New for 2015! Run With the Sturgeon is a 5k race and 1k fun run along the beautiful Blue Water River Walk on the shores of the St. Clair River in downtown Port Huron. Meet our mascot, Seymour Sturgeon, who will be cheering you on! Start and finish at the Sturgeon Festival with the sounds of a traditional Native American drum ceremony from Walpole Island. Stick around after the race for the award ceremony and to see and touch a threatened Lake Sturgeon from Lake Huron up close and personal. Proceeds benefit Friends of the St Clair River and Sturgeon For Tomorrow.
5k Race $20 (Increases to $25 after March 16) • 1k Run $10
The Sturgeon Festival is a one-day, family-friendly 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, touch a live sturgeon and other native fish, or take a ride on our exclusive Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise.
Sturgeon are phenomenal to see up close because they reach enormous size - weighing up to 150 pounds, growing over 7 feet, and living over 100 years. The St. Clair River ecosystem supports the largest remaining population of free-ranging threatened lake sturgeon. Over 10,000 lake sturgeon call underneath the Blue Water Bridges home which makes it possible to see these majestic fish if given the opportunity. At the Sturgeon Festival, we are bringing this unique opportunity to thousands of families each year.
Lake sturgeon populations have declined since the early 1900’s, not just from historical over-fishing, but from habitat alteration 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 due to completion of numerous spawning reefs in the St. Clair River. 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. A sustainable fish population and healthy river system is not only important for our health but it means increased recreation opportunities and tourism for the Blue Water Area.
Sturgeon Fest is leveraging Port Huron’s unique natural resources to help shape and revitalize its physical, social, and economic character. We want the Sturgeon Festival to catch your attention to the qualities of our community’s natural resources because when you enjoy a place for its special attributes it instills a sense of pride. Are you ready for your close encounter with this prehistoric freshwater fish?
Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise
Get a glimpse of these enormous prehistoric fish on the Blue Water’s exclusive Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise! During a Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise, guests will be able to watch lake sturgeon swimming on the bottom of the St. Clair River via live video feed by Gregory A.D. Big screen televisions on deck, courtesy of Best Buy, will allow 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 fisheries biologists and experts. There are only 100 seats available each cruise, so don’t delay, get your tickets today! Boarding for the sturgeon cruise begins promptly 20 minutes before departure. Due to the educational nature of this cruise, passengers are limited to ages 6 and over.
Numerous events are offered throughout the day. Admission and activities are free, thanks to our generous sponsors.
9:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony
Drop-in Meet the Scientist 20-minute workshops
View live lake sturgeon on shore with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and DNR scientists
Learn about the Great Lakes at outdoor exhibits
Taste the limited special edition orange-spiced honey hefeweizen sturgeon beer brewed exclusively for Sturgeon Festival by ThumbCoast Brewing Company
Special kids’ activities, sturgeon birthday cake, t-shirt sale, give-aways, and more!
School Sturgeon Cruise
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.
Sturgeon photos by Greg Lashbrook
The Sturgeon Festival, organized by Friends of the St. Clair River, 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.
© 2013-2015 Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed. All rights reserved.
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