By Howard Meyerson
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — More than 300 anglers hoped to spear a sturgeon through the ice when Michigan’s Black Lake sturgeon-spearing season opened Feb. 7. But the five-day season lasted only five and a half hours. Four Michigan anglers, and one from Wisconsin, successfully filled the season’s five-sturgeon quota by 2:12 p.m. on opening day.
“The first fish was taken at 9 a.m.,” said Tim Cwalinski, a senior fish biologist from the Michigan DNR’s Gaylord office. “It was a 67-inch, 75-pound female. The guy from Wisconsin got the biggest. It was 71 inches and 87 pounds.”
The successful spear fishermen were:
- Tom Madison, from Onaway, who speared the first sturgeon of the day;
- Jason Crawford, of Indian River, who checked in at 9:51 a.m. with a 58.5-inch, 45-pound male;
- Todd Zeller, of Cheboygan, who checked in at 1:13 p.m. with a 69-inch, 80-pound female;
- James Bodinger, from Wisconsin, who checked in at 1:18 p.m. with the largest sturgeon; and
- Doug Blaskowski, of Brutus, who checked in at 2:12 p.m. with a 50-inch, 31-pound female.
Black Lake is well-known for its sturgeon population. Located in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties, the 10,130-acre water body contains just over 1,000 adult sturgeons, according to Cwalinski. His agency and the nonprofit Sturgeon for Tomorrow annually stock it with more than 3,000 young sturgeon that are reared at the nearby Black River sturgeon hatchery. Continue reading