Lake Sturgeon are an awesome sight. They date back to the age of dinosaurs and were once abundant, spawning prolifically in the former rapids of the Grand. The Ottawa know them as Nme’. Lake sturgeon are important spiritually to First Nations people and possess a mystical power in the stories that are shared by generations. They are as important as the eagle and the buffalo.
Life history characteristics of lake sturgeon are unique:
- The typical life-span of lake sturgeon is 55 years for males and 80-150 years for females.
- Spawning occurs on clean, gravel shoals and stream rapids from April to June in preferred water temperatures of 55-64ºf
- Sexual maturity in females is reached between 14 and 33 years, most often from 24-26 years; and, 8 to 12 years for males (but may take up to 22 years)
- Female lake sturgeon spawn once every 4 to 9 years while males spawn every 2 to 7 years;
- Female lake sturgeon lay 4,000 to 7,000 eggs per pound of fish
- Growth rates are quite variable throughout its range and depend on temperature, food availability, and water quality. A male can reach 6 feet and up to 200lbs.