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Lake Sturgeon Rehabilitation in Lake Superior. Henry R. Quinlan Ashland Fishery Resources Office U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ashland, Wisconsin. Lake Sturgeon Subcommittee. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Mike Donofrio Bay Mills Indian Community Ken Gebhardt Fond du Lac Band

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lake sturgeon rehabilitation in lake superior
Lake Sturgeon Rehabilitation in Lake Superior

Henry R. Quinlan

Ashland Fishery Resources Office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Ashland, Wisconsin

lake sturgeon subcommittee
Lake Sturgeon Subcommittee
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
    • Mike Donofrio
  • Bay Mills Indian Community
    • Ken Gebhardt
  • Fond du Lac Band
    • Brian Borkholder
  • Bad River Band
    • Rick Huber
  • Red Cliff Band
    • Greg Fischer
  • GLIFWC
    • Mike Plucinski
    • Bill Mattes
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
    • Mike Friday
    • Ed Iwacheski
  • Michigan Technological University
    • Dr. Nancy Auer (Chair)
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • Henry Quinlan
    • John Weisser
    • Jeff Slade
  • Wisconsin DNR
    • Steve Schram
    • Jeff Roth
    • Steve Fajfer
  • Michigan DNR
    • Dr. Ed Baker
  • Minnesota DNR
    • John Lindrgen
introduction
Introduction
  • 1980’s Lake Sturgeon Surveys
  • 1990 Fish Community Objectives
    • Re-establish depleted stocks
  • 1994 Sturgeon Subcommittee
    • Status report - 1997
    • Rehabilitation plan – 2002
status report
Status Report
  • Spawning Tributaries
  • Reasons for Decline
  • Summarized Population Characteristics
historic spawning tributaries
Historic Spawning Tributaries

Nipigon

Black Sturgeon

Gravel

Big Pic

Wolf

White

Kaministiquia

Michipicoton

Pigeon

Batchawana

Harmony

St. Louis

Sturgeon

Goulais

White

Ontonagon

Tahquamenon

Bad

Montreal

historic abundance
Historic Abundance

Total commercial catch of lake sturgeon from Lake Superior waters. Baldwin et al 1979

reasons for decline
Reasons for Decline
  • Targeted Commercial Fishery
  • Habitat Loss
    • Sawmill waste
    • Log drives
    • Hydroelectric dams
    • Poor water quality
    • Harbors/shipping
  • Incidental Catch
population characteristics
Population Characteristics
  • Bad River, WI
    • Annual spawning run of 200-300 adults
  • Sturgeon River, MI
    • Annual spawning run of 200-250 adults
  • Kaministiquia River, ONT
    • 175 fish in a 15 km stretch
current reproduction
Current Reproduction
  • Larval Sturgeon or Fingerlings Collected
    • Larval drift net
    • Visual observation / dip net
    • Backpack electrofisher
    • Bottom Trawl
    • Seine
current reproduction1
Current Reproduction

Nipigon

Black Sturgeon

Gravel

Big Pic

Kaministiquia

Michipicoton

Batchawana

Sturgeon

Goulais

White

Bad

rehabilitation stocking
Rehabilitation Stocking

St. Louis

Ontonagon

self sustaining spawning populations
Self-sustaining Spawning Populations
  • Lower St. Louis R. – 1983
    • Fry and fingerling
  • Upper St. Louis R. - 1997
    • Eggs
  • Ontonagon R. - 1998
    • Fingerling
stocking success
Stocking Success
  • Abundance increase in St. Louis R.
    • 0 to 5-6/gill net night in river
  • First year classes stocked will soon mature
status summary
Status Summary
  • Natural Reproduction
  • Estimated Abundance in few Tributaries
  • Stocking Increased Abundance
  • Movements Wide Ranging
rehabilitation goal
Rehabilitation Goal
  • Fish Community Objective
    • To maintain, enhance, and rehabilitate self-sustaining populations in 17 tributaries where the species historically spawned
rehabilitation plan
Rehabilitation Plan
  • Defines Rehabilitated Self-sustaining Population
  • Identifies Issues and Strategies
  • Management and Research Needs
self sustaining population
Self-sustaining Population
  • Minimum of 1,500 Spawning Adults
    • Only a portion spawn in any given year
  • Evidence of Annual Natural Reproduction
  • Roughly Equal Sex Ratio
  • 20+ Year Classes of Adults
key issues and strategies
Key Issues and Strategies
  • Harvest Management / Regulations
    • Determine exploitation rates
  • Spawning and Nursery Habitat
    • Id and quantify critical habitat
  • Stocking and Genetics
    • Reproductively isolated populations
    • Genetically-based stocking
key issues and strategies1
Key Issues and Strategies
  • Sea Lamprey Management
    • Control strategies
  • Community Interactions
    • Competition and predation
  • Outreach and Public Education
    • Increase awareness and support
track rehabilitation progress
Track Rehabilitation Progress
  • Presence of Adults at Spawning Sites
  • Increase in Adult Density or Numbers
  • Presence of Drifting Larval Sturgeon
  • Presence of Juveniles
rehabilitation status
Rehabilitation Status
  • No Populations Meet Self-sustaining Criteria
  • 3 Populations Meet Some Criteria
    • 20+ adult year classes
    • Annual reproduction
    • Sex ratios 2-3:1
rehabilitation status1
Rehabilitation Status
  • Run of River flow agreements
    • Nipigon River, Ont.
    • Sturgeon and Ontonagon rivers, MI
  • Genetic Studies in Progress
  • Regulations Changes Made or Proposed
  • 2 Egg Sources and 2 Hatcheries in Basin
rehabilitation status2
Rehabilitation Status
  • New Partnerships Formed
    • Sturgeon subcommittee
    • Commercial fishers
    • Binational Program - LaMP
  • Outreach
    • Lake sturgeon brochure
    • Aquarium and Visitors Center
    • Great Lakes lake sturgeon website
      • http://midwest.fws.gov/sturgeon/index.htm
research needs
Research Needs
  • Determine Current Abundance and Status
  • Describe and Quantify Habitat for All Life Stages
  • Contaminant Levels and Affects
  • Determine Stocking Densities
slide26

Canada vs USA

“Clash of the Sturgeon”

HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES!

8:30 pm