Let’s speed draw to explore what hydroelectricity is, how we make hydro dams, how these affect the white sturgeon and learn what BC Hydro is doing to protect and restore habitat for these river dinosaurs.
The white sturgeon dwell in the Nechako, Fraser, Kootenay and Columbia Rivers of B.C. They are prehistoric fish and have not changed much in 175 million years. Adult white sturgeon can live to 100 years, reach 6 metres in length and weigh over 600 kg. They live deep in the bottom of our rivers and except for humans, adult white sturgeons have no predators. But despite this, today in B.C. they are endangered. The following are some reasons how and why this has happened.
In summary loss of suitable habitat, food, and historical over-fishing has endangered these river dinosaurs. For more information check out Supporting biodiversity and B.C.'s white sturgeon.
BC Hydro uses the power of falling water to create clean, reliable and renewable electricity. However the creation of hydro dams has had an impact on our natural environment, one species being the white sturgeon. BC Hydro, partnering with others, is researching and undertaking remedial projects to help improve habitat conditions for the white sturgeon. For example the Columbia River Water Use Plan update April 2020 outlines some of these studies to better understand white sturgeon spawning habitat and development. The white sturgeon conservation aquaculture program has been releasing hatchery-raised sturgeon into the Columbia River annually and with great success since 2002.
For more information, read the following:
Many First Peoples honoured the white sturgeon and treated the animal as an equal, deserving of respect, not something to own, buy or sell. Teach your class about the importance of inclusion and consultation with Indigenous Peoples when setting policy and addressing issues of conservation and protection of species. For example, many BC Hydro reservoirs are being negatively impacted by off-road vehicles, illegal fishing and hunting, and littering. A program called the Guardian Watch was formed to address these issues and take action. The Guardian Watch program is a partnership between local First Nations communities, BC Hydro, and Provincial government agencies to raise awareness about cultural heritage and ecological values on BC Hydro reservoirs.
For more information, visit the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program website.
Electrical conservation is a key means to preventing the environmental impacts of increasing electricity demand. By using less and getting smart about our energy use, we can help preserve species, foster biodiversity and protect B.C. If we all work together, we can save our river dinosaurs!
Here are some simple tips to save energy:
1. Turn off unnecessary lights
2. Take shorter showers, preferably five minutes or less
3. Unplug unused electronics
4. Put on a sweater instead of turning up your heat
5. Hang dry your clothes instead of using the dryer
Read more power smart tips on bchydro.com.