PRESENTATION AT THE SAUGATUC K-DOUGLAS HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 28, 2015 AT 11:00 A.M. AT THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE IN DOUGLAS, MICHIGAN
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.