2019 Sturgeon Festival
Saturday, June 1 • 10a - 3p
Fort Gratiot Light Station Park, 2800 Omar Street, Port Huron
FREE ADMISSION, PARKING, AND ACTIVITIES!
Sturgeon Festival is a family-friendly event, sponsored by Friends of the St. Clair River, centered on providing close encounters with the “Giants of the Great Lakes”. Browse a dozen indoor & outdoor displays with hands-on activities, drop-in a workshop, touch a live sturgeon and other native fish, or take a ride on our exclusive Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise.
Sturgeon are phenomenal to see up close because they reach enormous size - weighing up to 150 pounds, growing over 7 feet, and living over 100 years. The St. Clair River supports the largest remaining population of threatened lake sturgeon. Over 10,000 lake sturgeon call underneath the Blue Water Bridges home which makes it possible to see these majestic fish at the Sturgeon Festival.
Lake sturgeon populations have declined since the early 1900’s, and as a result were added to the Threatened Species list in Michigan. In recent years, the lake sturgeon has made something of a comeback due to completion of numerous spawning reefs in the St. Clair River. Sturgeon can be used as a spotlight species to gauge the health of the river, and with sturgeon numbers slowly on the rise we are assured that the health of the St. Clair River is also improving. A sustainable fish population and healthy river is not only important for our health but it means increased recreation and tourism for the Blue Water Area.
- Lighthouse Park is smoke-free.
- Bring cash for food and merchandise, there is no ATM on-site.
- Make a day of it! The park is adjacent to Lighthouse Beach.
- The "Be A Tourist" event is also taking place, see fees and restrictions for the Lighthouse climb.
Get a glimpse of these enormous fish on Friends of the St. Clair River's exclusive Huron Lady Sturgeon Cruise! During the cruise, watch video of lake sturgeon swimming in the St. Clair River on big screen televisions on deck. Enjoy the St. Clair River and the beautiful expanse of Lake Huron on this 1 hour cruise narrated by sturgeon experts. There are only 100 seats available each cruise, so don’t delay, get your tickets today! Boarding for the sturgeon cruise begins promptly 20 minutes before departure.
The sturgeon cruise takes place rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, the cruise may be delayed up to 30 minutes, but not longer than 60 minutes. If the boat captain deems the weather too severe to delay or to leave the dock, the boat will remain moored and the 1-hour sturgeon presentation will take place dockside on the boat. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Sturgeon Brew Fundraiser • Thursday, May 30 - 5-9pm
Join us at War Water Brewery for a festive fundraiser party to kick off the Blue Water Sturgeon Festival! Support us with a $20 donation at the door to receive your exclusive festival pint glass, 2 beer tickets or 1 wine ticket, and a door prize ticket. Sip on the tasty Sturgeon Reef Rye, view live sturgeon in fish tanks, meet Lake Sturgeon biologists and researchers, and take home some Sturgeon swag. Hope to see you there! War Water Brewery is located at 201 N. Riverside, St. Clair.
Sturgeon Science School
Local 5th graders are invited to participate in our Sturgeon Story Contest which could win the class a free Huron Lady Sturgeon Science Cruise. During the educational 1-hour cruise students learn about lake sturgeon habitat, and see live sturgeon tagging in Lake Huron from fisheries biologists. The contest is open to public, private or homeschooled 5th grade students from St. Clair County. Submissions can depict lake sturgeon biology, habitat, their role in the food web, their connection to Native Americans, or how to protect water quality. Posters must be 8.5” x 11” and completed individually. For complete details, email the School Sturgeon Cruise Coordinator.
LIVE! Sturgeon Encounter
It’s a live sturgeon encounter! Meet the fisheries biologists and sturgeon experts from the MI DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service that are conducting ongoing sturgeon assessments in the Blue Water Area.
Drop in for a 20-min presentation inside the Fog Signal Building. Workshops are general seating and open to all ages.
Sturgeon Story Contest
Vote for your favorite 5th grader’s sturgeon story using your pocket change! The top winners are announced at the close of the festival.
Walpole Island Drum Ceremony
10am & 2:30pm - Join Fenton White Eye from Canada’s Walpole Island as he shares through a traditional drum ceremony the importance sturgeon has in food and survival for the Native American culture.
Great Lakes exhibits with hands-on kids activities
Sturgeon Swag Sale and Seymour Sturgeon Selfies
Adopt A Sturgeon
New this year! Your Lake sturgeon adoption kit will includes a 10” soft plush sturgeon, formal adoption certificate with naming opportunity, species spotlight card full of data about your sturgeon, and connection to additional data as it becomes available. Click here for more info.
- Program Guide (coming soon)
- Official Flyer
- Sturgeon Month Flyer
- Sturgeon Brewery Party Flyer
- Logo Coloring Sheet
- Mosaic Coloring Sheet
- Lake Sturgeon Quiz
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 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.