by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor
The 2015 Black Lake sturgeon season lasted five-and-one-half hours. The fifth and final fish was speared at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, officially closing the season with the quota being met.
“It worked perfectly,” said Todd Grischke, Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Huron Basin coordinator. “The size was good, the health was good. We got a couple of real big fish.”
The largest sturgeon weighed 87 pounds (71 inches) and was brought in by James Bodinger. The day started slow, but the sturgeon started coming in about 9 a.m. Veteran sturgeon angler Tom Madison got the first one. The female measured 67 inches and weighed 75 pounds. After that, they came in about one an hour. James Crawford was second to the DNR trailer. His sturgeon was 58.5 inches long and weighed 45 pounds. Todd Zeller was the third to check in with a 69-inch fish that weighed 80 pounds.
The DNR was not going to come back a second day for only one fish, so four would have closed the 2015 season, but Doug Blaskowski of Brutus got the fifth before the closing time of 2 p.m.
“There was not much to it. I sat all day and did not see anything and about 1:15 p.m. it came through on its side,” said Blaskowski. It was Blaskowski’s fifth sturgeon. “I have caught two here and three in Wisconsin. I love it. I think it is the best sport there is. It’s way better than shooting the big buck.”
There were 303 people registered, which is up from 228 from 2014. “The number of anglers that are out there is higher,” said Grischke. “The ice conditions were good and word was out that the fish were moving.”
“It could not have been any better,” said Brenda Archambo, president of Sturgeon for Tomorrow. “The weather, overall, was pretty good. The ice conditions were great.”
The tent on Black Lake was full midday for the Black Lake Shivaree. Many people enjoyed the live music, camaraderie and other activities that included a hovercraft demonstration by the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department.
“All and all, it turned out great,” said Grischke.