Sturgeon season closes on Black Lake

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

The limit for the 2013 sturgeon season was reached Monday after three days of fishing on Black Lake.

There were a total of six sturgeon taken; three on the first day, one on the second and two on Monday.

Anglers traveled from all over Michigan and other Great Lakes states.

TODD SCHRYER of Cheboygan took his first ever sturgeon on the first day. (Photo by Peter Jakey)

The season started at 8 a.m. Saturday and would have ended no later than Wednesday if the quota was not filled.

Todd Schryer of Cheboygan landed the third  sturgeon Saturday. It was a male weighing 54 pounds and measured 63 1/2 inches.

“This guy slithered in about a little after 11 o’clock,” said Schryer. “He was on the outside of the hole, and I was getting ready to line up on him, when he turned and came right in.” He has participated in four or five seasons, but this was his first sturgeon.

“It’s a very special thing,” he added.

Tim Garms of Onaway got the first (see accompanying details), while Claudia Wright of got the second. Hers ended up being the largest at 66 pounds, 67 inches.

Dave Borgeson, supervisor of the northern Lake Huron management unit, said the registration of 258 anglers went well on Friday.

The sturgeon quota went from two in 2012 to six this year.

“A few years ago, we harvested 11, instead of the allocated seven,” said Borgeson. “We were concerned that we didn’t want to repeat that. We put in a lot more conservative measures, a lot more presence on the ice.”

The Department of Natural  set a Black Lake harvest rate of 1.2 percent of the sturgeon population.

Tim Garms of Onaway took the first sturgeon at 8:13 a.m. Saturday.

To estimate the age of the sturgeon, the pectoral spine bone is ground down, which reveals growth rings similar to those on a tree, said Tim Cwalinski, fisheries biologist from Gaylord.

“We’ll do that in the next few weeks,” said Cwalinski. He said it gets more difficult as their growth rate slows.

The Black Shivaree returned this year with a tent set up next to the DNR check station off of Zolner Road.

The DNR partnered with Sturgeon for Tomorrow to organize this year’s event, which included a separate fishing tournament, food, live entertainment and a place to warm up on the ice.

“The Shivaree was wildly successful,” said Brenda Archambo, Sturgeon for Tomorrow president. “The people were happy and there were more than we anticipated, having resurrected it for the first year.”

She enjoyed hear people reminisce about past Shivarees.

“It’s not just another event, it’s for something that’s really entrenched in our culture,” said Archambo.

The plans are to continue running it for a couple of years, work out the kinks, “and see if it is something we can sustain.”