Public tours of Black River sturgeon hatchery offered Aug. 21

Contact: Dave Borgeson (DNR), 989-732-3541 or Brenda Archambo (Sturgeon For Tomorrow), 231-625-2776
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 10, 2021

Hatchery-reared sturgeon fingerlings will be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake later that day

Children releasing sturgeon into Black River

If you're curious about lake sturgeon - one of the most unique and the biggest fish swimming the Great Lakes - plan a visit to the Black River hatchery northwest of Onaway, Michigan, Saturday, Aug. 21. The facility will host free public tours that day from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m..

The tours are offered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon For Tomorrow. Researchers from the DNR and MSU will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon biology, reproductive ecology and the current year's research. Sturgeon For Tomorrow representatives will discuss restoration work to improve sturgeon spawning habitat, sturgeon conservation and outreach programming.

"While on the tours, visitors will see 3-month-old lake sturgeon currently in the hatchery and learn about early life history and how we can all play a role to keep healthy populations of this fish in our waters," said Dave Borgeson, Northern Lake Huron Unit supervisor with the DNR.

The streamside rearing facility is an important component of lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in the Cheboygan River watershed. The facility conducts research to increase our understanding of lake sturgeon, thanks to DNR, federal, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Sturgeon For Tomorrow funds. Results provide much-needed guidance for managers involved in lake sturgeon recovery efforts, while improving the effectiveness of lake sturgeon culture and stocking efforts.

The sturgeon fingerlings reared at the hatchery are scheduled to be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake Aug. 21 after the tours conclude.

The hatchery is located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber Dam. From M-68 2 miles west of Onaway, take Black River Road (F-05) north to Twin School Road, then west a little over 3 miles to the hatchery, which is on the north side of the road just before the dam.

For more information on lake sturgeon and getting involved in rehabilitation efforts, visit or