Lake Sturgeon – Spawning Behaviour
• Males mature at 18 to 20 years old and females mature at 20 to 24 years old. Compare to walleye that mature at 3 to 5 years and rarely live 20+ years.
• When mature, female lake sturgeon may spawn only once every four to six years. This means only a small portion of the population spawns each year, making them vulnerable to disturbance from overfishing or habitat loss.
• Lake sturgeon will return to where they were born to spawn.
• Spawning occurs in spring when the water temperature is between 13 to 15 degrees Celcius.
• Spawning habitat is 2 to 15 feet of fast-moving water – below waterfalls, rapids or dams – with sand, gravel, and boulders on bottom.
• The female approaches, males drum against her, releases eggs that mixes with their milt to fertilize the eggs, and they sink and stick to bottom.
• The number of eggs varies from 50,000 to 1 million - egg size, health and viability increase significantly with age.
• The lake sturgeon Hatch in about 7 to 10 days, and grow to about 20 cm (8 inches) by the end of the first summer.