I saw an article about the sturgeon harvest on Black Lake and wondered whether there was a population of sturgeon in the Grand. It turns our there is, indeed, such a population in the river. An M-Live story written by Howard Meyerson and dating from April, 2010 reports as follows.
“Historically, surveys show between 25 and 100 sturgeon spawn in the Muskegon River. . . it is a small but viable, naturally sustaining population.
The Grand River also has some natural reproduction (although) less than the Muskegon or Manistee River, which also has a population, but larger than the Kalamazoo population.
(It is) estimated that a population of 50 to 75 adult sturgeon come to the Grand River during their spawning cycles”
The sturgeon season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County lasted less than two hours, until the pre-determined number of fish were taken through the ice.
From the Michigan Department of Natural Resources:
Sturgeon are the longest lived of Michigan’s fish species and can attain ages of up to 100 years old. They can grow to over 8 feet in length and weigh up to 800 pounds. Male lake sturgeon reach sexual readiness at 15-20 years of age, and then spawn only every other year. Once females mature at about 20-25 years of age, they spawn on average every four years. These characteristics have prevented the recovery of the lake sturgeon, which has been designated as a threatened species.
To read the originally-referenced story on M-Live: