This is one of those stories you should hear rather than read.
The U.S. and Canada are working to restore populations of a prehistoric fish in the Great Lakes that was nearly wiped out. We went out with a crew of researchers to see what they’re doing to bring the sturgeon back.
Stateside's conversation with Ed Baker, Research Station Manager at the DNR's Marquette Fisheries Research Station.
One of the most ancient species in the Great Lakes is the sturgeon. The fish has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and was once abundant in all five lakes.
But, like many species, its numbers nosedived thanks to overfishing and habitat destruction.
Ed Baker is research station manager at the Marquette Fisheries Research Station of the Department of Natural Resources. He joined Stateside to talk about efforts to restore the region’s sturgeon population.
This month, hundreds of spear fishers went to Black Lake in northern Michigan. They competed to catch just six lake sturgeon before the fishing season ended. Sturgeon are a state threatened species, and their harvest is tightly regulated.
This Saturday, 35 baby sturgeon will be released into the Kalamazoo River at a sturgeon release party. It’ll be in New Richmond and it’s open to the public.
Lake sturgeon are ancient fish. They’re Michigan’s oldest and biggest fish species and can live to be more than 100 years old. Many populations of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes were wiped out decades ago, but people have been working to bring them back.
PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's wildlife agency is looking at bringing a prehistoric fish back to Lake Erie. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is looking into whether it can reintroduce breeding populations of sturgeon to the lake.
Sturgeon were once plentiful but thought to be all but gone from Lake Erie less than two decades ago.
You can listen to today's Environment Report above.
It’s near the end of spawning season for Michigan’s oldest and biggest fish species, the lake sturgeon. Overfishing and hydraulic dams built to power industry have wiped out many lake sturgeon populations in the Great Lakes.
A group of people and government agencies are trying to increase the odds the kind of sturgeon specific to the Kalamazoo River will survive.
Sturgeon have been around since the age of dinosaurs. So they’re a lot different from other fish in the Great Lakes. They don’t have a normal skeleton. Instead, they’ve got these bony plates on the outside of their bodies, called scutes. They have no fish scales.
Lake sturgeon are amazing fish. They can weigh several hundred pounds and they can live to be 100 years old.
Sturgeon used to be abundant throughout the Great Lakes region. But they were overfished, and construction of dams on rivers where they spawn hurt their reproduction. They’re now a state threatened species.
Tim Cwalinski is a fisheries biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He says these days, sturgeon are carefully managed. There are a few fishing seasons for sturgeon in different parts of the state.
The season for sturgeon in Black Lake in Cheboygan County opens February 2nd. Tim Cwalinski says there are about 1,200 adult sturgeon in the lake. The quota this year is just six fish total for all the fishermen combined.
This week, we're focusing on fish for our series Swimming Upstream. And today, Dustin Dwyer has a story about one of the most fascinating fish in the Great Lakes. Sturgeon have been around for more than 100 million years. Each fish can live more than a hundred years, weigh more than a hundred pounds and stretch eight or nine feet long. But sturgeon have also been the target of overfishing and poaching. Dustin caught up with one group in northern Michigan that's trying to save them. Here's his story:
So about a month or two ago, I was sitting along the bank of the Black River, way up near Onaway. And I was next to Jesse Hide, who has lived in this area all his life, and watched sturgeon all his life. We were keeping an eye out for sturgeon heading up the river to spawn.
“There's one coming up right there ... he's coming back down now.”
The long, spear-like fish occasionally poke their heads out of the water, like a submarine coming to the surface.