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?
Sturgeon 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.
Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise
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.
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 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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