Bottom substrates and overlying water at three sites where lake sturgeon were reported by others to spawn in the 160-km channel between lakes Huron and Erie were surveyed by boat just before or after the exact time of spawning in 2001 to determine the kinds of substrates present and differences in water quality at the sites. Substrates, examined and photographed using a high-resolution, underwater, video camera, were beds of either rounded cobble (10-40 cm in diameter) and coarse gravel (2-8 cm in diameter) of glacial origin or coal cinders (0.5-12 cm in diameter) of human origin, >1/4 ha in area and >0.3 m in thickness. Water quality, defined as percent of surface light reaching the bottom (range: 0.05-8.7%), Secchi disc depth (range: 2.5-6.5 m), and water current velocity (range: 0.35-0.98 m s-1), differed more than 3-fold between the three sites. Although water depth at these sites (range: 9-12 m) was greater than in many rivers elsewhere used by lake sturgeon, the water current velocities at these sites were in the range in which lake sturgeon were reported to deposit eggs in two small Canadian rivers (0.1-1.1 m s-1).
Additional publication details
Known lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) spawning habitat in the channel between lakes Huron and Erie in the Laurentian Great Lakes