a blog about Angela Oster's art, inspiration, and post-experience as a recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship from Community Partnership for Arts & Culture

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Lakes Sturgeon making a comeback

The mighty lake sturgeon - an odd-looking North American fish that has been on Earth no fewer than 150 million years and that coexisted with dinosaurs for at least 85 million years - is making a comeback in the Great Lakes region after nearly going extinct in the early 1900s

Last spring, lake sturgeon spawned for the first time in 30 years in the Canadian waters of the Detroit River. The site, at the head of Fighting Island, near Wyandotte, Mich., involved a reef built as part of a joint U.S.-Canadian effort in 2008.

Even with their gradual comeback-in-the-making, today's lake sturgeon make up just 1 percent of the numbers found in the Great Lakes region in the late 1800s. They are listed as threatened in Michigan and Ontario and endangered in Ohio waters of the Great Lakes.

Indeed, many Native Americans - especially the Menominee of northern Wisconsin, one of the few tribes in the Great Lakes region that was never pushed westward - have drawn parallels between the plight of lake sturgeon and of the American buffalo.

Individually, a lake sturgeon can live for nearly 200 years, some growing to lengths of more than six feet and topping out at a weight of 300 pounds. Toledo Blade

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