The Department of Natural Resources has announced that the 2013 lake sturgeon fishing and spearing season on Black Lake (Cheboygan County) will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2. All anglers must register to participate in the lake sturgeon season.

The 2013 angler registration process will be similar to what was enacted in 2012. Anglers need to only register once for the entire season. An early registration will be held at the DNR Onaway Field Station from 2 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. This station is located approximately five miles north of Onaway on Route 211. Anglers can pick up their spearing identification flags at this time and learn more about season logistics and sturgeon populations from the DNR.

Anglers unable to participate in the Friday registration may register at either the entrance booth to Onaway State Park or at a registration trailer at Zolner Road ending on Black Lake. Morning registration begins at 7 a.m. each day of the season. Anglers are highly encouraged to register on Friday, Feb. 1.

The 2013 total harvest limit for the state of Michigan is six sturgeon. However, to reduce the chance of exceeding the harvest limit, officials will close the season if one of two scenarios occurs:

  1. Once the sixth fish is harvested, or
  2. If five fish have been harvested at the end of any fishing day.

Anglers 17 years of age or older must possess a valid all-species fishing license. In addition, all anglers must possess a lake sturgeon tag, available for free from all license vendors. Anglers must have both of these prior to registering for the Black Lake sturgeon season.

Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the season. The season will either end at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified on the ice by DNR personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.

Anglers will be issued a disposable flag at registration that must be displayed at the entrance of the angler’s shanty each day.

Anglers that harvest a lake sturgeon must tag the fish immediately and contact an on-ice DNR employee and register the fish at the Zolner Road trailer registration site on Black Lake. Registration may include an examination of internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis and aging.

Recent changes in registration logistics were developed to allow greater participation by anglers while protecting the population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake from overharvest. Rehabilitation of lake sturgeon in the Cheboygan River watershed is a cooperative effort involving the Department of Natural Resources, the Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, Michigan State University and Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership.

Anglers may call the Gaylord Operations Service Center at 989-732-3541 or visit www.michigan.gov/fishing for more details.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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