Successful Black Lake Sturgeon Season Lasts One Hour
In the early hours of Saturday, February 6, 2016, the sturgeon season on Black Lake opened and closed after one hour of spearing. The allotted number of seven sturgeon were harvested by around 9 AM. There were 261 registered anglers of all ages and genders.
The Department of Natural Resources reported that the first two sturgeon were harvested by 8:15 AM. A 50 inch male was speared first and weighed 26 pounds. He was taken by Brett Trepanier and had been tagged in the spring of 2015. The second sturgeon was a 56 1/2 inch male weighing 42 pounds, captured by Lance Williams. He had been tagged in 2014. At 8:22 AM, Brian Bailey took the largest sturgeon, a female, weighing in at 96 pounds and measuring 70 1/2 inches long. She had been tagged in 2003 and again in 2012.
At 8:40 AM the fourth fish was captured by Robert Kydd. It was a 42 inch male weighing 16 pounds and had been tagged in 2013. Within 10 minutes, at 8:50 AM the fifth fish was harvested by Shaun Hope. It had been tagged in 2014 and was a female, 58 1/2 inches long, weighing in at 42 pounds. Then around 9:00 AM the sixth and seventh sturgeon were taken. Scott Gee got a female who had not been tagged and was 40 inches long, weighing 13 pounds. Dan Bodinger took a 46 1/2 inch male which weighed 20 pounds. It had been tagged in 2013.
Word spread quickly after the seventh fish was taken, as the DNR and volunteers were closely monitoring the participants, in and around the ice shanties on the lake. Signal cannons were fired and sirens were heard on the lake, signaling the end of the season. All of this transpired in minutes of the final fish being harvested.
Six of the seven sturgeon had been captured before by Michigan State University and DNR researchers during spring spawning and summer tagging surveys. this is done either on the Black River or in Black Lake.
The Sturgeon Shivaree also hosted a fishing contest, games and activities for the public, food and drink, all on the ice. It was, indeed a festive event. Many thanks go to Brenda Archambeau and her crew for all their hard work.