2005 Annual Research Review
By Jamie Crossman and Patrick Forsythe, Graduate Students
Michigan State University
We had an exceptional year in terms of what we accomplished towards reaching our research objectives. We obtained much new and needed information on various aspects of the lake sturgeon's biology and reproductive ecology.
We were very successful in capturing a large proportion of the adult spawning in each of the four runs that we observed.
A total of 154 lake sturgeon were captured and tagged, 46 females and 108 males. To date we have tagged a total of 423 unique individuals (257 males, 166 females) during the past 5 years.
Eggs were collected from 14 females resulting in 27 different families reared at our stream side hatchery at the mouth of the Upper Black River. To give the fish themselves some credit, they were very successful in reproducing, given the large number of larval fish that we captured drifting downstream over a month of sampling (7,434). We were also able to determine that a dramatic loss of eggs occurs over time. This loss is most likely attributed to both instream characteristics and the eggs high vulnerability to fungal infection soon after fertilization.
Our stream side hatchery ran smoothly throughout the summer and fortunately we did not run into any problems. This success was responsible for stocking a large number of fish back (~8,000) into the Upper Black River on two separate occasions and the entire Cheboygan watershed, i.e. Burt (~350) and Mullett Lake (~350). We learned that fish reared at our hatchery on the Upper Black were captured at a much higher rate than those reared at a hatchery downstate. We are in the process of designing experiments to identify why this process might occur. These experiments combined with the knowledge we gained about rearing lake sturgeon will facilitate the development of recovery plans, management strategies, and the long term conservation of this species.
We are currently holding a number of fish that will be receiving acoustic transmitters in early December. This includes both fish that were hatched at the Black Lake hatchery in natal water and those reared in traditional hatchery conditions. These 40 fish (currently ~12 inches total length) will be released into Black Lake and will allow us to assess the differences in movements between each of the two rearing locations. We will be manually tracking throughout the winter months.
In closing we would like to once again thank all the help we have received this past year. Sturgeon for Tomorrow, the MiDNR, and local residents made for a productive and fantastic year.
See you on the lake.
From Our President
Happy New Year everyone! I am believing that 2006 will be the best year yet.
With each New Year there comes a manifestation in many individuals and organizations who re-define their sense of purpose, prioritize their goals, and unleash measurable objectives. Yet, before I embark on 2006 I would like to reflect on the recent past.
When we started out 10 years I could not have imagined we would be raising lake sturgeon on the river in 2005. From concept to completion the hatchery on the Upper Black River did not come easy. In the spring of '05 there was a wooded lot to clear, numerous permits to obtain, a building to construct, power poles to set, electricity and wiring run…well, you get the picture. But raise sturgeon we did, and thousands of them! It's simply amazing what a committed group of individuals can accomplish!
I'll never forget the day we were sorting through fertilized eggs and I we saw tiny sturgeons moving inside the egg sacs …just priceless! Now how cool is that?
To those of you (and you know who you are) who worked on the hatchery project, sturgeon guarding, netting a tagging the adults, collecting and culturing the eggs, larval sampling, feeding the fingerlings, THANK YOU on behalf of all of the hundreds of Sturgeon For Tomorrow members, our sponsors at the Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Presque Isle Electric and Gas Co-op, Team MSU, the staff at the Wolf Lake and Oden Fish Hatchery's and moreover, the sturgeon themselves. In 2006 we will again set out to accomplish a similar field season.
On November 23, 2005 we deployed three submersible receivers in Black Lake. The receivers will document the migratory and distribution patterns of the 40 fingerlings we released with internal telemetry tags on December 15, 2005. The tags are programmed to turn on for two days and off for two days to retain battery life. We will download receiver data into a laptop computer, clear the memory in the receiver and reposition the receivers in the lake. We will update you with information as it becomes available.
As you can see, Sturgeon For Tomorrow has come a long way toward lake sturgeon rehabilitation and recovery. This is a miracle of teamwork, and leadership with a passion to make a difference, with people who want to make a difference, doing things that make a difference!
"The future belongs to those who are willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains." - Fred A. Manske, Sr.
President, Sturgeon For Tomorrow
Black Lake, Michigan Chapter
Worthy to Note…
National Geographic TV Express Interest in Lake Sturgeon Documentary
A public relations firm of Travel Michigan contacted Sturgeon For Tomorrow expressing interest in publishing a lake Sturgeon documentary with National Geographic TV. We will keep you posted regarding this fantastic opportunity!
2006 Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree Cancelled
The Shivaree Committee met recently and determined there would be no Shivaree in 2006. The Onaway Area Chamber of Commerce will work with the community to strategize future Shivaree events. If you are willing to assist in future planning efforts, please contact the Onaway Chamber of Commerce:
Toll Free 800-711-3685
JANUARY IS MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL MONTH
PLEASE RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP - THANK YOU!
