After only 65 minutes of fishing, this year’s sturgeon season on Black Lake (in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties) ended at 9:05 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. The season, which included spearing and hook-and-line fishing, was scheduled to run Feb. 4-8, or until the harvest quota of six lake sturgeon had been reached.
Anglers initially were allocated a season quota of seven sturgeon, but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources set the harvest limit at six fish. This action helps accommodate the expected number of anglers and anticipates the possibility of near-simultaneous harvest of more than one fish.
There were 630 registered anglers this year, including a good number of supervised youth. According to the DNR, the harvested sturgeon ranged in size from 32 inches to 55.5 inches long, and 6.4 pounds to 35.5 pounds.
Only two of the harvested fish had been captured before by Michigan State University and the DNR during spring spawning runs in the Black River or from past surveys of Black Lake. The harvested 55.5-inch female originally was captured in the river in 2012, while the 54-inch male originally was tagged in the lake in 2007 and captured in the river in 2017.
Rehabilitation of lake sturgeon in the Cheboygan River watershed is a cooperative effort involving the DNR, the Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon For Tomorrow, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership, the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
For more information on lake sturgeon in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/Sturgeon. To learn more about all fishing opportunities statewide, go to Michigan.gov/Fishing.