In recent years, Lake Sturgeon have received an increased level of attention due to its status as a species at risk throughout North America. In Canada, the species has been designated as endangered in five of eight Designatable Units by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and is under consideration for listing under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act.
NSC has extensive expertise with Lake Sturgeon, having conducted studies in numerous large rivers to assess: fine-scale spawning patterns and habitat suitability; larval hatch and drift; juvenile abundance and distribution; adult abundance and distribution; movement and habitat utilization; passage; entrainment; wild versus hatchery contributions; population size and trajectory; recruitment patterns; and, population viability modelling. NSC has also assisted with the design and implementation of spawn collection from the Burntwood River for stocking purposes, and with high-resolution genetic studies that have dramatically improved the understanding of Lake Sturgeon historical population structure and contemporary gene flow in large riverine systems. NSC recently published peer-reviewed manuscripts related to the relative contributions of age-1 and age-0 stocked fish, and the design of a sampling methodology for juvenile Lake Sturgeon. Company personnel also authored the 2016 COSEWIC status report on Lake Sturgeon.