MI lake sturgeon season opens July 16 on certain waters

Lake sturgeon being held by DNR fisheries research biologist Mike Thomas

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that the unique hook-and-line fishing seasons for lake sturgeon are set to open this Saturday, July 16. Lake sturgeon are one of Michigan’s most historically significant fish species, but there are limited opportunities to target them within the state’s waters.

Seasons opening this weekend include:

Great Lakes and Connecting Waters (except Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River), all inland waters
The fishing season is open July 16 through Nov. 30, but there is no possession season. All lake sturgeon caught must be released immediately.

Lake St. Clair and St. Clair River
The fishing season is open July 16 through Nov. 30, and the possession season is open July 16 through Sept. 30. Lake sturgeon between 42 and 50 inches may be harvested; those less than 42 inches or greater than 50 inches must be released immediately.

Otsego Lake (Otsego County)
The fishing and possession season is July 16 through March 15, 2017. The minimum size limit for lake sturgeon is 50 inches; those less than 50 inches must be released immediately.
“Very few opportunities exist in this state to target this exceptionally unique species,” said Todd Wills, DNR fisheries research manager on Lake St. Clair. “But for anglers looking to have the catch of a lifetime, they may want to consider heading out to an area with an open lake sturgeon hook-and-line season.”

All sturgeon anglers shall obtain non-transferable lake sturgeon fishing permits and harvest tags prior to fishing for lake sturgeon. These items are available at all license vendors. Upon harvesting a lake sturgeon, an angler must validate their harvest tag, attach it to the fish and register their harvest within 24 hours at a designated registration site.

Lake sturgeon harvest is limited to only one lake sturgeon per angler per angling year (April 1 through March 31). For more information on this fish species and its regulations, visit Michigan.gov/sturgeon.