2003 Field Season Review
There were two spawning runs observed during the 2003 field season. Spawning Run One: 4/29/03 -5/4/03 and Spawning Run Two: 5/17/03-5/19/03. One hundred twenty four sturgeon were captured; 80 from the first spawning run and 44 from the second. Female sturgeon that spawned during the first run was larger on average for each of the three size parameters (weight, total length, and girth) than females that spawned during the second.
Drift net larval sampling was conducted on the Upper Black River to quantify out-migrating larval sturgeon. Larval drift were detected 18 days post-spawn. Two distinct pulses of larval sturgeon drift were observed. The two pulses overlapped for several evenings but were easily distinguished by differences in the body size of the individuals in drift (i.e., much smaller individuals in pulse 2). Similar to previous seasons, we observed a discernable peak in the numbers of drifting larvae within a particular sampling evening (11:00p.m.-1:00a.m.).
A total of 16,417 lake sturgeon larvae were collected. 431 larvae from group one and 15,986 from group two. Larval sampling was generally conducted during a 5-hour period, beginning at dusk and ending in the early morning (2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.). All sturgeon larvae were immediately placed in a separate container and transported to the flow-through tanks located at the nearby field station. All larvae were transported from the field station to Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery for rearing.
On October 23, 5,605 five to 7 inch fall fingerlings were reintroduced to three Cheboygan County rivers; 1,300 went into the Sturgeon River (Burt Lake), 1,300 went into the Pigeon River (Mullett Lake) and 3,005 returned home to the Upper Black River (Black Lake) at Red Bridge.
This exclusive, one-of-a-kind venture is the outcome of the cooperative efforts of Sturgeon For Tomorrow, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University.
The "Head Start Program" is the first in the world to collect larval lake sturgeon, transfer them to a hatchery for nurturing and reintroduced to area streams. The reintroduction of these young-of-the-year lake sturgeon in an ongoing effort to rehabilitate the lake sturgeon populations of Black, Burt and Mullett Lake.
Thirty fingerlings remain at Wolf Lake Hatchery with the intentions of conducting telemetry studies in field season 2004.
Bank Stabilization Proposed to Protect Sturgeon Spawning Habitat
A task group has been organized to determine if there is sufficient local interest and support to construct erosion control and public access projects on the Upper Black River. The projects are needed to control soil erosion into the water, provide public access while protecting sturgeon spawning habitat. The project sites were previously identified in the Black Lake Watershed Stewardship Initiative, Non-point Source Pollution Management Plan (June 2002). The proposed projects are in proximity to some of the last remaining sturgeon spawning habitat in northern Michigan.
Several grant proposals have been submitted with hopes of funding beginning in 2004-2005. SFT has pledged hands on - in kind support for these projects as we recognize the enormous benefits to lake sturgeon rehabilitation and recovery.
From Our President
Happy 2004 Everybody. Let this be the best year yet!
Over the years we have learned much about the lake sturgeon; biology, assessment tools and techniques, genetics, life stages habitat requirements, multi-agency management issues and much more. We have also learned many lessons in leadership. This is what I feel lead to write about in this newsletter edition.
I have observed three common thrusts within this organization to which we have achieved distinction: engaged people, perpetual innovation, and strategic execution.
Engaged people. It isn't enough to be passionate. Passion without appropriate focus is fanaticism. Engaged people have become involved with all aspects of the movement. You are enthusiastic to complete your tasks and have been compelled to do so with panache. Engaged people work smarter, serve better and are always coming up with fresh new ideas.
Perpetual innovation. This includes both incremental and revolutionary improvements. The status quo is a myth. We have those among us who are visionary and look for the writing on the wall. Innovation must be applied to everything: strategic planning, measuring progress and even how we think, and lead.
Strategic execution. Business dominance (be it profit or non-profit) is not about how much you know, but how well you apply and execute what you know. It's a matter of IQ. That doesn't stand for "intelligence quotient" but rather "implementation quotient", and that is the difference between common knowledge and consistent application. Sometimes it is necessary to take a calculated risk, provided the odds are in your favor.
Leadership within this organization is diligent to make sure that elements of a high-performance organization are the primary objectives to achieve our mission. We strive to provide a sense of purpose, focused action, and clear communications.
In many ways, life and leadership is all about communicating. And nowhere is it more critical to be a strong communicator than in leading people and organizations. The best leaders have the ability to effectively explain organizational fundamentals, strategy, alternatives, challenges, and action plans in ways that tap into their organizations sense of meaning. Many people think they are communicating when they provide information in the form of memos, e-mails, reports, and the like. But they're not. Information is giving out; communication is getting through. As you can imagine, there is a world of difference between giving out facts, figures and other material and actually getting through to people. Our progress is confirmation we are getting through.
