Lake Sturgeon Making a Comeback In The Northland
Posted at: 03/06/2013 9:40 PM
| Updated at: 03/06/2013 11:40 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
A population of prehistoric fish is making a comeback in the Northland. Lake Sturgeon have been a special concern for DNR officials since the 1980's, but at a meeting in Duluth Wednesday a fisheries biologist explained their progress.
John Lindgren said the species was close to extinct in Lake Superior and the Saint Louis River after western Europeans over harvested generations ago. He said restocking efforts to save the sturgeon population started in 1983, and it's been making good progress.
"It's been very successful," Lindgren said. "All the indexing and all the research that we've done after we stocked them has shown that the survival has been good."
The meeting Wednesday was at the Hartley Nature Center. Izaak Walton League members were interested to hear about the species' comeback.
"We just want to keep in touch with what is happening in the Saint Louis River," member Larry Forbes said. "They've always been here, and to return them is just the right thing to do."
Rehabilitation efforts are not over. Lindgren said there is still another phase of progress that needs to be recorded.
"We need to get to the point where we not only have the fish present that we stocked, but we have a whole other generation coming back," Lindgren said.
Since sturgeon don't reproduce until they're about 20 years old, results of the rehabilitation project won't be concrete for another 10 to 15 years.
Baby sturgeon, or fry, have been spotted. The earliest documented sighting was in 2011, but they've been seen as early as 2005.