Michigan’s ‘Black Lake’ Sturgeon Season

The 2024 lake sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County, Michigan, will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.

All anglers must register online to participate in the fishing season, and those age 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license.

The harvest limit for the 2024 season on Black Lake is six lake sturgeon. Officials will close the season when one of two scenarios occurs:

  • The sixth fish is harvested.
  • Five fish have been harvested at the end of any fishing day.

Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day of the season. The season will end either at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, or when one of the above scenarios is met, at which point anglers will be notified via text message and on the ice by DNR personnel that they must immediately stop fishing for lake sturgeon.

Anyone who wants to participate this year must register online by Feb. 2. Get more registration and season information at Michigan.gov/Sturgeon.

Participating anglers must bring their own bright red flags (1-foot diameter or larger) to hang on their fishing shanties so that DNR personnel can identify those who are sturgeon fishing. Season officials emphasize that anglers are asked to hang one or more flags in highly visible locations on their shanties, because DNR personnel must be aware of which anglers are pursuing sturgeon fishing.

Anyone harvesting a lake sturgeon must immediately contact DNR personnel on the ice. Official registration of each harvested fish will take place at a DNR trailer located on or near the ice at the end of Zollner Road in the northwest part of Black Lake. Harvest registration may include an examination of the fish’s internal organs and removal of a piece of fin tissue for DNA analysis or aging.

Lake sturgeon rehabilitation efforts in Black Lake over the last two decades have been a successful collaboration between the DNR, Sturgeon for Tomorrow, tribal agencies, Michigan State University and Tower-Kleber Limited Partnership. This population has increased in the past 20 years due to lake sturgeon rearing and stocking efforts, research and protection of spawning adults, and this trend is expected to continue.

Anglers should be aware of marginal ice conditions on regional lakes so far this year and use extreme caution when fishing. DNR staff will notify participants by email if instructions and procedures change due to ice conditions on Black Lake. The Black Lake sturgeon season starting date will not change.

Register here


Michigan’s ‘Black Lake’ Sturgeon Season

Lake sturgeon are considered a bucket-list game fish for many anglers. Not only are there very few sturgeon strongholds left in Michigan, but the fish themselves are wildly impressive: Their ancestors date back to the time of dinosaurs, and the present-day fish can live more than 100 years, topping 200 pounds at lengths over 7 feet long.

While the half-dozen or so sturgeon caught at Black Lake during each year’s event usually are smaller, weighing between 25 to 75 pounds, the potential for glimpsing a giant is partly why the annual season has such a big draw.

The DNR is warning anglers to be aware of marginal ice conditions on regional lakes so far this year, and to use extreme caution if fishing.

Register here:


Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree


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