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

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read