Sea Lamprey Invade New Areas in Saginaw River Watershed, Volunteers Needed for Beach Cleanup and Sturgeon Protection

For Friday, April 14, 2023


1 – Crews will combat invasive sea lampreys in the Saginaw River watershed next month. 

Sea lamprey attached to a salmon caught in northern Lake Huron. Credit: M. Gaden, Great Lakes Fishery Commission

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says tributaries upstream of the Sanford Dam were found to contain invasive sea lamprey populations following the 2020 failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams on the Tittabawassee River. 

The failure of dams allowed lampreys to migrate upstream to sections of the river system they previously could not reach. 

Three tributaries of the Tittabawasee—the Tobacco River, Little Molasses River and Black Creek—are scheduled for sea lamprey control treatments starting May 9. 

A community open house to discuss the treatments is planned for Monday, April 17, from 5-7 pm at the Beaverton Activity Center in Beaverton. 

Sea lamprey control upstream of the Edenville and Sanford dams is due to continue from May 9 through May 18 using a registered pesticide called TFM. 

2- It’s already beach season. Or at least Adopt-a-Beach season. 

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is holding its Adopt-a-Beach spring kickoff on April 21-23 with events on all five Great Lakes in eight states. 

Every year, thousands of volunteers pitch in to clean up beaches as part of the program. They pick up litter and record what they find. The data helps researchers learn more about plastic and other pollution.

Organizers says events are planned throughout the state for the April kickoff. They encourage people to find sign up for other efforts throughout the year, including a cleanup of the Saginaw River at Veterans Memorial Park in Bay City on May 4.

You can find more info at

3 – If you want to take a trip to Cheboygan, you can help protect lake sturgeon during spawning season. 

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network says many of the sturgeon being stocked in the Saginaw Bay system start their lives in the Black River system near Cheboygan.

The network is a partner in statewide efforts to develop self-sustaining sturgeon populations across Michigan and support the fish’s removal from the threatened species list. There was a public release of more than 100 hatchery-raised sturgeon last year in the Saginaw Bay watershed. 

In Cheboygan, volunteers are needed from now through early June to stand guard as mature lake sturgeon head upstream to their spawning sites along the Black River.

The Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow is working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and tribes to protect the fish from being illegally harvested during a six-week spawning season.

Individuals or groups interested in volunteering can contact the Black Lake Chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow or register online at

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Fridays at 9:30 a.m. in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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