Saginaw Bay Watershed Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction

August 23, 2019 10:00AM - 1:00PM

Contact: Meaghan Gass, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator,, (989) 895‐4026 ext. 5

Young child helps to release juvenile sturgeon into the Cass River during a 2019 event. Photo: MIchigan Sea Grant

Local, state, and federal partners invite the public to a Lake sturgeon release celebration on Aug. 23, 2019, in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. Releases will reintroduce 125 hatchery‐raised sturgeon into each tributary of the Saginaw Bay Watershed (Cass, Flint, Shiawassee, and Tittabawassee rivers). Short presentations will be made at three of the events by local partners.  
The schedule includes:

  • A release at 10 a.m. on the Tittabawassee River. It will be held at the Bob G. Caldwell Municipal Boat Launch in Midland, MI, and will be hosted by the Chippewa Nature Center. For more information, contact Dennis Pilaske at
  • The noon Shiawassee River release will take place at Cole Park in Chesaning, MI, and will be hosted by the Friends of the Shiawassee River. For more information, contact Lorraine Austin at
  • The noon Cass River release is at the Gunzenhausen Walkway in Frankenmuth, MI, and will be hosted by the City of Frankenmuth. For more information, contact Daren Kaschinske at
  • The final release will be held on the Flint River at Mott Park Recreation Area. The release is not open to the public due to construction in the area. For more information, contact Rebecca Fedawa at

Lake sturgeon are a unique Great Lakes species. They can grow up to 7 feet long and can weigh up to 300 pounds. The slow‐maturing fish do not begin reproducing until they are 15‐20 years old. Once abundant in many Michigan lakes and rivers, lake sturgeon were nearly eradicated due to overfishing and habitat loss, particularly the destruction of rocky reefs in rivers that sturgeon and other native fish species use for spawning. In recent years, many partnerships and projects are working to restore sturgeon to a self‐sustaining level in Michigan. This work includes restoring sturgeon habitat, reintroducing sturgeon into their native ranges, and raising awareness and appreciation for this unique species. 

The Aug. 23, 2019, sturgeon release events are supported by a variety of partners including Bay County Environmental Affairs and Community Development, City of Frankenmuth, Chippewa Nature Center, Flint River Watershed Coalition, Frankenmuth Morning Rotary Club, Frankenmuth School District’s Chief Science Officers, Friends of the Shiawassee River, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU Extension, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Saint Lorenz School, Sturgeon for Tomorrow – Black Lake Chapter, The Conservation Fund, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Learn more about the lake sturgeon restoration efforts on the Saginaw Bay Sturgeon website

Tags: cass river, chesaning, fisheries and wildlife, flint river, frankenmuth, lake sturgeon, michigan sea grant, midland, mott park recreation area, msu extension, saginaw bay watershed, shiawassee river, tittabawassee river

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Meaghan Gass

Meaghan Gass
989-895-4026 ext 5

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