If you have ever wanted to learn about Michigan's largest fish, the mighty lake sturgeon, you can get up close and personal in just a couple weeks at the Black River hatchery.

To me, the ultimate fish for a Michigan angler is of course the biggest fish found swimming in the Great Lakes, the lake sturgeon.

I have never caught a sturgeon before or even fished for them but it has been a bucket list fish of mine since I was a child.

The closest I have come to a lake sturgeon was late in April of 2020 when the pandemic was in full force. I spent a lot of time fishing since you couldn't go anywhere and there are a lot of places to fish near where I live in Newaygo County.

Walleye season had kicked back in so I was at the Croton Dam fishing the Muskegon River when there were some massive splashes going on, and at first I thought it was just massive carp spawning. Suddenly this guy just down from me yells fish on and from the look of his pole I thought it was a giant steelhead.

The guy fights this fish for about 20 minutes, never even getting it close to the bank. He would get the fish coming his way then it would turn and just peel the line out of his real. While this is going on, there are other massive fish splashes in the area and that's when I said, "those must be the biggest carp ever." That's when the man with the massive fish on his line says, no those are sturgeon and that is what's on my line right now.

My mind was blown because I never even thought about lake sturgeon swimming up the Muskegon River to spawn, but it made sense.

Unfortunately the sturgeon was just too much for the man's fishing line. The giant from Lake Michigan suddenly made a run for it and snap goes the mans line.

Well that was the closest I had ever been to a lake sturgeon.

There is a chance for the whole family to get up close to some lake sturgeon according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. This event will take place at the Black River hatchery just northwest of Onaway, Michigan on Saturday, August 21. There will be free public tours that day only from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You will be able to learn about the Great Lakes largest fish and what the state of Michigan is doing to preserve lake sturgeon for years to come. After the tours wrap up, you can hang around after and watch the DNR release sturgeon fingerlings into the Black River. Who knows, maybe the DNR might had you a bucket for a release.

To learn more about this one day only sturgeon tour, just click here.

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