for population Assessment
Lake and Split Lake for the past five years (1992-97). The field program
collects biological and harvest data that the Board uses to assess
the status of the sturgeon population, which they then consider when
making recommendations to domestic fishermen.
Sturgeon stock in this portion of the Nelson River was subject to
an intensive commercial fishery early in the century, which severely
depleted stocks. The fishery opened and closed several times as
stocks recovered somewhat and were then further depleted. The last
period of commercial fishing was stained for twice as long as any
previous fishery, but was exploiting a relatively small remnant
stock. There are some signs that stock was finally starting to deplete
again as the commercial fishery was closed in 1992. Concerns also
arose about the sustainability of the domestic harvest, which is
shared by several Nelson River communities and first nations, resulted
in the creation of the Nelson River Sturgeon Co-Management Board.
estimates for the most intensively harvested
of the sturgeon stock show a steady decline over
the five-year study period. Efforts to reduce harvest have
become increasingly effective over the past five years,
however the stock has declined markedly over this period.
stock now appears to be in need of rehabilitation
before it will be able to meet even the most rudimentary
needs of the local communities.
long time frame required for sturgeon to grow to
maturity and catch able size means that impacts on early
life history stages can take approximately twenty years to
appear. It is still to early to be able to detect some of these
impacts, which should only be appearing in the adult population
now. These impacts may or may not prove significant, however if
they are significant they will add to the problem faced by the already
program is providing information of value for the management of
the fish stock. Recommendations are provided, although it is also
noted that there is little time remaining to implement these recommendations
with any hope of success.