of temperature over time.|
|Action Plan||Means an action plan included in the Species at Risk Act (SARA) public registry and includes any amendment to it included in the public registry. A document that establishes the activities that may be undertaken to meet the objectives outlined in the recovery strategy for a wildlife species.|
|ALR||Arrow Lakes Reservoir.|
|Aquatic Species||A wildlife species that is a fish as defined in section 2 of the Fisheries Act, or a marine plant as defined in section 47 of the Act.|
|B.C. MOE||British Columbia Ministry of Environment.|
|Beneficial Use||Beneficial use in the context of this recovery strategy means use of white sturgeon, if and when feasible, in Aboriginal Food, Social, and Ceremonial fisheries, and recreational fisheries, including those with and without retention (harvest).|
|Biological Function, Feature and Attribute||A biological function is a characteristic of critical habitat that corresponds to a biological need or life process requirement of the species such as spawning, rearing, feeding and migration. Every function is the result of a single or multiple features which are physical components or conditions of the critical habitat such as riffles, pools, riparian habitat etc. Features describe how the habitat provides the critical function to meet the species needs and are always associated with a function. Attributes provide information about a features that tell us how the feature supports the function necessary for the species life process, for example the attributes of a riffle feature that supports the function of rearing may include substrate size, velocity, water chemistry, prey species and temperature.|
|Biotic||Associated with or derived from living organisms. The biotic factors in an environment include the organisms themselves as well as such items as predation, competition for food resources, and symbiotic relationships.|
|Biotic Diversity||1) the number of different native speciesand individuals in a habitat or geographical area;|
2) the variety of different habitatswithin an area;
3) the variety of interactions that occurbetween different species in a habitat; and,
4) the range of genetic variationamong individuals within a species.
|Bycatch||The incidental catch of a species of fish in a fishery when intending to catch another species of fish.|
|Competent Minister||a) the Minister of Canadian Heritage with respect to individuals in or on federal lands that are administered by that Minister and that are national parks, national historic sites or other protected heritage areas as those expressions are defined in subsection 2(1) of the Parks Canada Agency Act; |
b) the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to aquatic species, other than individuals mentioned in paragraph (a); and
c) the Minister of the Environment with respect to all other individuals.
|Conservation Fish Culture||The artificial production of fish in a hatchery to support recovery in the wild.|
|COSEWIC||Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (www.cosewic.gc.ca); a committee of experts that assesses and designates which wild species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada.|
|Critical Habitat||The habitat necessary for the survival or recovery of a listed wildlife species and that is identified as the species’ critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species.|
|Dam-Affected System||A generic way of describing the Columbia, Kootenay, and Nechako River systems that are regulated by dams. Other anthropogenic factors are also present in these watersheds in particular the Columbia and Kootenay rivers. This term is used to describe the state of the river basin. River regulation is not necessarily the sole cause of recruitment failure but it occurs in systems where significant flow regulation activities occur.|
|DFO||Fisheries and Oceans Canada.|
|Ecological||Of, or having to do with, the environments of living things or with the pattern of relations between living things and their environments; of or relating to the interdependence of organisms.|
|Ecosystem||An ecological community considered together with the nonliving factors of its environment considered as a unit|
|Effective Population Size (Ne)||A term commonly used in the study of population genetics; the effective population size is the size of an ideal population which acts the same as the real population in question, where ideal is defined as: |
(1) no selection;
(2) random mating; and,
(3) random chance of each offspring having a particular parent.
