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Lake Sturgeon Spawning Documented in the St. Marys River

Lake Sturgeon egg collected
Lake Sturgeon egg collected 28 June 2018 near Main Rapids of St. Marys River, MI.

(March 4, 2019) Viable Lake Sturgeon eggs and larvae were collected near the Main Rapids in the St. Marys River during June and July 2018 during the first year of a 3-year study funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

 

Although sturgeon spawning has been known to occur in the Garden River (a tributary to the St. Marys River) this is the first documentation of successful spawning in the St. Marys River proper.

 

In addition to Lake Sturgeon, eggs and larvae of many other native (e.g., whitefish, burbot, suckers, and sculpin) and non-native (e.g., rainbow smelt, salmonids) species were collected near the Main Rapids and Little Rapids.

 

These results are part of an early-life history project between the US Geological Survey, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Lake Superior State University to fish evaluate production emanating from the St. Marys Rapids. Results will be used to evaluate how varying releases of water through the Sault Locks compensating works affects larval fish dispersal.   

 

[Ed Roseman, Jason Gostiaux – USGS; Chris Olds – USFWS;  Hal Harrington - USACE]

 

Larval Lake Sturgeon
Larval Lake Sturgeon collected 26 July 2018 in the St. Marys River, MI.