Client: Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C
Location: Vanderhoof, BC
Date Completed: 2014
Highlights: Complex design required strict control of water quality including especially temperature control and water flow rates. Custom equipment was manufactured to suit the needs of this facility including water treatment and control and monitoring equipment.


The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC developed the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre to try to prevent extinction of this endangered species.

Wild caught brood fish are held in the facility until spawning is complete. Controlled family groupings of young sturgeon are hatched in McDonald jars and reared for one year, first in 0.5 m3 and 1.5m3 combi tanks, then 8 m3 tanks before release. The annual production target is 1800 kg of 150 g juvenile fish.


The facility is comprised of three separate modules. A single tank using Partial Reuse Aquaculture System (PRAS) technologies, a group of 10 tanks using PRAS technologies and a large-scale full Recirculation Aquaculture System.


  • A single tank using Partial Reuse Aquaculture System (PRAS) technologies is used to hold adult fish for one or more years as required to ensure spawning success. The tank is outdoors, while the water treatment is located indoors
  • A group of 10 tanks using PRAS technologies located outdoors is used for holding fresh caught brood fish. This module is also available for trout production after the adult sturgeon have been released.
  • A large-scale full Recirculation Aquaculture System includes 24 incubation and early rearing tanks and 12 late rearing tanks. The young fish are carefully segregated to manage genetics while utilizing common water treatment equipment.

Services Provided

PR Aqua provided the following services: system planning and design, equipment selection and fabrication, tender support, construction review, commissioning, and operational assistance. This project demonstrates PR Aqua’s ability to adapt standard RAS and PRAS technologies to accommodate the needs of non-commercial specialty aquaculture.

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