After only two hours of fishing, this year’s sturgeon season on Black Lake (in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties) ended slightly after 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. The season, which included spearing and hook-and-line fishing, was scheduled to run Feb. 6-10, or until the harvest limit quota of six lake sturgeon had been reached.
Anglers initially were allocated a season quota of seven sturgeon, but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources set the harvest limit at six fish. This action helps accommodate the expected number of anglers and anticipate the possibility of near-simultaneous harvest of more than one fish. That occurred this year, with the sixth and seventh fish harvested within seconds of each other, while DNR officials were shutting the season down.
“The way this Black Lake sturgeon season ended highlights why we set our yearly harvest limit at a level lower than the state’s harvest allocation,” said Tim Cwalinski, DNR fisheries biologist. “Because of that foresight we were able to stay within our 2021 season harvest goal.”
There were more than 500 registered anglers, including a good number of supervised youth. According to the DNR, four sturgeon harvested were male and three were female, ranging from 50 to 63 inches long and 25 to 61 pounds in weight.
The first fish was a 50-inch male that weighed 26 pounds.
Fish number two was a 54-inch male that weighed 37 pounds.
Fish three was the largest, a 63-inch female that checked in at 61 pounds.
Fish four was a 50-inch male that weighed 27 pounds.
The fifth fish was a 57-inch female that weighed 38 pounds.
The sixth fish was a 51-inch male that weighed 25 pounds.
The seventh and final fish harvested was a 60-inch female weighing 43 pounds.
Three of the seven fish taken had been