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Use caution on Black Lake during lake sturgeon survey in July

If you're boating on Black Lake next month, you may notice some survey equipment in the water. Please take care to avoid any nets or buoys you see. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Michigan State University will survey the juvenile lake sturgeon population of Black Lake in July. This is the first survey to track juvenile lake sturgeon in Black Lake since 2013.  

From July 10 to July 27, gill nets made specifically for capturing sturgeon will be set and marked with buoys Monday through Thursday of each week. Staff will check the nets every 1-2 hours during the day. Nets will be set each day and marked with staff buoys. Nets will be removed at the end of the day and will not be left in the lake overnight. Once captured, lake sturgeon will be measured and tagged with a Passive Integrated Transponder tag if they are not already tagged. The PIT tag allows staff to uniquely identify individual fish when they are recaptured and provides data needed to calculate a population estimate. Some lake sturgeon under 40” will have a small portion of a fin removed so the age of the fish can be determined. This will allow staff to evaluate growth of both stocked and naturally produced lake sturgeon in Black Lake. 

The DNR asks the public to be on the lookout for these buoys and avoid them while boating on Black Lake during this survey.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • Lake sturgeon: The goal of this survey is to determine the status of juvenile lake sturgeon and the success of stocking efforts.
  • Nets: Nets will be set on Monday through Thursday of each week. Gill nets will be used to capture lake sturgeon and nets will be checked regularly (every 1-2 hours) by staff during the day. (Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant)