2004 Guarding Program

Volunteer for the Guarding Program.

Sturgeon for Tomorrow

Each spring, sturgeon head up the rivers to spawn at known spawning sites. At this time a large percentage of the adult sturgeon in the system are concentrated in a small area. When the sturgeon are spawning along the rocky riverbanks they are fairly oblivious to nearby human activity and are susceptible to illegal harvest. Accordingly, conservation officers, volunteer off duty national guardsmen and other volunteer groups are also concentrated in these areas 24 hours a day.

We devote much time and effort to sturgeon protection due to poaching. If this were left unchecked, it would reduce the sturgeon population and destroy the sport fishery.

While we do our best to get all volunteers out on the riverbank to see fish, invariably we must cancel some scheduled shifts if the fish are simply not active. We try in these cases to reschedule volunteers into an active period.

The bottom dwelling lake sturgeon is a living fossil. This ancient species made its first appearance about 136 million year ago, just about the time dinosaurs made their abrupt exit from earth's ver changing stage. The lake sturgeon grows to be great in size and is a challenging trophy for the spear fishermen. It's also a rare fish. Sturgeon can live be over 100 years old and weigh over 200 pounds. Female sturgeon first spawn between ages 17 and 30, once mature they spawn every 4 to 7 years. Male sturgeon do not spawn until they are 12 to 20 years old, then spawn every 2 to 4 years.

Click here for the Guarding Program Volunteer Online Form.

Lake sturgeon in Michigan are a threatened species and a rare species throughout the United States.

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