Your membership dues and contributions support to the following programming (a partial list):
- Effective communications among and between local and state officials and organizations.
- Building collaborations.
- Grassroots awareness and advocacy.
- Natural Resource Stewardship.
- Sturgeon Guarding Program: Coordination of 350 volunteers who contribute 3,800 hours to protecting spawning sturgeon.
- Supporting Members of Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
- Access to local, state, national and international sturgeon research and recovery data.
- Statewide lectures/presentations.
- Opportunity to participate in sturgeon workshops, conferences, and symposia.
- Access to materials on lake sturgeon biology and reproductive ecology.
- Scholarships and youth mentoring.
- To ensure program implementation.
- Annual Banquet
- Grant Writing
- Merchandise Sales
- Organization Promotion/Increase Public Image.
- Members -World Sturgeon Conservation Society.
- Establishment of media relations.
- Media and group tours and field trips.
- Website management: promotion and marketing.
- Purchase of pit tags, pit tag reader, larval sampling Gear, submersible telemetry receivers, hatchery hardware and supplies.
- Weir construction/documentation of adult migration: time-lapse recorder and digital video.
- Thousands of volunteer hours.
Spawning Habitat Protection
- Establishment of a partnership among and between several organizations to protect/enhance spawning habitat.
- Purchase of engineer drawings required for grant applications to implement project, perhaps in phases.
Sturgeon Advisory Council (SAC)
- Coordination and facilitation of SAC
- Focus of SAC
- Law Enforcement
- Progressive Public Involvement
2006 Meetings & Events
Board of Director's Meeting's are held every 3rd Thursday of the month beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Black Lake Sportsman's Club.
All members and not yet members are encouraged and welcome to attend.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
- January Annual Membership Renewals
- January 9-13 Registration for Sturgeon Lottery - Call 989-732-3541
- January 14 Lottery drawing for Black Lake Spearing Season - Chateau North
- February 4-12 Black Lake Sturgeon Spearing Season
- February 16 Sturgeon Advisory CouncilDNR Gaylord Operations Center
- March 16 Sturgeon Guarding Program Coordination Meeting
- April Sign-Up For Sturgeon Guarding Program and Sturgeon Research
- May Sturgeon Guarding Program -Sturgeon Research
- May TBD Mushroom Hunt & Sturgeon Tours
- June/July/Aug - Sturgeon Research
- June/July/Aug - Hatchery Tours
- September 16 7th Annual SFT Banquet - K of C Hall, Cheboygan
Please join us in thanking the following sponsors and contributors for supporting our 6th Annual SFT Banquet.
|Chuck Abernathy/Debbie Fisher
Rick Ackerberg and Kathy Bezotte
Gil and Brenda Archambo
Scott and Beth Archambo
Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree
Ken and Cathy Borowicz
Brandt's Sports Center
Leon and Margaret Campeau
Citizen's National Bank
Frank and Ruthie Corday
Tim and Kathy Dann
James and Jean Deurwearder
Ann Marie Farrell
Bob and Beth Garner
Mike and Kim Mankin
Todd and Donna Merchant
|Michigan Hydraulic Dredging, Inc
Charlie and Trish Moyer
Bill and Alice Mushlock
Jerry and Wendy Neff
Jim and Nancy Norton
John and Patty Rash
Dick and Sylvia Sanford
David and Linda Steenstra
Mel and Joyce Stokes
Straits Area Federal Credit Union
Dan and Karen Stroup
Bob and Jackie Williams
Jay and Mary Kay Woiderski
|211 Bar on Black Lake
Rick Ackerberg/Kathy Bezotte
Art of Hand
Ashley & Allison's Summer House
Big Bear Adventures
Black Lake Sportsman's Club
Blaskowski's Feed & Seed
Burt Lake Preservation Assn.
Car Quest - Cheboygan
Car Quest - Indian River
Cheboygan Lumber Company
Cheboygan Opera House
Curves - Indian River
Larry Farley Photography
Franks Party Supply
Bob and Beth Garner
Holiday Gas Station-Cheboygan
Holiday Inn Express-Indian River
Hostettlers Office Supply
Indian River Car Wash
Indian River Chamber of Commerce
Indian River Golf Club
Indian River Marina
It's About You
Johnson's Studio & Camera
Keith's Hunting & Fishing
|Ken's Village Market
Log Mark Book Store
Marathon Gas Station
Micky's Mini Mart
Charlie and Trish Moyer
Mullett Lake Golf Club
Outdoor Adventure Store
Pat & Gary's-The Bow Hole
Putnam Hitch Products
Sun Shop Tanning & Nails
Splash and Dash
Stage Door Cafe'
Stoney Links Golf Club
UAW Black Lake Golf Club
UAW Family Education Center
Rev. Mark and Candace Viau
Victories Casino & Hotel
White Star Auctions
and anyone else regrettably omitted.