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Sudden die-off of endangered white sturgeon alarms Canadian biologists

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

When the first spindly, armour-clad carcass was spotted in the fast-flowing Nechako River in early September, Nikolaus Gantner and two colleagues scrambled out on a jet boat, braving strong currents to investigate the grim discovery.

Days later, the remains of 10 others were spotted floating along a 100km stretch of the river in western Canada.

In total, 11 endangered white sturgeon have mysteriously died in a short period of time, blindsiding biologists, who are trying to save a fish teetering towards extinction.

The species has remained relatively unchanged in 200m years: toothless apex hunters that glide gracefully in a handful of British Columbia’s rivers. To navigate the murky waters, sturgeon gently brush whisker-like barbels that hang from their snout along the gravelly bottom.


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