Big Stone Lake, located on the South Dakota – Minnesota border was once home to abundant
numbers of lake sturgeon. Many factors including over harvest and poor water quality led to an
extirpated population of lake sturgeon by year 1946. Currently South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks
and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are partnering to restore historic populations.
With the aid of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Genoa National Fish Hatchery
collected eggs from adult sturgeon in the Wisconsin River. Eggs were transported back to Genoa.
After a summer of intensive culture juvenile sturgeon are lengths of 6-8 inches. Prior to release all
sturgeon are coded wire tagged to track population trends in the future. The restoration plan calls for
the stocking of 4,000 fish per year for up to 20 years reared at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery.
The goal of these cooperative partnerships is to enable a long awaited return of lake sturgeon to Big
Stone Lake in support of restoring a fish for future generations to enjoy. By: Orey Eckes