Celebrating nine years of sturgeon restoration work!
Michigan's largest festival for the Great Lakes' largest fish!

Blue Water Sturgeon Festival
Saturday, June 4, 2022, 10am – 3pm
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse

 

Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise, 11am & 1pm SOLD OUT – Purchase tickets

 


 

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. Over 10,000 Lake Sturgeon call underneath the Blue Water Bridges home which makes it possible to see these gentle giants at our Blue Water Sturgeon Festival! 

Visitors can experience a close encounter with the Great Lakes’ largest fish with a live sturgeon touch tank, hands-on activities, workshops, Native American drum ceremony, food, music and more. Festival parking, admission and activities are free.

Sturgeon Festival also offers an exclusive experience with these giants aboard Port Huron’s premier sightseeing boat, The Huron Lady. Throughout this expertly narrated cruise, you can ask questions to the biologists who study Lake Sturgeon, learn about the latest Great Lakes sturgeon research, and watch live sturgeon research activities under the Blue Water Bridges. The Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruises are at 11am and 1pm, tickets are $30 and are available at www.huronlady.com

Affectionately known as the “Gentle Giant of the Great Lakes”, Lake Sturgeon are phenomenal to see up close. 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. 

Since the Sturgeon Festival was hatched in 2014, Friends of the St. Clair River has been highlighting the fascinating story of this ancient fish - a mascot for the Great Lakes recovery. The Blue Water Sturgeon Festival is our largest annual fundraiser and funds raised during the festival support our education and conservation programs. 

EVENT CONSIDERATIONS

  • Lighthouse Park is smoke-free
  • Bring cash for food and merchandise, there is no ATM on-site
  • Lighthouse Climb tickets are $5 and can be purchased on-site from the Port Huron Museum
  • Lighthouse Park and Beach are open. The Lighthouse Beach parking lot charge is $5

Festival Activities

Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise - 11am & 1pm SOLD OUT, $$
Don't miss out on this rare Lake Sturgeon close encounter underneath the Blue Water Bridges! This 1.5 hour cruise takes guests on the St. Clair River and Lake Huron to interact with fisheries biologists catching, tagging and releasing Lake Sturgeon. Features include expert narration to learn about local Lake Sturgeon research. Meet at the Huron Lady dock 15 minutes prior to cruise time. Advanced ticket purchase required.

 

Live Sturgeon Touch Tank - All day, Lighthouse Beach
It’s a LIVE sturgeon encounter! Get up close and touch a lake sturgeon! Meet the DNR and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologists leading the research on Great Lakes lake sturgeon.

 

Meet the Authors! - Fog Signal Building
Drop in for 20-min workshops to meet our author guests of honor. The authors will be selling and autographing their books at their booth.
Lynne Heasley, Ph.D., “The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes
Cheryl Morgan, “Ottissippi The Truth about Great Lakes Indian History and the Gateway to the West”

 

Sturgeon Story Contest - Voting closes at 2pm, Winners announced at 2:30
Vote for your favorite student artwork using pocket change! A dozen 5th grade student finalists were selected from hundreds of posters from across St. Clair County. It's up to the community to select the top three winners with online donations now or with pocket change at the festival. Help us catch a keeper for your favorite Sturgeon Story by casting your vote now!

 

Native American Drum Ceremonies - 10am & 2:30pm

Water is Life.  Water is Nibi. Join the All Nations Native American Drum, from Southwestern Ontario, as they share through traditional drum the cultural connection sturgeon had in the survival for Native Americans, as well as the cultural connection they share with water. The drum performs for the opening and closing ceremony of the festival.

 

Sturgeon Homecoming - 2:30pm, Lighthouse Beach
Meet at the touch tank on the beach to see both baby and adult Lake Sturgeon hand-released back to their home in Lake Huron. Want the chance to hand-release one of the baby sturgeon? Enter our Sturgeon Homecoming contest here!

 

Adopt A Sturgeon - All Day
Purchase our Lake Sturgeon adoption kit that includes a 10” plush sturgeon, adoption certificate with naming opportunity, and species spotlight card full of data about your sturgeon. Click here to Adopt Your Sturgeon.

 

Kids Activities - All day, Pavilion
Meet us under the picnic pavilion for fish print painting, games, Seymour Sturgeon selfies, and more!

 

Food Trucks, Live Music, Giveaways, and More!


Special Event

Sturgeon Full Moon Lighthouse Climb

Thursday, August 11, 6pm, Fort Gratiot Lightstation
Advanced ticket purchase required – Click here

This event coincides with August’s full moon, the Sturgeon Moon, and offers exclusive full moon lighthouse climbs. The festival will be divided into multiple ticketed entry times, all include lighthouse climbs. Families are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and pack a picnic. Features will include beach fireside chats, presentations by the Warren Astronomical Society, storytellers, food vendors and more.


Sturgeon Science School

Fast Facts

Type: Fish
Diet: Omnivore
Life span: Male 55yrs / Female 115yrs
Size: up to 6.5 ft
Weight: Up to 200 lbs

Lake Sturgeon are often called a "living fossil”. It’s part of a family of fish that has existed unchanged for more than 135 million years.


Thank you to our Sponsors

Organized by Friends of the St. Clair River, Sturgeon Festival is a partnership between natural resource agencies, government, industry, scientists and anglers in order to highlight the ecosystem approach to improving fish and wildlife habitat in the St. Clair River and to increase Lake Sturgeon populations. 

Sponsors are prominently recognized on all marketing materials including banners, program guide, website, social media, and flier.

I Want to become a Sponsor