The Inconnu

Description of the Project

An inconnu is a fish that is related to the white fish family. It is locally called a Connie.  When the French explorers came they named the fish inconnu, which means unknown.  The natives called the fish sheefish. The scientific name is Stenodus Leucichthys. The Connie migrate in the Mackenzie river passed Norman Wells NWT located 65 degrees, 17 minutes north by 126 degrees, 51 minutes west.

1) Set the fish net from the 14th of July to the 9th of September. Set it in the  Mackenzie River from the shore in Norman Wells.
2) Check the net everyday and recover the fish.
3) Take a scale sample from near the dorsal fin and put it in the sample package. Record the fish number on the scale package.
4) Weigh the fish in kilograms and record the result.
5) Measure the fork length in centimeters. Record the result.
6) Cut the fish open and determine the gender. Record the result.
7) In the lab use a microscope to determine the age of the fish.
a) Clean the scales.
b) Select the best scales.
c) Mount on slide.
d) Count the growth rings or annuli.

Thank you to Richard Popko (wildlife technician with Government of the Northwest Territories) for helping me age the fish and use the lab. Richard was also involved with designing the project.
Thank you to Wes Hodgson and Keith Hickling for helping me capture the fish and take samples.


Policy 4.1.2 Animals states:
8 Vertebrate Animals and Cephalopods
8.1 Vertebrate animals, (i.e. fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals,), and
Cephalopods are not to be used in any science fair projects, with the following four exceptions:
(i) Observation of animals in zoological parks, farm animals and pets is permitted.
(ii) Behavioural experiments with positive rewards.
(iii) Projects involving animal experimentation may be conducted under the supervision of research personnel employed by a University, Hospital, Government Organization or Agency,
(iv) Experiments on embryos are subject to the same rules that apply to the animal producing the embryos.

9 Cultural Issues
9.1 YSF Canada recognizes that there are cultural communities within Canada that hold their own values, beliefs, and practices. We encourage any student or mentor from these communities to consult with the YSF Ethics Committee who will work collaboratively, so that projects can be designed which respect both the intent of this policy on animals as well as the culture of the community.

The Ethics Forms for this project have been signed and received at the CWSF 2009.

A member of the Ethics Committee phoned the Delegate who signed off on the project. The student simply inteceded in an existing, annual harvesting of fish for food. The fish were killed by others and would have been killed regardless of whether he was doing a project.  It has been carried out in a far Northern Community where fishing and hunting are the norm under the direction of a wildlife technician, and the appropriate forms have been signed and received.  We will allow this project to participate in the CWSF.