Wednesday, September 30, 2015

old picture #3 sturgeon from the Kalamazoo River

old picture #2

old sturgeon picture 1


letter of support

Kalamazoo River Sturgeon for Tomorrow

September 25, 2015
Mr. Todd Parker
Delta Institute
35 E. Wacker Blvd. Ste. 1200
Chicago, IL.  60601

Dear Mr. Parker

The Kalamazoo River Sturgeon for Tomorrow is pleased to support the Delta Institute on the proposed project in Allegan County.  This project, Performance-based Agricultural Conservation in the Kalamazoo River Watershed, will benefit our work rehabilitating the threatened lake sturgeon population of the Kalamazoo River.
The Kalamazoo River Sturgeon for Tomorrow was incorporated in 2008 and works collaboratively with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe.  The survival of lake sturgeon depends on improved water quality, protecting habitat to enhance spawning success and the creation of new spawning sites.   A streamside rearing facility was funded in 2011 at the New Richmond, Allegan County Park.  Additional spawning sites are being constructed.  Our organization has gathered boy scouts to perform sturgeon guarding exercises, assembled egg sampling equipment, participated in collecting population data, searched for spawning activity, posted informational signage and done many educational sessions for the community.  
Sediment entering the river system through cropland erosion is fouling spawning sites which require clean cobble.  Heavy phosphorus loads impair the water quality.  This proposed project would greatly improve river conditions for successful sturgeon spawning and is consistent with the goals of our organization.  We would gladly partner with you; offering our membership's familiarity of the river, sharing sturgeon habitat data and supporting your outreach efforts.
We look forward to taking river conditions for successful spawning to the next level.  Thank you for this opportunity and we welcome additional inquiries about our work.
Yours sincerely,
Alan Weener, President
6176 122nd Avenue, Fennville, Michigan  49408           

newer news

On August 28, 2015, the Saugatuck Douglas Historic Society will present  a program on Lake Michigan fisheries and the Kalamazoo River Lake Sturgeon  - a historical perspective.  The guest speaker will be Jay Wesley, The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator, Fish Division. He will be assisted by Al Weener and Ronald Clark, President and Executive Director respectively of Kalamazoo River Lake Sturgeon for Tomorrow, a not for profit organization that partners with The DNR, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Gun Lake Indian Tribe to restore this ancient, sacred and revered unique species to the Kalamazoo River where it once abounded.
               We will be announcing the release of 12 more baby sturgeon into the Kalamazoo about August 1, though it is possible that they will be released as early as July 28.  Jay Wesley will discuss plans for increasing the egg production of the Kalamazoo sturgeon who are returning to the Kalamazoo each year to spawn. This will be done through increased habitat away from the current spawning area in front of the Allegan Dam and the use of hormone injections to induce egg laying by captured females who currently do not seem to be laying their eggs. 
Each female returns only every 4 to7 years or so and does not begin to spawn she is 24 to 26 years old. As one can see, this project is long term, but maybe not so long when one considers that the sturgeon has been in the river over 10,000 years.  In the past 125 years, only man, through pollution dam building and overfishing, has been responsible for the docile sturgeon’s demise, and only man can restore them.    
I have sent pictures of eggs, a sturgeon caught by the Sewers Brothers Fisheries in Saugatuck and a current picture of sturgeon capturing in the Kalamazoo over the past 2  years.  Jay Wesley will have a video presentation.        

Saturday, February 14, 2015

2015 the start of another year with the fish

The DNRWill be out at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River sampling and netting soon.  The sturgeon stage their progression up the river as the water warms. In the past they have been near coral gables as there a deep spot in the channel in front of the restaurant. All this happens every year since the ice age. What is new this year is the dedicated biologists will hopefully be able to extract eggs from mature fish in a pen in the river and,without harming them, acquire viable eggs in a fashion new to our area. Details will follow soon as the project ramps up. We are very excited in that the hatchery may have many fish this summer and through this new strategy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

don't forget - join us at this Saturday's Sturgeon Release event!

Michigan Radio's "Environmental Report" program did a feature today on this Saturday's Sturgeon Release event. Read and listen here:
And here's the info on Saturday's Celebration:

For more information, contact:

On Saturday, September 6, the local Sturgeon For Tomorrow/Save Michigan’s Sturgeon project ( based in New Richmond, will celebrate another successful season of rearing sturgeon with a day of events at the New Richmond Bridge Park.

The event will take place from 10AM until 2PM at the park. Activities include live music from Dixieland-style band “Porkchop”, operation of the New Richmond swing bridge, tours of the Michigan DNR hatching and rearing facility, various speakers, free snacks and refreshments, a pig roast, information booths and, the main event, the release of the young sturgeon into the Kalamazoo River (at noon). There will be a tribal drum circle at both the opening and closing of the event by John Bush and the Three Fires.

The Sturgeon for Tomorrow project is an ongoing effort to help repopulate the lake sturgeon population in west Michigan. Sturgeon live in Lake Michigan, entering the Kalamazoo River mouth yearly, only to spawn and then return to the lake. The sturgeon then take 15 to 20 years to reach breeding maturity. As the number of sturgeon has decreased over the years, this project was founded to assist in restoring a healthy population.  More information about the program can be found at the organization’s site at

The release event celebration is free and open to the public. Everyone is invited to come and learn more and participate in this fun family-friendly event.