There are many opportunities on the horizon for SFT and we are seeking out the next generation of leaders to thrust the organization to the next level. These opportunities necessitate matching tasks with people who will exercise their talents and skills for the greater good of the organization. These subjects include public relations, education, grant writing, strategic planning, volunteer coordinator, committee member, and research.
The future will be anything but boring. I hope you share my enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities because as an organization we will have plenty of them. Aim higher than excellence in your leadership endeavors--go for distinction! I hope to hear form some of you!
President, Sturgeon For Tomorrow
Black Lake, Michigan Chapter
MUCC's Tracks Magazine Publish Lake Sturgeon Magazine
Sturgeon for Tomorrow has teamed up with the Michigan United Conservation Club's Tracks Magazine to publish a lake sturgeon magazine for children. The January 2004 issue will be dedicated to educating youth on lake sturgeon and their habitat.
It is important that our kids understand the role of the Great lakes largest freshwater fish, as well as related subjects including Great Lakes ecosystems, fisheries management and water zones. Focusing on these topics presents an opportunity for Sturgeon for Tomorrow to educate young readers on the important role in conserving sturgeon and improving their habitat.
Tracks Magazine is distributed nationwide and is read by nearly 50,000 kids. Sponsoring part of the lake sturgeon issue supports our conservation efforts, and will provide our organization great exposure throughout the country. Our sponsorship includes an article describing our organization mission and importance within the Great Lakes Basin. We will also receive 1,000 copies of the magazine to hand out when facilitating field trips, tours and classroom visits.
Did You Know... Black Lake Tidbits
The Black Lake Watershed is large, encompassing 547 square miles or 350,000 acres. It comprises 37.7 percent of the 1,461-square-mile Cheboygan River Watershed. Black Lake's Watershed is 35.04 times larger than the surface area of the Lake (a ratio of 35.04:1, or simply 35.04). This is fairly high for large lakes in Northern Michigan. For example, the watershed-to-surface area ratio for Burt Lake is 14.8 and for Mullett Lake is only 9.
World Sturgeon Conservation Society (WSCS) Debuts
The Society intends to act as an international forum of scientific discussion for all persons interested in pertinent issues on sturgeons while at the same time seeking opportunities for close cooperation at an international level.
The vision for this society is to see stocks thriving once again in important sturgeon waters in the basins of Caspian, Asov, Black, North and Baltic seas, rivers in Siberia and China as well as in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada in addition to other North American watersheds.
The objectives of the Society are: to foster the conservation of sturgeon species and restoration of sturgeon stocks world-wide and to support the information exchange among all persons interested in sturgeons.
This particularly applies to the following subject areas:
- general biology, species and habitat protection
- stock enhancement, biological resource management
- fisheries and fisheries-related issues
- aquaculture, cultural and regulatory issues
- to promote information exchange with national, regional, international, inter-governmental organizations, educational institutions (e.g. university and scientific institutes) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- to foster and support interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research on all aspects of sturgeons (e.g. biology, management and utilization of sturgeons)
- to enhance the cooperation between and among anglers, fishermen, scientists, governmental agencies, local communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations
- to inform the public on all aspects of the status and biology of sturgeons, requirements for their effective species protection, and needs for appropriate management
The tools to achieve this objective include the use of adequate and modern publications and means of communication as well as the organization of international conferences.
The Society focuses exclusively and directly on non-profit goals. It acts selflessly and serves primarily non-profit-oriented purposes.
For additional information about the WSCS or to become a member, visit their website at www.wscs.info
Sturgeon For Tomorrow Meetings & Events 2004
Board of Director's Meetings are every 3rd Thursday of the month beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Black Lake Sportsman's Club. All members are encouraged and welcome to attend.
