Lake sturgeon are a long‐lived species. They are the only sturgeon species endemic to the Great Lakes Basin and are the largest freshwater ﬁsh indigenous to this system. Lake sturgeon spawn in their natal rivers and prefer rocky areas in freshwater tributaries, usually along the outside bend of rivers as suitable spawning habitat.
These huge fish can measure six and a half feet (two meters) long and weigh close to 200 pounds (90 kilograms). Instead of scales, the lake sturgeon has coarse skin.
Despite their name, lake sturgeon are found in rivers as well as lakes. The fish’s range spans North America from the Hudson Bay to Mississippi River. This fish was once an abundant species in the ecosystems of the Great Lakes, but over harvesting has decreased its numbers.
Lake sturgeon feed along lake bottoms on small invertebrates, such as crayfish, snails, claims, and leeches.
Lake sturgeon migrate to shores of freshwater lakes in early summer for spawning. Female lay anywhere from two to three million eggs per season. Sturgeon may not begin spawning until they are 15 to 25 years old, and only spawn every four years on average.
These fish can live for decades. Males may reach 55 years, while females have been recorded living for 150 years.
Sturgeon can be seen porpoising—or jumping in the air—after entering a spawning stream.
Their evolution dates back to the Triassic period some 245 to 208 million years ago. Almost all species are highly threatened or vulnerable to extinction due to a combination of habitat destruction, overfishing, and pollution.
Kun rise clear water
Absent bends, blind poisons, spears,
Queen’s final winter.
I look at the lake sturgeon as the Kun fish, the ones that morph into dragons in Chinese mythology. What will happen to us when dragons no longer rise to the sky?
Amaya is today’s host of dVerse. Amaya says:
Write a poem in whichever form you see fit to do justice to your version of “majestic.”