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Lake sturgeon releases add nearly 20,000 fish to Michigan waters

LANSING — This summer and fall, the DNR and several partners released nearly 20,000 juvenile lake sturgeon in public waters, part of an ongoing effort to rehabilitate this culturally significant fish species.

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

Allegan County

Kalamazoo River: 237 fish, Aug. 28 (DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gun Lake Tribe).

Cheboygan County

Lower Black River: 13,503 fish, June (DNR, Michigan State University).

Black Lake: 520 fish, Aug. 24 (DNR, MSU).

Mullett Lake: 521 fish, Aug. 24 (DNR, MSU).

Burt Lake/Sturgeon River: 1,000 fish (Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians).

Delta County

Whitefish River: 230 fish, Aug. 22 (DNR).

Genesee County

Flint River: 471 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS).

Menominee County

Cedar River: 182 fish, Aug. 23 (DNR).

Midland County

Tittabawassee River: 470 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS).

Ontonagon County

Ontonagon River: 1,499 fish, September and October (DNR, USFWS).

Saginaw County

Cass River: 469 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS).

Shiawassee River: 469 fish, August and September (DNR, MSU, USFWS).

Total lake sturgeon stocked: 19,571

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 into lakes and rivers.

“Many of these stocking efforts were public events that shined a spotlight on how important lake sturgeon are to Michigan,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Our state has a long history with this species, and working with our partners helps us protect them for future generations.”

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.

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