Ashley Spratt, External Affairs
Lake Sturgeon Streamside Rearing Unit Deployed
Genoa National Fish Hatchery's lake sturgeon streamside rearing unit. (USFWS Photo)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Genoa National Fish Hatchery has completed and deployed a sturgeon streamside rearing unit purchased with GLRI funding. The unit was placed on the Kalamazoo River on a site prepared by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Lake sturgeon larval survival is low due to heavy predation, water pollution and habitat destruction. A streamside rearing unit helps control some of these pressures until the fish are large enough to survive.
"In populations where adult spawning populations have been depressed due to overharvest, water pollution and habitat destruction, sturgeon egg deposits often do not have the critical mass in numbers to overcome all of the pressures that predation and habitat loss can place on them," said Doug Aloisi, Genoa NFH project leader. "Streamside rearing units should help control some of these predatory pressures until the fish are large enough to avoid most predators."
The streamside rearing unit also makes use of river water which is from the sturgeon's birth or "natal" river, which should allow the sturgeon to locate this same river when they are old enough to reproduce, some 15-20 years later. Currently egg traps are being deployed by the Michigan DNR, Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Genoa NFH and our other tribal and Sturgeon for Tomorrow partners to catch eggs and fry to culture in the trailer throughout the spring and summer months.
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