Reports of Lake Sturgeon Stocked by Genoa NFH and Partners…
They’re Doing Well!
BY OREY ECKES, GENOA NFH
As spring progresses, lake sturgeon begin their migration from larger bodies of water to natal spawning grounds. In the months of April-June hatchery staff will begin collecting sturgeon eggs from natural spawning adults. Eggs will be collected from four river systems (Wolf River, Rainy River, Wisconsin River, and St. Lawrence River) for culture at Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH). Sturgeon will be reared at Genoa NFH for approximately four months before they are released in support of lake sturgeon restoration for federal, state, and tribal partners.
Prior to release, lake sturgeon are coded wire tagged for future assessment of survival, growth, and migration patterns. As part of the restoration goal it is essential to monitor the success of stocking efforts. For example, sturgeon stocked over the past 15 years from Genoa NFH and released within the Red River Basin have been monitored by US Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and tribal partners. Fisheries reports by Minnesota DNR and anglers have revealed capture locations of lake sturgeon in lakes and streams within the Red River Basin. Fish stocked in 2007 are reported to be between 45-50 inches. Since female lake sturgeon sexual mature between 20-25 years of age and males between 12-15 years they should start reproducing in the near future. Reports of these large fish are encouraging to hear. It’s exciting to know that fish stocked from the Genoa NFH are surviving and doing well in the wild.