Where they live in BC

Who are the Nechako


White sturgeon are found throughout the Fraser River watershed from the rivers mouth near Vancouver ,all the way upstream to McBride near the Alberta border, a distance of over 1000km. They also occupy many of the larger tributary streams of the Fraser watershed, including the Nechako River.


Information collected, over the last decade, on the movement and genetics of the White Sturgeon in the Fraser River watershed, has yielded some interesting findings.  There appears to be four separate populations of white sturgeon in the Fraser that don’t interbreed, and have all adapted to different sections of the rivershed.

Four Distinct Populations in the Fraser River Watershed

  1. White sturgeon residing below Hell’s Gate.
  2. White sturgeon residing above Hell’s Gate to Quesnel.
  3. White sturgeon residing above Quesnel to the Fraser’s headwaters.
  4. White sturgeon residing in Nechako River , a tributary to the Fraser which joins the Fraser at Prince George .


The Stuart River is the largest tributary to the Nechako River . It contains a number of large lakes, including Takla, Trembleur and Stuart. First Nations, and more recently others, have utilized white sturgeon from the Stuart River watershed. Scientists have not been able to determine the relationship between the sturgeon in the Stuart watershed, and those in the Nechako River, but research is ongoing.

Why do Fraser and Columbia White Sturgeon populations have similar DNA ?

Answer : The Fraser and Columbia river were once joined together before the last ice age. After the ice age, mountains formed separating the two rivers and their fish from intermixing. There have now been a few documented instances of sturgeon migrating from the Columbia to the Fraser.