OTTAWA, Dec. 2, 2019 /CNW/ - The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has reassessed the status of the original St. Lawrence River population of Striped Bass -- one of three distinct populations in Canada -- and concluded that this population is Extinct. The last known original St. Lawrence River Striped Bass was caught in 1968, and the population of Striped Bass that historically lived in the St. Lawrence River is gone, the victim of overfishing and habitat degradation.
A successful stocking program started introducing Striped Bass in 2002 from the Miramichi River in New Brunswick into the -- now healthier -- St. Lawrence River, and this program has established a reproducing population. Importantly, these Miramichi-derived fish come from a separate population of Striped Bass and so are different from the original St. Lawrence River population of Striped Bass.
"A designation of Extinct may seem unusual, but it reflects the reality of the situation," said Nick Mandrak, Co-chair of the Freshwater Fishes Subcommittee. In 2012, COSEWIC assessed the original St. Lawrence River population as Endangered, but the committee later determined that the introduced fish should not be considered part of the original St. Lawrence River population. "This new assessment highlights our commitment to both identify and assess Canadian biodiversity, using rigorous, standardized methods that are applied to the loss of unique populations."
COSEWIC plans to re-evaluate all Striped Bass in Canada in 2022.
Dr. John Reynolds Chair, COSEWIC Department of Biological Sciences Simon Fraser University Telephone: 778-782-5636 [email protected]
For general inquiries: COSEWIC Secretariat Canadian Wildlife Service Environment and Climate Change Canada 351 St. Joseph Blvd, 16th floor Gatineau QC K1A 0H3 Telephone: 819-938-4125 Fax: 819-938-3984 [email protected] www.cosewic.ca
For inquiries on Striped Bass (St. Lawrence River population) Dr. Nicholas E. Mandrak Department of Biological Sciences University of Toronto Scarborough Telephone: 416-208-2248 [email protected]
SOURCE Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada