Public tours of Black River (MI) sturgeon facility

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon For Tomorrow will host sturgeon hatchery tours at the Black River facility northwest of Onaway Saturday, Aug. 19. Tours will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tours are free of charge. The hatchery is located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber Dam. From M-68 2 miles west of Onaway, take Black River Road (F-05) north to Twin School Road, then west a little over 3 miles to the hatchery, which is on the north side of the road just before the dam.

During the tours, researchers from the DNR and MSU will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon biology, reproductive ecology and the current year’s research. Sturgeon For Tomorrow representatives will discuss restoration work to improve sturgeon spawning habitat, sturgeon conservation and outreach programming.

“On the tour visitors will see the 3-month-old lake sturgeon currently in the hatchery, and learn about early life history and how we can all play a role to keep healthy populations of this fish in our waters,” said Dave Borgeson, the DNR’s Northern Lake Huron Unit supervisor.

The streamside rearing facility is an important component of lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in the Cheboygan River watershed. Supported with DNR, federal, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Sturgeon for Tomorrow funding, the facility conducts research that increases our understanding of lake sturgeon, provides much-needed guidance for managers involved in lake sturgeon recovery efforts, and improves the effectiveness of lake sturgeon culture and stocking efforts.

The sturgeon fingerlings reared at the hatchery are scheduled to be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake after the tours conclude.

For more information on lake sturgeon and to learn how to become involved in their rehabilitation efforts, visit www.sturgeonfortomorrow.org, www.michigan.gov/sturgeon or www.fw.msu.edu/glsturgeon.

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