Natural History

Current Status of Lake Sturgeon

  • Lake sturgeon have experienced dramatic population declines over the past 100 years
    • Over harvest
    • Barriers to migration
    • Loss of spawning habitat
  • Current numbers estimated to be less than 1% of historic numbers in Great Lakes
  • Many historic populations in the Great Lakes have become extirpated
  • Most remnant populations in Great Lakes have annual spawning runs of fewer than 200 fish


Natural History Map

Population Decline Map
Holey et al. (2000)

Rehabilitation Strategies

  • Currently listed as threatened or endangered throughout native range
  • Many states (including MI) have developed rehabilitation plans for lake sturgeon
  • Little information known about many fundamental aspects of life history important for restoration
  • Genetic markers provide a novel method for examining many demographic and life history characteristics of lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes