Federal agency to consider protections for lake sturgeon

Michigan
In this Oct. 12, 2017 photo provided by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Biologist Chet MacKenzie, left, and Specialist Joel Flewelling prepare to measure and weigh a lake sturgeon captured in Lake Champlain's Malletts Bay in Colchester, Vt. The fish was originally captured and tagged in 1998. Mackenzie says the fish species appears to be doing better in the lake, but still needs protection. (Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

In this Oct. 12, 2017 photo provided by the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Biologist Chet MacKenzie, left, and Specialist Joel Flewelling prepare to measure and weigh a lake sturgeon captured in Lake Champlain’s Malletts Bay in Colchester, Vt. The fish was originally captured and tagged in 1998. Mackenzie says the fish species appears to be doing better in the lake, but still needs protection. (Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will consider whether to list the lake sturgeon as an endangered or threatened species.

The agency said Wednesday there is “substantial information” to justify a study of whether the ancient fish should receive federal protection.

Lake sturgeon are members of a family of fish that reach back to the dinosaur era. Their range extends from Hudson Bay to the southern Mississippi River. They are the largest native freshwater fish in the Great Lakes.

Their numbers were once in the millions but have fallen drastically in the past century because of pollution and overfishing.

The Fish and Wildlife Service also said it would consider changing the Gila topminnow’s status from endangered to threatened. It rejected a proposal to protect the Siskiyou Mountains salamander.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Know something newsworthy? Report It!