Minnesota DNR restock lake sturgeon in St. Louis River

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:39 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - For the first time since 2000, the Minnesota DNR is stocking lake sturgeon in the St. Louis River.

On Tuesday, officials stocked the river with hundreds of young sturgeon near Chamber’s Grove Park.

Lake sturgeon are a native fish that can live for over 100 years and grow to over 100 pounds.

Sturgeon were once abundant in the river, but their populations declined in the early 1900s due to habitat destruction, pollution, and overharvest.

Restocking efforts began in the 80s with hundreds of sturgeon documented to be returning to restored habitat to spawn.

Fingerling sturgeon getting tagged
Fingerling sturgeon getting tagged(Minnesota DNR)

Natural production remains slow and this effort is intended to help boost their numbers.

”The 375 lake sturgeon that we stocked today are about four months old, and each fish has a unique tag embedded inside of it that biologists now and decades into the future will be able to monitor for their growth and the recovery of lake sturgeon,” says Dan Wilford, DNR Duluth Area Fisheries Specialist.

The Saint Louis River was first designated as a federal Area of Concern in 1987 because of contamination.

Minnesota and Wisconsin state agencies have been working to clean up and restore the river with the goal of delisting it by 2035.

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