By James Grebey
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Groups are hoping to get volunteers to help guard against poaching of sturgeons in spring. Sturgeons are regarded as threatened in Michigan, and are rare throughout the United States. The large fish are vulnerable to poachers in the late spring when the mature lake sturgeon leave Black Lake in Cheboygan County for spawning sites in the Black River.
The group Sturgeon for Tomorrow and the Michigan Government are working on creating a volunteer network to help guard these rare fish against illegal fishing.
Sturgeon for Tomorrow is seeking volunteers to join in its effort, in partnership with Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ conservation officers, to help protect sturgeon from poaching.
“For over a decade, the annual Sturgeon Guarding Program has proven that citizens who watch over the river have greatly reduced poaching while helping to ensure the protection and proliferation of the species,” said Ann Feldhauser, a Department of Natural Resources retiree and the program’s volunteer coordinator.
“It’s a unique and rewarding experience to witness the sight of these majestic fish, which can live up to 100 years and weigh over 200 pounds, swimming up the Black River.”