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  • Saginaw Bay Sturgeon

Is it one of ours?

The first juvenile sturgeon on record was caught in the Saginaw River in February. Is it one of our released sturgeon? Well, without a Pit Tag reader, we don't know for sure... but very likely.

ZILWAUKEE, MI — Two brothers were surprised to catch a sturgeon in the Saginaw River, especially since one of them didn’t think they existed there.

Blake Smith, 14, and his brother Neil Smith, 22, were ice fishing for walleye near the Zilwaukee Bridge on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The elder Smith told his younger brother that a small population of sturgeon existed in the Saginaw River.

“He said that it would be cool if he caught one and about two hours later, he hooked into it,” Neil Smith said.

Smith said he was fishing about 100 feet away when his younger brother yelled out, “Neil, I got a sturgeon.”

“I was like, ‘No way.’”

The sturgeon was a little over a foot long - a baby - and not the 6-foot giant fish people envision when they think of sturgeon.

“He unhooked it and we took a picture and we got it back into the water pretty fast,” Smith said.

The brothers, both from Merrill, had just learned how to catch walleye in the river. That day they limited out with eight walleye a piece and a few catfish.

The brother shot a short video showing the release of the sturgeon back into the river.

Blake Smith, 14, caught a sturgeon in the Saginaw River on Feb. 16, 2019. Smith released the sturgeon after snapping a picture.

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