Conservation Team Discovers 110 Salish Suckers

When A Rocha intern Audrey Epp found a Salish Sucker in the pond at Brooksdale in 2011, it was big news. Everyone thought the fish had been extirpated (locally extinct) from the Little Campbell River watershed. This was the first individual anyone had seen in the watershed in about three decades!

Presentations Slides

This discovery sparked a hunt. The conservation team began surveying the main stem & tributaries of the Little Campbell River, trying to discover if the Sucker was making a comeback. From 2011 to 2016 they caught 39 Salish Suckers, and 2016 saw a total of 15 Suckers in A Rocha traps.

In the spring of 2017 the team took on a new project. Having mapped out where in the watershed the fish were making their homes the question now became: How many Salish Suckers are here?

This question required a mark-recapture study. Spend one week of intense trapping in a small area; mark each fish caught; then return for another week of trapping, looking for repeat catches.

With the tremendous support of biologist Mike Pearson and his team, plus a number of volunteers (former interns & more) the conservation team set to work.

And the results shocked everyone… Watch the presentation by Elise Huculiak (Conservation Intern Fall 2016 & Spring 2017) to learn the results.

Intern Elise with Salish Sucker in Bucket