|Endangered species||Facing imminent extirpation or extinction.|
|Environmental stochasticity||Environmental stochasticity refers to variability that result from environmental conditions such as weather. For example, environmental stochasticity leads to underlying variation in populations due to environmentally induced variation in birth and mortality rates. .|
|Exemption||SARA section 83(4) Subsections 32(1) and (2), section 33 and subsections 36(1), 58(1), 60(1) and 61(1) do not apply to a person who is engaging in activities that are permitted by a recovery strategy, an action plan or a management plan and who is also authorized under an Act of Parliament to engage in that activity, including a regulation made under section 53, 59 or 71.|
|Existing Facilities||A structure or ongoing operation that may be impacting species at risk or their habitats that was in place prior to SARA coming into effect or prior to a species being listed.|
|Extinct species||A wildlife species that no longer exists.|
|Extirpated species||Under SARA this is defined as a wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere in the wild. This differs from the biological definition which refers to the loss of distinct subcomponent of a species, irrespective of political boundaries.|
|FDR||Lake Roosevelt, impounded by Grand Coulee Dam.|
|Fecundity||The potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (eggs).|
|Federal Land||Includes any land owned by the federal government, the internal waters and territorial sea of Canada, and reserves and other land set apart for the use and benefit of a band under the Indian Act.|
|Fish||From the Fisheries Act: |
(a) parts of fish,
(b) shellfish, crustaceans, marine animals and any parts of shellfish, crustaceans or marine animals, and
(c) the eggs, sperm, spawn larvae, spat and juvenile stages of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and marine animals.
|Food, Social, Ceremonial (FSC)||An Aboriginal group has a right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes; it takes priority, after conservation, over other uses of the resource.|
|Habitat||The type of environment in which an organism or group of organisms normally lives or occurs; a habitat is composed of and influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors.|
|Habitat for Aquatic Species||Spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply, migration and any other areas on which aquatic species depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes, or areas where aquatic species formerly occurred and have the potential to be reintroduced|
|Habitat Variable or Feature||A specific biotic or abiotic measure of the habitat in question.|
|HLK Dam||Hugh L. Keenleyside Dam.|
|Hydraulic Condition||The interaction of flow and substrate to create a specific habitat feature.|
|Hydrograph||A record of the stage and/or discharge of a river as a function of time.|
|Important habitat; Non-SARA Listed Populations||Habitat that is required to complete essential life stages and may play a key role in survival or recovery of the species.|
|Individual||Includes an individual of a wildlife species, whether living or dead, at any developmental stage and includes larvae, embryos, eggs, sperm, seeds, pollen, spores and asexual propagules.|
|Invasive / Non-Native Species||Species that do not naturally occur in a specific area (e.g. plants or animals) that adversely affect the habitats they invade economically, environmentally or ecologically.|
|Life Stage (Spawning, Incubation, Yolk sac larvae, Larvae, Early Juvenile, Late Juvenile and Adult)||Physical maturation. See recovery strategy text for definitions of specific white sturgeon life stages.|
|List||The List of Wildlife Species at Risk set out in Schedule 1 of SARA.|
|Migration||To move from one place to another for feeding, breeding, etc.|
|National Recovery Team for White Sturgeon||A group of experts that come together to facilitate recovery planning for white sturgeon.|
|Overwintering||To pass through or wait out the winter season, or to pass through that period of the year when “winter” conditions (cold or sub-zero temperatures, ice, snow, limited food supplies) make normal activity or even survival difficult.|
|Physical Habitat||A physical measure of habitat; in streams this often includes depth, velocity, substrate and cover.|
|Population Viability Analyses||A species-specific method of risk assessment frequently used in conservation biology. It is traditionally defined as the process that determines the probability that a population will go extinct within a given number of years.|
|Precautionary Approach||Recognizing that the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.|
|Prey||An animal taken by a predator as food.|
|Prohibitions||A law forbidding an action.|
|Recovery||The process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened or extirpated species is stopped or reversed, and threats reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild.|
|Recovery Goal||A recovery goal sets the strategic course for recovery planning by defining what ‘recovery’ means for each species.|
|Recovery Strategy||A document that outlines the long-term goals and short-term objectives for recovering a species at risk, based on the best available scientific information.|
