Living Fossils: Lake Sturgeon Spawning on the Black River

Having an abundance of freshwater here in Northern Michigan is something we all take pride in, but have you ever stopped to think about what’s under the surface?

One thing that’s under the murky surface is Lake Sturgeon!

These massive, living fossils take us back 136 million years. They have been around longer than you and I, but they need our help.
Brenda Archambo, President of Sturgeon for Tomorrow says, “worldwide the populations have declined so low that some populations are extinct.”

This unfortunate reality is giving Brenda, researchers and ambassadors a purpose this time of year when the sturgeon are spawning and the poachers are out. They stake out and make sure that no one messes with the fish during this crucial time in the year.

Lead researcher with Michigan State University, Doug Larson says, “We as a species have done a lot of harm over the last hundred years and I thinks important personally to do what we can to restore the populations back to where they were.”

If Lake Sturgeon are fascinating to you, you may be lucky enough to spot one yourself over the course of the next few weeks.

The Sturgeon Guard Program is taking place as well as Earth Week Plus’ event on May 11th. If you head out to the Black River you will see researches weighing, tagging and measuring the sturgeon — getting to witness history and science collide.

Brenda says, “It’s cool to watch spring come to life out here on the river and see the sturgeon in all their glory. It really is an eco-voluntourism opportunity to get out and enjoy spring after this long winter and see this iconic animal up close.”

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