- Can live up to 100 years
- Can grow up to 7 feet in length
- Can weigh up to 200 pounds
- Listed as a state threatened species
The Need for Management
Lake sturgeon are a threatened species, which means they are vulnerable to becoming endangered in the near future. Habitat degradation and over fishing that occurred in the distant past are the primary reasons for the lake sturgeon decline. The goal is to conserve sturgeon populations that are currently self-sustaining and to rehabilitate smaller populations that are not.
Today, lake sturgeon numbers are on the rise. In 2015, sturgeon eggs were found on four different man-made spawning reefs in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers. Not only that, the eggs were incubating and producing healthy young lake sturgeon. Around half of the state’s sturgeon population resides in the Detroit/St. Clair River system.
To ensure the continued success of lake sturgeon, their habitats are managed in a variety of ways:
- Michigan prohibits commercial fishing for lake sturgeon.
- Tracking sturgeon migration and identifying the location of remaining spawning grounds.
- Continued construction of new habitat structures that are suitable for spawning.
- Construction of the Belle Isle Reef, which is a series of three reefs adjacent to the island. When the project is complete, it will add 4 acres of spawning habitat in the upper Detroit River.
- Post-construction monitoring of all man-made spawning reefs and their impact on lake sturgeon numbers.