|Recruitment||Recruitment refers to juveniles of a particular age entering the population. When an individual survives one life stage they are said to recruit to the next stage; recruitment therefore also refers to the process by which individuals survive to the next life stage.|
|Recruitment Failure||Recruitment failure, as used here, refers to the absence of juvenile abundance capable of supporting a sustainable population. Detection of low levels of recruitment is observed in all populations but at levels that are not sufficient to sustain the population. Recruitment failure in many of the SARA-listed white sturgeon populations has been severe and ongoing over a period of at least 25 years.|
|Regulated River||A river or creek in which flow is determined primarily by a major dam.|
|Regulation||A regulation is a rule that indicates how a statute is to be enforced.|
|Residence||The specific dwelling place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or a place that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding, or hibernating.|
|REV Dam||Revelstoke Dam.|
|SARA||Species at Risk Act.|
|SARA Public Registry||The SARA Public Registry web site has been designed to help interested parties better understand Canada's approach to protecting and recovering species at risk, learn about species at risk and what's being done to help them, and get involved in decision making and recovery activities. The Public Registry fulfills the requirement under SARA for the federal Minister of the Environment to establish a public registry for the purpose of facilitating access to SARA-related documents.|
|Self-Sustaining||Maintaining or able to maintain oneself or itself by independent effort.|
|Spawning Substrates||Surfaces on which fish prefer to deposit their eggs.|
|Species at Risk||An extirpated, endangered, threatened species or a species of special concern.|
|Status Report||A report containing a summary of the best available information on the status of a wildlife species, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge and aboriginal traditional knowledge.|
|Survival||The continuation of life or existence.|
|Threats||Plausible mechanisms, caused by human activities, which influence abundance, distribution, and health of white sturgeon.|
|Threatened species||A wildlife species that is likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.|
|Turbidity||The cloudiness of a fluid caused by suspended particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air.|
The white sturgeon is a freshwater fish and is under the responsibility of the federal government and management by the B.C. Ministry of Environment. Four populations of white sturgeon (Nechako River, Upper Fraser River, Kootenay River, and Upper Columbia River) are listed as Endangered under Schedule 1 of SARA. In 2005, DFO and the B.C. Ministry of Environment established a National Recovery Team for White Sturgeon in Canada. Its membership comprises technical experts from DFO, the Province of B.C., First Nations, and the chairs of basin-specific Technical Working Groups, and the Team was tasked with preparing the draft recovery strategy. See the Contributors/Authors section of this document for a list of National Recovery Team Members.
This draft recovery strategy was posted to the DFO Pacific Region Consultation website for a regional consultation from September 16 to October 16, 2009. Online consultations solicited feedback on the draft recovery strategy through discussion guides and feedback forms. In addition to online consultations, community dialogue sessions were held in Castlegar and Prince George in September 2009 where presentations were given on the draft recovery strategy, followed by question and answer periods. Twenty-three people attended the meeting in Castlegar, and six people attended the meeting in Prince George. Notification of the consultations and the community meetings included mail-outs to First Nations, industry stakeholders, ENGOs, government agencies, and other interested parties, notices in local community newspapers, and information on the Pacific Region Consultation website. The draft recovery strategy, and discussion guides and feedback forms were available at the meetings. DFO also received meeting requests and held additional meetings with industry stakeholders, ENGO stakeholders, and First Nations. Feedback was received from industry and ENGO stakeholders, as well as the Province of B.C. No First Nations groups provided written comments, but verbal support of the draft recovery strategy was provided to DFO during the community meetings. All feedback received during this consultation period has been incorporated into the proposed recovery strategy as appropriate.
6Although Duncan Reservoir, Slocan Lake, the lower Kootenay River between Corra Linn and Brialliant Dams, and Revelstoke Reservoir are within the historic range of white sturgeon, recovery of populations in these relatively small waterbodies has been deemed infeasible. There is insufficient data on Kinbasket Reservoir to recommend whether or not the establishment of a self-sustaining population in that area is feasible or recommended.
7 McElhany et al. (2000) were concerned explicitly with Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) populations. Their discussion provides much general guidance, but some of their criteria and definitions have been adjusted for this recovery strategy to remain relevant to the biology of white sturgeon.
