Biologists display juvenile and adult lake sturgeon.Lake Sturgeon Activities of the USFWS Green Bay Fishery Resources Office

Many of the needs for furthering restoration efforts of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes involve gaining a better understanding of the status and characteristics of remnant populations relative to historic distribution and population structure and minimizing known impediments to sturgeon production. Following is a listing of activities and related results that the GBFRO has been involved in during 1997-1999 and activities that are planned for 2000 and beyond.

USFWS-GBFRO Activities 1997-1999:

Measured and monitored status of spawning runs of 4 remnant stocks in the Fox, Oconto, Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers of Green Bay, including sampling for and documenting successful egg deposition and natural reproduction.

Lake sturgeon spawning in the Fox River, 1999.
Lake sturgeon spawning in the Fox River, 1999.

Releasing a tagged sturgeon on the Peshtigo River.
Releasing a tagged sturgeon on the Peshtigo River.

Netting a sturgeon on the Menominee River.
Netting a sturgeon on the Menominee River.

Implanted transmitters in 18 sturgeon from the Fox, Peshtigo and Menominee Rivers and conducted telemetry over 3 year period to describe movement, distribution, residency time and habitat use in Green Bay.

Implanting a radio telemetry tag into a lake sturgeon Releasing a tagged lake sturgeon Implanting a radio telemetry tag into a lake sturgeon
Conducting radio telemetry on lake sturgeon Implanting a radio telemetry tag into a lake sturgeon Conducting radio telemetry on lake sturgeon

Implanting tags, releasing fish and conducting telemetry of ultrasonically tagged lake sturgeon on Green Bay

Assembled available literature on historical distribution of lake sturgeon in Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan.

Coordinated with commercial and sport fishers to gather general biological information on distribution and movement, to tag additional fish, and to collect genetic samples.

Large lake sturgeon held in a commerical pound net.
Large lake sturgeon held in a commerical pound net.
Volunteer commercial fishermen working up a lake sturgeon captured in one of their live entrapment nets.
Volunteer commercial fishermen working up a lake sturgeon captured in one of their live entrapment nets.

Assisted with the writing of a draft lake surgeon plan for the Green Bay basin.

Assembled available data describing contaminant analysis of lak-+e sturgeon in the Great Lakes.

Lake sturgeon spawning in the Fox River.
Lake sturgeon spawning in the Fox River.
USFWS and WI DNR biologists identifying the tag number on a Fox River lake sturgeon.
USFWS and WI DNR biologists identifying the tag number on a Fox River lake sturgeon.

Planned Activities for 2000 and on-:

Implement coordinated study with Wisconsin DNR and Michigan DNR (funds pending) to:

WI DNR and MI DNR biologists measuring a Menominee River lake sturgeon.
WI DNR and MI DNR biologists measuring a Menominee River lake sturgeon.
USFWS, WI DNR and MI DNR biologists conducting tagging survey of Menominee River lake sturgeon.
USFWS, WI DNR and MI DNR biologists conducting tagging survey of Menominee River lake sturgeon.

Assist with planning and implementation of the Great Lakes Fishery Trust needs assessment workshop to set priorities for Trust funding of lake sturgeon research and management in the Great Lakes.

Complete analysis of telemetry data collected in 1997-1999.

Continue to monitor, sample and tag fish from spawning runs of remnant sturgeon populations in area tributaries.

Expand cooperation with commercial and sport fishers in monitoring, sampling and tagging of sturgeon encountered incidental to licensed fishing operations in Lake Michigan.

Pursue funding and implement studies identified in management/rehabilitation plans and identified as priority needs through needs assessment workshop.


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