Tour Black River sturgeon hatchery for free Aug. 26

Tour Black River sturgeon hatchery for free Aug. 26

Anyone wanting to get a close-up look at lake sturgeon or learn more about what goes into rearing this unique fish species is encouraged to take advantage of free hatchery tours at the Black River facility Saturday, Aug. 26. Tours will run from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the facility, located northwest of Onaway.

“Visitors will see 3-month-old lake sturgeon currently in the hatchery and learn about early life history, as well as how we can all play a role to keep this species healthy in our waters,” said Tim Cwalinski, Northern Lake Huron Unit supervisor with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Researchers from the DNR and Michigan State University will be on hand to talk about lake sturgeon biology, early life history and current research. Sturgeon for Tomorrow representatives will discuss restoration work to improve sturgeon spawning habitat, sturgeon conservation and outreach programming.

The hatchery is located in Cheboygan County on the Upper Black River adjacent to the Kleber Dam. From M-68 2 miles west of Onaway, take Black River Road (F-05) north to Twin School Road, then west a little over 3 miles to the hatchery which is on the north side of the road just before the dam.

The free hatchery tour day is made possible by the DNR, MSU, Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership and Sturgeon for Tomorrow.

The streamside rearing facility is an important part of lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in the Cheboygan River watershed. The facility conducts research to increase our understanding of lake sturgeon, thanks to DNR, federal, Great Lakes Fishery Trust and Sturgeon for Tomorrow funds. Research results provide valuable guidance for lake sturgeon recovery efforts, while improving the effectiveness of lake sturgeon culture – such as best practices for feeding and stocking efforts and diseases treatment.

Fingerlings release following tours

Later that same day after hatchery tours conclude, the sturgeon fingerlings – young fish about the size of a finger– reared at the hatchery are scheduled to be released into the Black River and Mullett Lake.

For more information on lake sturgeon and to get involved in rehabilitation efforts, visit or

Contact: Neal Godby (DNR), 231-340-2621; Jay Woiderski (SFT), 231-420-1237 or Doug Larson (MSU), 989-773-6176