8 Priority has been assigned based on professional judgement of the National Recovery Team into one of three groups, from highest to lowest: necessary, primary, secondary.
9 As white sturgeon is a slow-growing, late-maturing, and long-lived species, performance measures were developed that could be measured repeatedly throughout the recovery process. Therefore, performance measures plot the progress toward meeting the stated objectives. The performance measures are presented here as questions, the answers to which can be plotted in time to monitor progress.
10 Two critical habitat area boundaries in the Columbia River (Robson Reach and Brilliant Tailrace) were amended, through consensus of the National Recovery Team, in February 2013 and March 2014, respectively.
11 Coordinate points were digitized using various orthophotos provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The resolution of the various orthophotos varied significantly - ranging from 0.2 m cell size to 24 m cell size. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating the accuracy of the coordinates associated with these points. For geographic coordinate points, their boundary represents the annual high water mark (Hatfield et al. 2012).
Note: For the Fraser River, relative locations are measured as “river kilometers”, which increase from the river mouth (Rkm 0) upstream to the farthest extent possible.
12 Coordinate points were digitized using various orthophotos provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The resolution of the various orthophotos varied significantly - ranging from 0.2 m cell size to 24 m cell size. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating the accuracy of the coordinates associated with these points. For geographic coordinate points their boundary represents the annual high water mark (Hatfield et al. 2012).
Note: For the Nechako River, relative locations are measured as “river kilometers”, which increase from the river mouth (Rkm 0) upstream to the farthest extent possible.
13 Coordinate points were digitized using various orthophotos provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The resolution of the various orthophotos varied significantly - ranging from 0.2 m cell size to 24 m cell size. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating the accuracy of the coordinates associated with these points. For geographic coordinate points, their boundary represents the annual high water mark (Hatfield et al. 2012).
Note: For the Canadian portion of the Columbia River, river kilometres start at Hugh L. Keenleyside Dam (HLK) Dam in Castlegar and increase moving downstream to the Canada/U.S. border (HLK = 0 km, Canada/U.S. border ~ 57.0 km). River kilometres also increase on the upstream side of HLK Dam, starting at 0 km at the dam and increasing to the headwaters of the Columbia River.
14 Coordinate points were digitized using various orthophotos provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The resolution of the various orthophotos varied significantly - ranging from 0.2 m cell size to 24 m cell size. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating the accuracy of the coordinates associated with these points. For geographic coordinate points their boundary represents the annual high water mark (Hatfield et al. 2012), except where otherwise noted for the Kootenay River population where the areal extent is 533 m elevation at the extreme south end of Kootenay Lake to a depth of 100 m (the transition from depositional delta to regular lake bottom). This area includes the Kootenay River downstream from the CP train bridge near rkm 122.
Note: For the Kootenay River, relative locations are measured as “river kilometers”, which increase from the river mouth (rkm 0) upstream to the farthest extent possible.
15 In the critical habitat area for Nechako River White Sturgeon, “Vanderhoof Braided Section” (Figure 15), it is anticipated that the critical habitat occurring within the Nechako Migratory Bird Sanctuary will be protected following publication of a description of the area pursuant to subsection 58(2) of SARA. Critical habitat areas in the Vanderhoof Braided Section that occur outside of the Nechako Migratory Bird Sanctuary will be protected through the SARA Ministerial Order described above.
16 The timelines denoted here represent an estimation of how long each study would take in years. Since some studies are dependent on others, or on specific hydraulic or biological conditions being present, the timelines provided do not specific start and end dates. Flexibility to undertake studies opportunistically as conditions allow should be maintained.
17 Note: information in the Recovery of Lower and Mid Fraser Populations appendix is current to 2009.
*IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: DFO does not assume any responsibility for the quality of information, products or services listed in the Web sites provided above. Users should also be aware that information from external sources is available only in the language in which it was provided.
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