If you sleep in during Sturgeon season on Black Lack in Michigan it is likely you will miss the entire season. This year the season was open for two hours before DNR officials had to shut it down when the anglers hit the states limit.
According to Mlive, Sturgeon season came and went in two hours after anglers caught the allocated 7 fish. The season which opened on 6 February included both spearing and hook and line anglers is notorious for its short duration.
Black Lake has a low catch total in an effort to preserve the species and also honoring the region’s fishing traditions. This year they were allocated 7 fish but the DNR set the limit at 6.
They do this just in case a fish gets caught while they are trying to alert the anglers that the season was closed. That is exactly what happened this year when fish numbers 6 and 7 were caught within seconds of each other.
“The way this Black Lake sturgeon season ended highlights why we set our yearly harvest limit at a level lower than the state’s harvest allocation,” said Tim Cwalinski, DNR fisheries biologist, in a release. “Because of that foresight we were able to stay within our 2021 season harvest goal.”
More than 500 anglers participated this year and only 7 went home with fish. That is not a huge success rate but that is not the reason these people come out. Sturgeon fish is steeped in tradition and has been in families for generations.
The COVID pandemic did hamper some of the activities, but people made due and everyone involved had a great time.
“This past year brought on many challenges and being able to safely host this event at Black Lake for all the anglers and staff was a priority for us,” DNR fisheries manager Dave Borgeson said. “We are pleased with how everyone adjusted to the safety protocols for us to have a successful season.”
The results were as follows:
The first fish was a 50-inch male that weighed 26 pounds.
Fish number two was a 54-inch male that weighed 37 pounds.
Fish three was the largest, a 63-inch female that checked in at 61 pounds.
Fish four was a 50-inch male that weighed 27 pounds.
The fifth fish was a 57-inch female that weighed 38 pounds.
The sixth fish was a 51-inch male that weighed 25 pounds.
The seventh and final fish harvested was a 60-inch female weighing 43 pounds.
Congratulations to the successful anglers, enjoy your sturgeon steaks, and for everyone else good luck next year.