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Sturgeon Comeback in Detroit River, ON.

Posted on June 1st, 2009

This is a file photo of a 60-pound lake sturgeon caught near Fort Malden in 2007. Shown holding the pre-historic looking fish are Aime Bourdon of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Matthew Child of the Essex Region Conservation Authority and Jim McFee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This is a file photo of a 60-pound lake sturgeon caught near Fort Malden in 2007. Shown holding the pre-historic looking fish are Aime Bourdon of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Matthew Child of the Essex Region Conservation Authority and Jim McFee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For the first time in 30 years, lake sturgeon are spawning on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. 

 

 

 

Lake sturgeon, which can grow to six or seven feet long and live up to a century, used to be so plentiful in the Detroit River, 4,000 adult fish would be caught in the spring in the late 1800s and there are stories of them being stacked up on the Amherstburg shore like cordwood.

 

Overfishing and habitat loss — channels were dug through their spawning beds – has left the Detroit River with about one per cent of the former sturgeon population.

 

An acre of spawning beds constructed last year between Fighting Island and LaSalle marked the first time the United States and Canada had worked together to restore fish habitat in the Great Lakes. ERCA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were two of the 17 partners in the project that included BASF Corporation, the owners of Fighting Island.

 

The spawning beds cost more than $250,000 and used four different kind of reefs. The sturgeon preferred a mixture of rock off the northeast corner of Fighting Island.  To read the full article, go to, http://www.windsorstar.com/Technology/Sturgeon+comeback+truly+breakthrough/1633050/story.html .

 

This is a photo of a lake sturgeon fish fry hatched from eggs taken off a spawning bed that was built off Fighting Island in the Detroit River. The fish fry showed the spawning beds built last year worked and were the first proof in 30 years that lake sturgeon are successfully spawning on the Canadian side of the Detroit River.  Sharon Hill story.  Photograph by: Jeff Allen, U.S. Geological Survey.
This is a photo of a lake sturgeon fish fry hatched from eggs taken off a spawning bed that was built off Fighting Island in the Detroit River. The fish fry showed the spawning beds built last year worked and were the first proof in 30 years that lake sturgeon are successfully spawning on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. Sharon Hill story. Photograph by: Jeff Allen, U.S. Geological Survey.
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