Western Lake Superior Lake Sturgeon
Project Title
Lake Sturgeon Movement in Western Lake Superior
Project Code
Project Duration
May 2016 - May 2025
Project Description
Lake Sturgeon populations declined substantially throughout the Great Lakes over the last two centuries. The St. Louis River (SLR), the largest US tributary to Lake Superior, historically supported Lake Sturgeon, but by the early 1900s, Sturgeon were extirpated by the combined effects of exploitation, and habitat alterations (e.g., dredging, wetland filling, and discharge of untreated effluent). The near elimination of exploitation coupled with water quality improvements led to joint efforts by Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources to re-establish Lake Sturgeon in the SLR. Lake Sturgeon from Wolf River (WI) broodstock were stocked in the SLR from 1983-1994. Lake Sturgeon from Lake Superior sources (Sturgeon River, MI) were also stocked from 1994 until 2000. IN 1987 the SLR was designated an Area of Concern (AOC) leading to beneficial habitat restoration projects, which have directly affected Lake Sturgeon, as evidenced by the first documented natural reproduction of Lake Sturgeon in the SLR during 2011. Fish community objectives for Lake Superior specify rehabilitation of Lake Sturgeon as a priority, and the primary objective of the Lake Superior Lake Sturgeon rehabilitation plan is to rehabilitate and maintain self-sustaining populations. To evaluate the status of the SLR Lake Sturgeon population with respect to this objective it is important to understand movement patterns and spawning locations of Lake Sturgeon in the SLR.
Management Benefits
Participating Organizations