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Help release Lake Sturgeon on September 23!


More sturgeon to be released into Saginaw River system during public events on Sept. 23

Local, state, and federal partners invite the public to a Lake Sturgeon release celebration on Sept. 23, 2023, in the Saginaw River system. Releases will reintroduce more than 100 hatchery-raised sturgeon into each tributary of the Saginaw River system (Cass, Flint, Shiawassee, and Tittabawassee rivers). Short presentations may be made at the events by local partners.

The Lake Sturgeon released in September come from lower Lake Huron near the upper St. Clair River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reared the fish at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery.

Public release events on Sept. 23 include:

  • 11 a.m., Tittabawassee River. Chippewa Nature Center hosts this event held at the Bob G. Caldwell Municipal Boat in Midland, MI. For more information, contact Dennis Pilaske at dpilaske@chippewanaturecenter.org.

  • 12 p.m., Shiawassee River. Friends of the Shiawassee River hosts this event held at Cole Park in Chesaning, MI. For more information, contact Sarah Baker at sbaker@shiawasseeriver.org.

  • 1:30 p.m., Flint River. Flint River Watershed Coalition hosts this event at the Paddlers’ Landings (Mott Park Recreation Area) in Flint, MI. For more information, contact Jennifer Raymond at director@flintriver.org.

  • 2 p.m., Cass River. The City of Frankenmuth hosts this event at the Gunzenhausen Walkway in Frankenmuth, MI. For more information, contact Matt Bierlein at mbierlein@frankenmuthcity.com.

Lake Sturgeon are a unique Great Lakes species. They can grow up to 7 feet long and can weigh up to 300 pounds. The slow-maturing fish do not begin reproducing until they are 15-20 years old. Once abundant in many Michigan lakes and rivers, Lake Sturgeon were nearly eradicated due to overfishing and habitat loss, particularly the destruction of rocky reefs in rivers that sturgeon and other native fish species use for spawning. In recent years, many partnerships and projects are working to restore sturgeon to a self-sustaining level in Michigan. This work includes restoring sturgeon habitat, reintroducing sturgeon into their native ranges, and raising awareness and appreciation for this unique species.


The September 2023 sturgeon release events are supported by a variety of partners including Bay County, City of Frankenmuth, Chippewa Nature Center, Flint River Watershed Coalition, Friends of the Shiawassee River, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU Extension, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Sturgeon for Tomorrow – Black Lake Chapter, The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more.


GENERAL RELEASE EVENT QUESTIONS, CONTACT: Meaghan Gass, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator, gassmeag@msu.edu, (989) 895-4026 ext. 5



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