The Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow is working in partnership with the Michigan DNR and tribes to protect the fish from being illegally harvested during the six-week spawning season.
System-wide harvest caps for the 2021 Winnebago system sturgeon spearing season are 430 juvenile females, 950 adult females and 1,200 males.
This year’s allocation of sturgeon for Black Lake anglers was seven fish, although DNR officials set a harvest quota of six fish to reduce the risk of over-fishing.
Lake Winnebago System sturgeon season starts Feb. 8.
About 200 people watch one of the release events.
Annual Sturgeon Fest, at Lakeshore State Park in downtown Milwaukee on Sept. 30, continues effort to restore lake sturgeon to Lake Michigan.
(Michigan DNR)The Michigan DNR, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon For Tomorrow will host sturgeon hatchery tours at the Black River facility northwest of Onaway Saturday, Aug. 19. Tours will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tours are free of charge. The hatchery is located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber…
Crews reportedly netted and tagged about 200 fish Monday, including one as large as 78 inches in Shiocton.
A big part of the restoration has been regulations designed specifically to protect the slow-growing fish.
The season as a whole was fairly successful, with spearers harvesting 847 sturgeon this year, exceeding the 703 sturgeon taken last year.
Advocacy group, as of this year, will have donated $1 million to the state Department of Natural Resources for sturgeon research, management and education.
Interest in sturgeon spearing continues to be strong with 12,962 licenses sold for the 2017 season, including 12,479 for Lake Winnebago and 483 for the Upriver Lakes.
Experts say reefs are attracting egg-laying females, but because sturgeon mature slowly, it could take decades to determine whether efforts are boosting population.