Black Lake sturgeon season announced|
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officals today announced lottery dates for anglers who want to participate in the annual sturgeon fishing season on Black Lake in Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties.
The lottery was designed to provide anglers with a winter lake sturgeon fishing opportunity on inland waters, while addressing the need to rehabilitate seriously depleted sturgeon stocks by reducing the harvest. The total season harvest for this limited lake sturgeon fishery is five fish.
Registration begins Feb. 12 at noon. The fishing season opens Feb. 15 and runs through the last day of February, or until the total harvest goal of five fish has been reached. All applicants 17-years and older must hold a valid Michigan fishing license. The schedule below outlines the times and dates for open registration and when drawing results will be announced. Each registration period applies to one specific day of fishing, which is the day following each drawing.
Following the daily drawing at 7 p.m., the list of successful applicants will be available from the RAP Hotline at 800-292-7800, and it also will be posted at the Black Lake Hotel, 1712 N. Black River Road, Cheboygan. Participants are urged not to call the hotel.
Unsuccessful applicants may reapply for the next day. Successful lottery participants must claim their tags or notify DNR personnel by 10 a.m., or forfeit their opportunity for that day. Unclaimed tags will be distributed through a second daily drawing at the Black Lake Hotel at 10 a.m. Tags are not transferable, and anglers must present proper identification when picking them up.
Anglers may fish between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the day they are eligible to fish. A 36-inch minimum size limit applies. All tags, flags and other items required by successful applicants will be available at the Black Lake Hotel, starting at 7 a.m. on the morning for which they are valid.
Penalties for illegally taking lake sturgeon are instituted to assist in rehabilitation. Violators face up to $3,500 in fines and restitution and/or up to 180 days in jail, plus the loss of their fishing license. There is a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally taking a lake sturgeon.
The lottery schedule is available on the DNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr .
For more details on sturgeon fishing regulations, see p. 22 of the 2002 Michigan Fishing Guide, also available on the DNR web site.