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.