Lake Sturgeon Assessments

The KBNRD has vested interest in Lake Superior lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) populations. For over a decade, passive data collection by NRD regarding this valuable species has led to the compilation of important information from fish captured by licensed KBIC commercial and subsistence fishers in their harvest efforts, which typically target lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) and lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis). KBNRD has also assisted in additional limited lake sturgeon research efforts while coordinating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Ottawa National Forest (ONF), and Michigan Technological University (MTU).
Since 2002, lake sturgeon have been captured and assessed by KBNRD staff during intensified survey efforts specifically targeting this species. Captured lake sturgeon are tagged with a unique Floy-Tag, and tag numbers are recorded as will total length, fork length, girth, and weight (if possible) prior to the fish being released. A tissue sample is also collected from each lake sturgeon (small flesh sample cut from the left pectoral fin) for genetic research. Sturgeon are scanned for potential presence of Coded Wire and/or Pit Tags with a handheld metal detection unit.


The primary objectives for KBNRD lake sturgeon management include:
1) Continuation of long-term lake sturgeon population monitoring
2) Continuation of periodic fish community abundance data collection 
3) Continuation of the 1-week fall survey of lake sturgeon abundance near certain rivers in the Western U.P.