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Indigenous name chosen for largest sturgeon captured by Vanderhoof hatchery

Ts’eketi means very respected female elder
Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative selected Ts’eketi as the name for the largest Nechako white sturgeon in recent history. (Nechako White Sturgeon Recovery Initative/Facebook)

A white sturgeon believed to be the largest captured in recent history from the Nechako River now has a name.

The Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre (NWSCC) in Vanderhoof recently announced the name they selected for the female weighing 335.9 pounds - Ts’eketi.

The name has been derived from the Nadleh-Stella Whut’enne dialect meaning a very respected female elder.

Ts’eketi is believed to be around 100 years old.

Michelle Walsh submitted it in a Facebook naming contest launched last month, generating more than 200 comments.

“I am so honored,” Walsh wrote on Facebook after NWSCC said her suggested name was chosen.

“What a resilient lady she is in serving all the dam related and habitat related issues. Thank you for all your efforts to assist in their recovery.”

Ts’eketi was caught during NWSCC’s broodstock capture program. NWSCC said wild adult sturgeon in breeding condition are captured to use to seed their hatchery program for the upcoming year.

Before being released back into the river, NWSCC junior research and outreach technician Jordan Cranmer said Ts’eketi was spawned, producing thousands of eggs.

She has grown since her previous capture in 2011, when she weighed 284.4 pounds and had a total length of 243.6 cm or nearly 8 feet.

“They get quite a bit larger in other areas but she’s really the maximum of what we’ve seen in our watersheds,” Cranmer said.

Runner ups in the Facebook-driven naming contest include Stella, SARA, Scuty Pie and Mommy Sweetheart.

Ts’eketi outweighed a female sturgeon clocking in at 320.9 pounds that was spawned in 2007.

Read More: Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

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