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University of Northern BC student earns Freshwater Fisheries scholarship

As they start a new school year this month, three students from throughout BC are being supported to take their studies further with a $1,500 scholarship from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Coming from a variety of programs, these students are striving for excellence in the field of freshwater conservation and are working towards the long-term sustainability of freshwater ecosystems throughout the province. Siobhan Striegler Klassen, a 2023 scholarship recipient, was inspired to specialize in aquatic science by her work with the Nechako White Sturgeon.

Born and raised in Vanderhoof, Striegler Klassen grew up on the shores of Sinkut Lake, where she developed a love of water and the life it breathes into the landscape. She was inspired to work in the field of freshwater conservation after a job posting for an Outreach and Research Assistant position at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre was sent to her independently by each parent – who didn’t know the other had sent it.

“I have always loved the outdoors, and from a young age I have spent my time hiking, canoeing, swimming and of course, fishing with my family and friends,” said Striegler Klassen. “My first summer at the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre I learned more about and gained such a deep passion for the Nechako White Sturgeon. I not only learned the facts about the sturgeon, but I also learned of their quirks. In those first two months, I essentially fell in love with the Nechako White Sturgeon.”

In her second year at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, Striegler Klassen is majoring in Physical Geography with a minor in Environmental Science and she plans to specialize in water and aquatic science.

Striegler Klassen has worked for the Nechako White Sturgeon Conservation Centre for three summers. For the first two summers, she worked as a Research and Outreach Assistant. Most recently she worked as an Outreach and Junior Research Technician where she was involved in the Brood Stock Capture, Spawning, and Spawn Monitoring programs.

“I loved learning about water and how it shapes landscapes, the patterns and scars it leaves on the earth and how essential healthy waterways are for not only their occupants, but for the other wildlife and humans that rely on them. I plan to specialize in water and aquatic science and to gain as much experience as I can throughout my post-secondary studies to follow a career path that keeps me outside and benefits the environment,” said Striegler Klassen.

“It is always a pleasure to support students who have chosen freshwater fisheries conservation as their field of study and future career. They bring innovative perspectives to the field and are committed to the long-term sustainability of our freshwater ecosystems,” said Tammy Longbottom, Director, Human Resources, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. “The high calibre of applications for these scholarship opportunities was very impressive. We are fortunate to have so many people committed to this field.”

Scholarships were also awarded to Nicole Ure of BCIT and Lauren Aghabozorgi of Selkirk College.

Since 2008, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has awarded $84,500 in scholarships to 51 students at various levels of post-secondary study. The scholarships recognize outstanding commitment to academic pursuits in the field of freshwater fisheries and are available to students enrolled in fish culture or natural resource management programs within a recognized post-secondary education institution in British Columbia. Applicants must have completed at least their first year of post-secondary studies and plan to continue as a student, with the intent of establishing a career in BC. Students at all levels of post-secondary study are eligible.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization, funded mainly through freshwater fishing licence revenues. In partnership with the Province, the Society annually stocks six million trout, char and kokanee in 800 B.C. lakes. It also manages special hatchery programs for endangered species including white sturgeon, conducts fisheries research, education and conservation programs, and works to make angling more accessible for all. To find out more, visit


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