Michigan’s 2023 Black Lake Sturgeon Season Begins February 4

Fishermen wishing to participate this year must register online by February 3

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Lansing, MI — January 19, 2023

One of the most anticipated fishing seasons in the State of Michigan opens in just over two weeks. Anglers have a chance to land a once-in-lifetime catch that few individuals ever get to experience. To join the party, online registration is required by February 3rd.

The 2023 lake sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake in Cheboygan County, Michigan, will begin at 8 am Saturday, February 4th. All anglers must register online to participate in the fishing season, and those aged 17 or older must have a valid Michigan fishing license.

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan DNR

The harvest limit for the 2023 season on Black Lake is six lake sturgeon. Officials will close the season when one of two scenarios occurs:

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

Fishing hours are 8 am to 2 pm each day of the season. The season will end either at 2 pm Wednesday, February 8th, 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 February 3rd. Get more registration and season information at Michigan.gov/Sturgeon.

Fishing Requirements

Participating anglers must bring their own bright red flag (1-foot diameter or larger) to hang on their fishing shanty so that DNR personnel can identify those who are sturgeon fishing. Anglers are asked to hang one or more flags in highly visible locations on their shanty.

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 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 the 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 Michigan 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 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. Visit Michigan.gov/IceSafety for tips to stay safe on the ice.

DNR Contacts: Tim Cwalinski, 231-340-0276 or Sierra Williams, 517-230-8788