UNBC Masters student reels in BC Freshwater Fisheries scholarship

January 17, 2019
Luc Tucotte
Luc Turcotte with rainbow trout, Elbow Lake near Kamloops B.C.

For Luc Turcotte, a love of the outdoors led to fly fishing, and his passion for connecting with nature led to a decision to pursue his Masters in Natural Resource Science at the University of Northern British Columbia.

“One of my hobbies is fly-fishing, so that meshed very well with pursuing a Master’s of Science in fish,” Turcotte explains. “Generally a lot of my hobbies are outdoor based – biking, canoeing, camping, all that kind of stuff. I’m very outdoor based and Prince George definitely offered a lot of that. It ticked a lot of boxes when I was looking for a university.”

Turcotte is partway through his second year of graduate studies at UNBC under supervisor Dr. Mark Shrimpton, who encouraged Turcotte to apply for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. scholarship. The scholarship is designed to recognize “outstanding commitment to academic pursuits in the field of freshwater fisheries.”

Of 20 applicants, Turcotte was selected to be one of four recipients of a $1,500 grant that will go a long way in helping him during his final year of research on coho salmon and their habitat in the Coldwater River near Merritt, B.C. In the fall of 2018, Turcotte conducted field research, harvested approximately 2,500 coho embryos, and brought them to a lab at UNBC. He is studying the effects of different levels of oxygen on incubation development of the coho eggs.

The field research is an extension of Turcotte’s passion for river fishing.

“My favorite kind of fishing is river fishing, so you get to walk around in the river a lot,” says Turcotte. “And it’s always different every time you go out. The river is never the same, it’s always changing depending on the time of year. It’s just a way to enjoy being outdoors, and I’d rather be outside than inside.”

To be able to combine that passion with an education is an exceptional opportunity.