Michigan bulks up – as in doubling up – sturgeon release numbers

(Michigan DNR)

This spring and summer, the Michigan DNR and several partners released more than 12,000 juvenile lake sturgeon in public waters, part of an effort to rehabilitate this culturally significant fish species, the DNR said in a news release.

This year’s total is twice the number stocked in 2017, according to the DNR.

Lake sturgeon eggs and larvae were collected from the wild in April and May and then reared in streamside facilities until they were large enough to tag. To allow for future evaluations of stocked fish, most fish were tagged before being released.

“Many of these stocking efforts were public events that showcased the importance of lake sturgeon to Michigan, and the partnerships that help us protect them for future generations,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter.

The lake sturgeon is on Michigan’s Threatened Species list. These annual stocking efforts – supported by several important partners who work to secure needed funding and resources – are critical to restoring the state’s lake sturgeon population, the release said. For more information, visit michigan.gov/sturgeon .

The locations, totals, dates and partner agencies (in parenthesis) include:

Allegan County

Kalamazoo River: 35 fish, Aug. 29 (DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gun Lake Tribe)

Cheboygan County

Black Lake: 541 fish, Aug. 25 (DNR, Michigan State University)

Lower Black River: 7,737 fish, May 28 (DNR, MSU)

Burt Lake/Sturgeon River: 718 fish, August-October (Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians)

Mullet Lake: 537 fish, Aug. 23 (DNR, MSU)

Genesee County

Flint River: 477 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS)

Manistee County

Manistee River: 75 fish, Aug. 29 (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians)

Menominee County

Cedar River: 183 fish, Aug. 23 (DNR)

Midland County

Tittabawassee River: 479 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS)

Ontonagon County

Ontonagon River: 759 fish, Sept. 19 (DNR, USFWS)

Otsego County

Otsego Lake: 244 fish, July 10 (DNR, MSU)

Saginaw County

Cass River: 475 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS)

Shiawassee River: 472 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS)

Total: 12,374

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