- February 14-15 - Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree
- February 15-28 - Sturgeon Spearing Season
- February 17 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- March 17 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting - 6 PM
- March 17 - Sturgeon Guarding Program Meeting - 7 PM
- April 21 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- April 21 - Set up weir and video on river, Guarding Program (SGP) begins
- April 21 - MSU begins netting and tagging research
- May 19 Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- May - Sturgeon Guarding Program throughout May
- May - MSU research - begin larval sampling: Head Start
- June 16 - Annual Meeting - Election of Officers
- June 16 - 2004 SGP and Research Summary
- July 21 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- August 18 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- September 15 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- September 18 - 5th Annual SFT Banquet - KofC Hall in Cheboygan
- October 20 - Board of Directors / Membership Meeting
- November 18 - Draft 2005 Strategic Plan
- December 3-5 - North East Michigan Sportsman's Show Exhibit- Onaway
Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree ~ February 14-15, 2004
Fishing Contest · Kids Games · Vendors · Adult 3-3 Hockey · Ice Drags for Motor Bikes · Snowmobile Drag Races · Pig Roast · Poker Run · Torch Light · X-Country Ski · Snowshoe Safari · Shivaree Fear Factor - $500 Cash Prize · Flag Football · Golf Closest to the Pin · Kiddy Sumo Wrestling · Pie Eating Contest · Paintball Contest · Beer Tent · And Much More!!
5th Annual STURGEON FOR TOMORROW Banquet
Saturday, September 18, 2004
K of C Hall - Cheboygan, MI
~ please click here for more information ~
SFT RAFFLE FUNDRAISER
Canadian Fly-In Fishing Trip Week for 4
Magellan SportTrak Map GPS Complete with Maps of the United States
$ 5.00 each or 3 for $10
Drawing Time & Location
3:00 pm - February 15, 2004 - Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree
To purchase your tickets, please send self addressed stamped envelope and check to:
SFT - 1604 N. Black River Road
Cheboygan, MI 49721
or you may purchase tickets from a board member. Your tickets will be sent to you. GOOD LUCK!
Raffle License #: R74339
2004 Black Lake Sturgeon Season Guidelines Announced
~ please click here for more information ~
4th Annual Banquet
The 4th Annual SFT Banquet raised $12,000 for Lake Sturgeon conservation, education and research. Please join us in thanking the following sponsors and contributors for making this event a huge success.
~ Sponsors ~
Rick Ackerberg and Kathy Bezotte
Archambo Electric, Inc.
Gil and Brenda Archambo
Scott and Beth Archambo
AudioCraft Publishing, Inc.
Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree
Ken and Cathy Borowicz
Leon and Margaret Campeau
Crooked Tree Joinery
James and Jeanie Deurwearder
|Jim Gahn Construction
Gary Goodall, I and Gary Goodall, II
H & D Power and Sport
Dave Kujawa Builders
Mankin's Fresh Catch
Todd and Donna Merchant
Michigan Hydraulic Dredging, Inc.
Charlie and Trish Moyer
MSC Blinds and Shades
Gerald and Wendy Neff
|Norton and Associates
Parkside Country Store
Glen and Tammy Read
Step Inn Restaurant
Straits Area Federal Credit Union
Craig Welke and Anne Marie Farrell
Bob and Jacki Williams
Jay & Mary Kay Woiderski
~ Contributors ~
|Triple D Ace Hardware
Rick Ackerberg/Kathy Bezotte
Senator Jason Allen
Allison/Ashley's Summer House
Becoming An Outdoors Woman Program
Big Bear Adventures
Black Jack-Indian River
Blaskowski Feed & Seed
Burt Lake Preservation Association
Cheboygan Crafts and Ceramics
Cheboygan Daily Tribune
Cheboygan Lumber Company
Citizen's National Bank
City Barber Shop
Dog House Diner
Great Lakes Taxidermy
Frank's Party Supply
Holiday Gas Station
Holiday Inn Express
Hostettler's Office Supply
Indian River Chamber of Commerce
Indian River Golf Club
Indian River Country Cabins
Indian River Lighting
Kretchman's Koffee House
Log Mark Book Store
Mackinaw Crossings & Center Stage Theatre
Michigan Outdoor News
New Creation Hair Salon
New Image Hair Fashion's
New Way Stoves
O'Brien's Treasure Chest Gift's
Outdoor Adventure Store
|Putnam Hitch Products
The Rusty Pump
Shepler's Mackinaw Island Ferry
Sun Shop Tanning & Nails
Teysen's Gift Shop
The Christmas Store
The Inn Between
The Summer Store
Tiki Fish Market
True North Books & Gifts
UAW Family Education Center
UAW Golf Club
Rev. Mark/Candy Viau
White Star Snowmobile Auctions
Wicks and Pics
Jay/Mary Kay Woiderski
& anyone else regrettably omitted
Programs & Committees
We have strategically planned and organized the following programs and committees to aid in the rehabiliation and recovery of lake sturgeon. We are seeking individuals to participate in the following committees:
- Board of Directors
- Public Relations
- Sturgeon Guarding Program
If you would like to become more involved and utilize your skills and talents, please contact SFT.