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Service Completes Initial Review on Petition to List Lake Sturgeon

A juvenile lake sturgeon from the Detroit River. Photo by James Boase/USFWS

A juvenile lake sturgeon from the Detroit River. Photo by James Boase/USFWS.

By Georgia Parham
External Affairs - Regional Office

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed the initial review of a petition to list the lake sturgeon under the Endangered Species Act. The Service has concluded there is substantial information to consider listing the species as threatened or endangered. The Service will begin an in-depth review of this species to determine if the fish should be listed.

Lake sturgeon is a fish that occurs across temperate zone freshwater systems of North America, from Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes, through the Mississippi River drainages. Although lake sturgeon were historically abundant throughout their range, the species has significantly declined during the past two centuries. The Service determined the petition to list the lake sturgeon presented substantial information on potential threats associated with dams and hydroelectric facilities, dredging and channelization, contaminants and habitat fragmentation, and impacts from invasive species.

The ESA allows citizens to petition the Service to add species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants, remove species from the list, and to reclassify species already on the list.

The substantial 90-day finding for lake sturgeon means the Service will add the species to the national listing workplan. Timing of the status assessment will depend on the sturgeon’s placement in the workplan.

The 90-day finding will appear in the August 15, 2019, Federal Register. With notice of this petition finding, the Service is accepting information about the lake sturgeon that will assist in evaluating the species’ status. To provide comments, go to the Federal Register docket number.  

The notice for the lake sturgeon finding was published in the Federal Register on August 15, 2019. Learn more about the Endangered Species Act listing process, including 90-day findings and status reviews.

Last updated: June 8, 2020