DNR, tribes nab sturgeon before Muskegon River treatment

Sturgeon floating in fish tank

In this Friday, June 14, 2019, image made from video, a sturgeon swims in a tank inside the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Lake St. Clair Fisheries Research Station in Harrison Township, Mich. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State regulators and Native American tribes are temporarily removing juvenile lake sturgeon from two Michigan rivers to protect them from chemical treatments targeting sea lampreys.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service treats rivers in the Great Lakes region to kill invasive lampreys. It doesn’t harm most fish. But when the treatments are applied in the Big Manistee and Muskegon rivers, lake sturgeon are at risk.

Over the next two months, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Gun Lake Tribe will join the state Department of Natural Resources to catch juvenile sturgeon and keep them in rearing facilities until the treatments are completed. Afterward, they’ll be released.

During the last sea lamprey treatment on the Big Manistee River three years ago, 117 lake sturgeon were collected and released.

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