Years of overfishing, habitat loss, and poor water quality led to extensive declines in lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) populations throughout their range. However, with the advent of the Clean Water Act (1972) and improvements in habitat quality and connectivity, some populations of lake sturgeon managed to hold on. One of these "remnant" populations exists in the Muskegon River system; a tributary to the eastern shore of central Lake Michigan. My Master's research under the guidance of Dr. Carl Ruetz at Grand Valley State University and the Annis Water Resources Institute aimed to highlight the current status of this population. We examined adult abundance in association with the annual spring spawning run, the location and success of reproduction in the Muskegon River, and juvenile habitat use patterns in Muskegon Lake during 2008 - 2009.
Dr. Ruetz continues to work with lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system and the most updated information can be found on his lab page.
(2) Harris, B.S., C.R. Ruetz III, A.C. Wieten, and M.E. Altenritter. 2017. Age, growth, and status of a remnant population of lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River system, USA. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 33:338-346.
(1) Altenritter, M.E.L., A. C. Weiten, C.R. Ruetz III, and K.M. Smith. 2013. Seasonal spatial distribution of juvenile lake sturgeon in Muskegon Lake, MI. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 22:467-478.
Ruetz Lab Page
Annis Water Resources Institute
Grand Valley State University