Taxonomically Questionable Stickleback drawing by Charlie Boulet
Stickleback drawing by Charlie Boulet

We're all about the little fishes...

The fish known collectively as “stickleback species pairs” are small, freshwater fish descended from the marine threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Their recent and unique evolutionary history has been of considerable scientific interest and value.

Stickleback species pairs are restricted to specific coastal lakes in the Georgia Basin, British Columbia. Present occurrence is three lake systems - two on northern Texada Island and one on Nelson Island.

Historically, species pairs also existed in Hadley Lake, Lasqueti Island, and in Enos Lake, Vancouver Island. The species pair in Hadley Lake went extinct following introduction of brown bullhead. The species pair in Enos Lake has been reduced to a hybrid swarm following introduction of signal crayfish.

NO Spiny Crawfish - Keep foreign species out!
NO Brown Bullhead - Keep foreign species out!

The destruction of the healthy populations of these stickleback species pairs in two out of only five small coastal lake systems has brought home the importance of protecting the remaining occurrences. It is clear species pairs are extremely sensitive to the introduction of foreign species to the lakes. It is thought an increase in water turbidity would also damage species pairs.

Protecting these lakes and their surrounding habitat is a crucial role of the Texada Stickleback Group. Continuous monitoring of the lake and habitat health is critical for early detection of a problem.

NO LIVE BAIT on Texada Island

Please wash all boats and fishing gear and remove FOREIGN PLANTS and ANIMALS before entering Priest Lake watershed or Paxton Lake

Stickleback species pair from Paxton Lake, British Columbia.  Gravid benthic top, gravid limnetic bottom. Photo by Todd Hatfield
Stickleback species pair - Paxton Lake, British Columbia
Gravid benthic top, gravid limnetic bottom
Photo by Todd Hatfield.

Texada Stickleback Group fosters stewardship of stickleback species pairs through:

We assist researchers at all levels and function as a central information resource to increase researcher communications and background knowledge.

Please browse through this site. We hope you will enjoy the abundance of information available on these little fishes.

- Tim Atwood, Coordinator, Texada Stickleback Group

PS: Our plan is to have major new additions to the content of this site pretty well every month for the next year at least. So please come back and look again. If we do not have the stickleback content or links you want, please be sure to contact us and tell us with your comments and any content you would like to see.

Canada Wordmark site funded with help from:
The Government of Canada Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk
Le Programme d'intendance de l'habitat pour les espèces en péril du gouvernement du Canada.

British Columbia Logo site funded with help from:
Ministry of Environment

Holtenwood Computing Logo web site design:
Holtenwood Computing