This juvenile green sturgeon was captured, tagged and released back into the Sacramento River near Corning in California. (Steve Martarano - U.S. Fish and Wildlife)

Rare green sturgeon sighted near Port Renfrew

‘It’s a pretty rare phenomenon,’ says Port Renfrew resident

Ron Laidman was walking along a path overlooking the San Juan River, near Port Renfrew, last month when a movement in the water caught his eye.

“It was a big slow circle in the water,” he said.

He was confident he knew what it was right away, and once home, confirmed it: a green sturgeon.

“It’s a pretty rare phenomenon when you do see them. I’ve never seen [sturgeon] in the river,” said Laidman, owner of Remote Renfrew Riverside Retreat.

Over the next week, he spotted three separate green sturgeon – ranging in size from one to three metres – in the San Juan River estuary.

The fish is only found along the west coast of North America, from Alaska to California. They are protected under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

Green sturgeon sightings are rare along the B.C. coast, the federal Fisheries Department said in an email statement. “Every few years,” mostly in the spring, they’re spotted in the Gold, Sooke and San Juan river systems.

They are a long-lived, slow-growing fish, and are vulnerable to many stressors and threats, including blocked access to spawning grounds and habitat degradation.

Green sturgeon are an anadromous fish, which means they can live in both fresh and saltwater. They have a relatively complex life history that includes the spawning and juvenile rearing in rivers followed by migrating to saltwater to feed, grow, and mature before returning to freshwater to spawn.

They are smaller than their larger cousins, the white sturgeon, growing to about 2.3 metres and generally range in colour from olive to dark green.

ALSO READ: Family recounts ‘experience of a lifetime’ catching huge sturgeon



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

DFOFishPort Renfrew

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

Most Read