Enjoy a tour of Black River sturgeon hatchery Aug. 25

Curious to learn more about one of Michigan’s most interesting fish species? Drop by the Black River sturgeon hatchery Saturday, Aug. 25, for a tour and the opportunity to hear from fish research experts.

The tours, coordinated by the DNR, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon For Tomorrow, are free of charge. They’ll run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the hatchery facility, northwest of Onaway in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber Dam. (From M-68 2 miles west of Onaway, take Black River Road (F-05) north to Twin School Road, then west a little over 3 miles to the hatchery, which is on the north side of the road just before the dam.)

Researchers from the DNR and MSU will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon biology, reproductive ecology and the current year’s research. Sturgeon for Tomorrow representatives will discuss work being done to restore sturgeon spawning habitat, sturgeon conservation and outreach programming.

“While on the tour, visitors will see 3-month-old lake sturgeon currently in the hatchery, and learn about early life history and how we can all play a role to keep healthy populations of this fish in our waters,” said Dave Borgeson, the DNR’s Northern Lake Huron Unit supervisor.

The streamside rearing facility is an important component of lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in the Cheboygan River watershed. Research conducted at the facility increases our understanding of lake sturgeon, thanks to DNR, federal, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Sturgeon for Tomorrow funds. The research provides much-needed guidance for managers involved in lake sturgeon recovery efforts, while improving the effectiveness of lake sturgeon culture and stocking efforts.

Sturgeon fingerlings reared at the hatchery are scheduled to be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake Aug. 25, after tours conclude.

For more information on lake sturgeon and becoming involved in rehabilitation efforts, visit sturgeonfortomorrow.org or michigan.gov/sturgeon, or contact Dave Borgeson (DNR), 989-732-3541 or Brenda Archambo (Sturgeon For Tomorrow), 231-625-2776.