View August's full moon, the Sturgeon Moon, from the top of Michigan’s oldest lighthouse.
Friends of the St. Clair River’s sturgeon celebration continues with the inaugural Sturgeon Full Moon Lighthouse Climb. This unique event coincides with August’s full moon, the Sturgeon Moon, from Michigan's oldest lighthouse. The August full moon got its name from Indigenous communities because they knew the sturgeon of the Great Lakes were most readily caught during this full moon.
We have worked hard to bring a unique and special event to Michigan’s Thumb Coast – equally unique and special as Lake Sturgeon! Event highlights include a full moon kayak paddle, s’mores, stargazing and storytelling, a beach bonfire, Great Lake and Sturgeon art vendors, strolling musicians, and food vendors. Native American performances, performed by Bimose Ode, will share through traditional Drum the history and values Lake sturgeon and water had on Indigenous communities.
Did you know fish six feet long and one hundred years old are swimming Lake Huron, the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair? There are fewer Lake sturgeon today than a century ago because they’re a threatened species, but of the sturgeon still roaming the Great Lakes, most of them are in the St. Clair River. Lake Sturgeon have become a symbol for the Great Lakes and their recovery.
Lake sturgeon are affectionately known as the Gentle Giant of the Great Lakes given their enormous size. They can weigh up to 150 pounds, grow over 7 feet, and live over 100 years. Once on the brink of extinction and added to Michigan’s Threatened Species list, Lake sturgeon are making a comeback and have become a spotlight species for the habitat restoration work completed in the St. Clair River.
We have been highlighting the fascinating story of this ancient fish since 2012. Tickets and merchandise sales support our education and conservation programs.
We are Michigan’s Thumb Coast largest environmental organization inspiring citizen action through stewardship, monitoring and education to restore, protect and enhance the St. Clair River and its watersheds. Thank you for stopping by!
S'mores, Storytelling and Stargazing – Head to the beach for a bonfire! Once darkness settles in, listen to Andrew Kercher with Port Huron Museum for haunted storytelling, and the Warren Astronomical Society for stargazing.
Full Moon Paddle – Join the Yak Abouts at 8pm to launch from Lighthouse Beach into Lake Huron for a paddle under the full moon light.
Bimose Ode “Walk Along With Heart” – Throughout the event, listen to Native American drum performances and singing of traditional songs and intertribals sharing the importance sturgeon and water have in the survival, history and culture for Indigenous communities
Great Lakes and Sturgeon Art Vendors *6-8pm - Please bring cash or a card to support the talented artists!
- Karson Schenk Collage and Print – Visit Website
- Jill Joseph Painted Horse Woman, Ojibway Artist – Visit Website
- Lynne Heasley, The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes, and Glenn Wolff, Illustrator – Visit Website
- Tim Brown Woodworking
- Sturgeon Story Contest Voting – Vote for your favorite student artwork using pocket change. Finalists were selected from posters submitted by St. Clair County 5th graders. Help us catch a keeper – Vote Here!
Hands-on Activities from 6-8pm
Know Before You Go
- Bring your lawn chair or blanket for the special performances and for the beach
- Bring your kayak for the full moon paddle
- Alcohol will not be sold on the premises, but personal beverage coolers with alcoholic beverages are allowed
- Glass is not permitted on the beach
- There is not an ATM on site – please bring cash or a card to support the talented artists
In The News
- Sturgeon in Detroit: Ancient fish weighing up to 200 pounds lurk in river
- Searching for young lake sturgeon near Detroit-area spawning reefs
- An annual Sturgeon Festival in Michigan celebrates the fish’s resurgence while teaching people about the importance of clean water
- Great Lakes Fishery Commission Sturgeon News
- Diver Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon
- St. Clair River Area of Concern
- The St. Clair - Detroit River System Initiative
- The Great Lakes Commission
- Fish Habitat Projects in the St. Clair River
Thank you to our Sponsors & Partners
The Sturgeon Festival, organized by Friends of the St. Clair River, is a partnership between natural resource agencies, government, industry, scientists, anglers, and recreationalists in order to highlight the ecosystem approach to managing fish and wildlife in the St. Clair River and to increase interest in restoring the lake sturgeon to higher levels of abundance. With everyone’s cooperation, this “Gentle Giant of the Great Lakes” will be saved from extinction for all to enjoy.
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Gun Lake: Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Port Huron Rotary
St. Clair-Detroit River Sturgeon For Tomorrow