Michigan’s annual sturgeon season on Black Lake was over after just 78 minutes of fishing. An annual highlight for anglers throughout the state, Black Lake is one of only a few spots in Michigan where there is a catch-and-keep season for sturgeon.
There is a specific catch limit set for this lake, and this year it was seven fish, although Department of Natural Resources officials set a harvest quota of six fish.
There were 403 registered anglers of all ages on the ice on Feb. 2, slightly down from 422 in 2018. The season ended at 9:18 a.m.
“We allow for any licensed angler to participate – as long as they register – so we need to have a significant on-ice presence of DNR personnel to protect the population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest,” said DNR fisheries manager Dave Borgeson.
“This year was another successful season for angler participation, fish harvest and quick response times, as well as from a safety perspective.”
According to the DNR, the first four sturgeon harvested were males ranging from 52 to 60 inches, and 25 to 47 pounds in weight. The final two fish were females ranging from 61 to 72 inches long, and 54 to 80 pounds in weight.
Three of the six fish taken had been captured before by Michigan State University and the DNR during spring spawning runs in the Black River.
A harvested 56-inch male originally was captured in the 2009 spring spawning run. A 60-inch male had been captured and tagged during the 2004, 2010 and 2017 spawning runs.
The largest fish, a 72-inch female, had been captured and tagged during the 2003, 2007 and 2012 spawning runs in the Black River.
Participating anglers were notified of the season closure in a variety of ways; including a fishing telephone hotline, text alerts to those who provided cell phone numbers, signal cannons, mortar rounds and fireworks.