Sturgeon General E-News

June 19, 2006

In this Issue:

Sturgeon Guarding Program

The 2006 SGP was called off on May 23 after several days of not seeing any adults in the spawning areas. However, low and behold, several dozen additional spawning-ready sturgeon arrived at the sites and lingered for a few more days to round out the 2006 sturgeon spawning season.

We would like to again thank:

  • Cheryl Haapapuro for coordinating volunteer sturgeon guards.
  • All of you volunteer sturgeon guards.
  • Sturgeon Ambassadors, Dick and Sylvia Sanford for guarding 700 hours at site C.
  • Team MSU (Patrick, Jamie and Christin) and Ed and Kim.
  • DNR Law Enforcement Division.
  • Radio Shack/Alltel in Cheboygan for the use of the cellphones.
  • Chaskey Septic Service in Onaway for the use of port-a-johns.

Netting and Tagging

229 sturgeons tagged this field season. A new tagging record has been established!

MSU Graduate students Patrick Forsythe, James Crossman, Christin Davis and TEAM MSU are to be commended for their long days (and nights larval sampling) on the river!

Of the 229 sturgeon tagged, there were 65 females (31 new) and 164 males (40 new). We started the 2006 field season with 423 unique individual tagged fish.

Streamside Rearing Facility

18,000 Lake Sturgeon fry moving about the tanks.

The stream side rearing facility is bubbling with life, lots of it! Christin Davis said there are about 10,000 sturgeon fry now in the hatchery. There are roughly 8,000 fry at the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery. Some fry a nearly 3 inches long. Keep in mind we are utilizing natal river water in our hatchery and comparing results with larvae reared at the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery.

There will be a release in mid-September, around the time of the banquet (September 16th). All sturgeon reared will be reintroduced to the Cheboygan River Watershed (Black, Burt or Mullett Lake) this fall.

Hatchery tours will be offered in late August.

We are discussing the reasonable likelihood of relocating and expanding our stream side rearing facility near Kleber Dam. This initiative is part of a long range plan to rehabilitate our lake sturgeon stocks. We will explain this in more detail in the next hard copy issue of the Sturgeon General being published in August. You can help make this project come to fruition.

Larval Sampling - We're done for this year!

Larval sampling has yielded nearly 7,000 drifting larvae.

Larval sampling is conducted to determine natural reproduction. Drift nets are set at dark, downstream of the spawning sites. We pull/lift the nets at the top of each hour for five hours each night. We then sift our way through the collection and separate the inch long sturgeon and count them.

We have collected over 7,000 lake sturgeon larvae this field season.Half of the larvae captured are in our streamside rearing facility, the other half were transported to Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery for rearing.

Sturgeon For Tomorrow Banquet

Saturday September 16 - K of C Hall in Cheboygan

Proceeds to fund lake sturgeon conservation, education, habitat, hatchery, and research.

The Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon For Tomorrow will host their 7th Annual Banquet on Saturday, September 16, 2006. The celebration will take place at the K of C Hall in Cheboygan. The doors will open at 5:00 p.m., along with a preview of the raffle items, silent and live auction items, games, door prizes, and cash bar followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m.

Your catered meal will consist of prime rib, baked chicken, and all the fixing's. Tickets for this year's dinner will be $ 25.00 for adults and $ 15.00 for children 14 and under, which includes a door prize entry.

Banquet tickets purchased on or before September 6th will be entered into the "EARLY BIRD DRAWING".

A "Special Sponsor Package" and a "Big Spenders Package" is available. We also hold a special "Ladies Raffle and Youth Table" for the ladies and youth in attendance.

We are offering only 300 tickets and this event will sell out!

See the upcoming newsletter (in your snail mail in August) for ticket and package reservations.

Sturgeon For Tomorrow, Inc.
Black Lake Chapter
1522 Harrison Avenue
Cheboygan, MI 49721