As heard on Outdoor Journal Radio
This year’s Sturgeon season on Black Lake (Michigan) was scheduled to run from February 4th to 8th but ended up lasting just 65 minutes!
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources had originally allocated a quota of seven Sturgeon, but that number had been reduced to six by the time opening day came around.
630 Anglers registered to participate in the fishing season for the prehistoric fish. Text alerts and a sizable presence of DNR officers were used to enforce the quota.
Sturgeon are long-lived, late-maturing fish with distinctive characteristics, such as a heterocercal caudal fin similar to those of sharks, and an elongated, spindle-like body that is smooth-skinned, scaleless, and armoured with five lateral rows of bony plates called scutes. Several species can grow quite large, typically ranging 2–3.5 m (7–12 ft) in length.
Most sturgeons are bottom-feeders, which migrate upstream to spawn, but spend most of their lives feeding in river deltas and estuaries. Some species inhabit freshwater environments exclusively, while others primarily inhabit marine environments near coastal areas, and are known to venture into the open ocean. (Source)
Anglers caught and were allowed to keep the following Sturgeon:
- A 49-inch male that weighed 30 pounds.
- A 55.5-inch female that weighed 35.5 pounds (previously caught and tagged).
- A 54.3-inch male that checked in at 32 pounds (previously caught and tagged).
- A 32-inch immature fish that weighed 6.4 pounds.
- A 54-inch male that weighed 34 pounds.
- A 39-inch male that weighed 11.8 pounds.
Sturgeon can be caught year-round but must be released. The Michigan DNR, partnering with various organizations, has implemented an aggressive program to boost Michign’s dwindling Sturgeon population. More than 4000 fingerlings have been released into the state’s waterways during the past 5 years. These efforts are expected to continue for decades to come.
The Fish’n Canada Show applauds the efforts of all involved in the Michigan Sturgeon conservation program. Keep on Fishin’!