Sturgeon Festival

Sturgeon Cruise

The Sturgeon Festival is a one-day event centered on providing close encounters with the “Giants of the Great Lakes”. Browse a dozen indoor & outdoor displays with hands-on activities, drop-in a workshop or presentation, and view live sturgeon and other native fish. The festival also features three Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruises with a live video feed from a diver underneath the boat which allows guests a view of the action from the bottom of the river. Are you ready for your close encounter with this ancient freshwater fish?

picSturgeon are phenomenal to see up close because they reach enormous size - weighing up to 150lbs, growing over 7ft, and living over 100 years. Of the many historically known spawning sites, only two are known to be active, and both are in the St. Clair River. Over 10,000 lake sturgeon call underneath the Blue Water Bridges “home” which makes it possible to see these prehistoric majestic fish if given the right opportunity.

Since the 1900’s, lake sturgeon populations have declined, not just from historical over-fishing, but from habitat alteration, industrialization of the Great Lakes, and increasing pollution levels, and as a result were added to the Threatened Species list in Michigan. In recent years, the lake sturgeon has made something of a comeback. Collaborative efforts at righting environmental wrongs in the St. Clair River have improved habitat conditions. Sturgeon can be used as a spotlight species to gauge the health of the river, and with sturgeon numbers slowly on the rise we are assured that the health of the St. Clair River is also improving.

picSturgeon Cruise

Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise
10:30a-12:30p  •  1:00p-3:00p  •  3:30p-5:30p

Tickets now available!   Click Here

Get a glimpse of these prehistoric fish on our exclusive Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise! Guests will be able to see lake sturgeon in the St. Clair River via a live video feed from professional diver and sturgeon expert Greg Lashbrook underneath the Huron Lady. Big screen TV’s, courtesy of Best Buy, will allow all guests a personal view of the action from the bottom of the river. Enjoy the St. Clair River and the beautiful expanse of Lake Huron on this 2-hour cruise narrated by local fisheries scientists and experts. Boarding for the sturgeon cruise begins promptly 20 minutes before departure.

Tickets must be purchased directly from the Huron Lady II website. Please save and print your receipt as your ticket. You must present your receipt and a photo ID to board the Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise.

Terms and Conditions: All passengers must purchase a ticket in advance. One hundred (100) tickets are available per cruise based on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the educational and research nature of this sturgeon cruise, children five years old and under are not allowed on board. There is no guarantee to see a lake sturgeon. Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged or traded. The sturgeon cruise will take place rain or shine, so please dress appropriately.

Numerous events are offered throughout the day. Admission and activities are free, thanks to our generous sponsors.

  • Celebrate the spring arrival of spawning sturgeon in the St. Clair River with a traditional drum ceremony at 9:30am performed by Walpole Island First Nation leaders. This ceremony is an opportunity to blend the long-standing history and culture of local Native American people and their relationship with sturgeon with the fisheries science of today.

  • View live adult sturgeon from shore from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife boat; visit exhibitor’s booths displaying tanks with lampreys and juvenile sturgeon

  • Cupcakes served to celebrate the lake sturgeon’s birthday

  • Arts-n-crafts for kids

  • Face painting, t-shirts, give-aways and more!

  • New this year! Up to six 5th grade classes could win a free Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise on Friday, May 30. Classes must participate in our Great Lakes Sturgeon poster contest to be eligible. Please email the School Sturgeon Cruise Coordinator for details.

Sturgeon Cruise

News Releases
March 28 - Ticket Sales pdf
March 21 - Poster Contest pdf  /  Poster Contest Rules pdf

DiverUS Fish and Wildlife Service Great Lakes Sturgeon
Great Lakes Science Center Lake Sturgeon
St. Clair River Area of Concern
Huron-Erie Corridor Initiative
Great Lakes Restoration Work in Michigan

Video Clips
Return of the Gentle Giants pdf
Top 10 Lake Sturgeon Clips pdf

Fact Sheets
Helping the Ancient Sturgeon pdf
Restoring Fish Habitat in the St. Clair River pdf
Restoration of Lake Sturgeon in the Detroit River pdf
Dinosaur of the Great Lakes pdf
Michigan: Great Lakes Restoration at Work pdf
Marysville Living Shoreline Project pdf


Phone: (810) 987-5306
Facebook: Blue Water Sturgeon Festival


Fast Facts

Type: Fish
Diet: Omnivore
Life span: Male 55yrs / Female 115yrs
Size: 6.5 ft
Weight: Up to 200 lbs

Did you know? The lake sturgeon is often called a "living fossil”. It’s part of a family of fish that has existed unchanged for more than 135 million years.

Take the Lake Sturgeon Quiz!  pdf

More Facts




Sturgeon photos by Greg Lashbrook


The Sturgeon Festival, organized by Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed, is a partnership between natural resource agencies, government, industry, scientists, anglers, and recreationalists in order to highlight the ecosystem approach to managing fish and wildlife in the St. Clair River and to increase interest in restoring the lake sturgeon to higher levels of abundance. With everyone’s cooperation, this “Gentle Giant of the Great Lakes” will be saved from extinction for all to enjoy. Click on “More Facts” to read more about lake sturgeon and local restoration projects in the St. Clair River.


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