Seasonal lake sturgeon releases nears 8,000 fish in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and several partners released more than 7,800 juvenile lake sturgeon into various public waters across the state this summer and fall in an effort to rehabilitate this culturally significant fish species.

The juvenile fish were collected from the wild last spring and reared in streamside facilities until they reached at least seven inches or larger in size. Most fish were tagged prior to being released into their respective rivers to allow future evaluations of stocked fish.

“Many of these stocking efforts were public events that shined a spotlight on how important lake sturgeon are to Michigan,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Our state has a long history with lake sturgeon, and working with our partners helps us protect the species for future generations.”

These annual stocking efforts are critical to restoring the state’s lake sturgeon population. It takes the work of many partners to secure funding and resources to make the restoration possible. These partners include: the DNR, Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Kalamazoo River Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish band of Pottawatomi Indians, Gun Lake Tribe, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan State University, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service.