About Us

Brief History of the Program

1997-2002 Beginning of research at Black Lake


  • To estimate population size (MiDNR)
  • To characterize annual spawning stock abundance and structure
  • To describe larval drift chronology and profile
  • To evaluate juvenile habitat selection in Black Lake
  • To determine the contribution of adults to annual recruitment
Field Work
Field Work

2003-present Michigan State University assumes lead role in research at Black Lake and research program diversifies and expands

  • Research focusing on impediments to natural recruitment
  • Characterizations of sources and rates of mortality at the egg and larval stage
  • Behavioral studies characterizing the mating system and quantifying male and female reproductive success
  • Studies of environmental cues to migration and initiation of spawning
  • Studies of growth, physiology and ecology
  • Studies of the relative merits of different hatchery protocols for lake sturgeon growth and survival
  • Evaluation of juvenile survival and habitat selection
  • Genetic studies expand to determine and environmental variables that are associated with inter-annual variation in recruitment
Research Site


Short-term studies tend to deal with organisms with short generation times, rather than long-lived ones that have been selected to withstand year-to-year variations in the environment, and that are, therefore, of central interest in studies of ecological interactions with the environment.” (Tinkle 1979). Long term research programs are needed for lake sturgeon. The Black River system is uniquely suited to long-term research because of the system’s size and accessibility of fish and habitats.

Field Work


Study Locations