Kalamazoo River Streamside Rearing Unit Deployed
BY DOUG ALOISI, GENOA NFH
Kalamazoo River sturgeon rearing trailer deployed streamside. Credit: USFWS
The station pumps filtered and sterilized river water into the culture tanks, creating culture conditions that are closer to the lake sturgeon's optimal environmental temperature and water chemistry. This ensures the best survival for the incoming eggs and fry that are trapped directly out of the Kalamazoo River.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Genoa NFH and Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Matchebenashshewish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan and Kalamazoo River branch of Sturgeon for Tomorrow to set and collect egg traps and larval drift nets to fill up the trailer with river specific origin lake sturgeon from the Kalamazoo River. These fry are reared on river water to allow them to imprint to the river's unique water chemistry in order to be able to find its way home up to 22 years later when the sturgeon is reproductively mature. Then it will do its best to replace itself at least once by successfully completing the spawning cycle.
Juvenile Lake sturgeon. Credit: Katie Steiger Meister, USFWS