Can You Eat Sturgeon in Michigan?

You are probably already familiar with the unique sturgeon fish, mostly known for its nutritional value, and eggs which are most often turned into the most luxurious food – caviar. If you are currently in Great Lake State – you may be wondering – can you eat sturgeon in Michigan? This article will guide you through all the essential things you should know about the interesting relationship between Michigan and the magnificent sturgeon fish.

Sturgeon fish in the tank

You can eat sturgeon in Michigan, and this fish is very popular among the locals. However, although it is superior in nutritional value, you may want to rethink whether you should eat this fish. Sturgeon fishing has faced problems and restrictions since this unique species is nearly extinct.

You Can Eat Lake Sturgeon in Michigan as It Is Quite Popular

Sturgeon is one of the most popular seafood items in the Great Lake State, and many citizens enjoy it quite often. Sturgeon is a type of fish found in many lakes and rivers, especially the lake in Michigan, with different kinds of aquatic species. Although sturgeon may not be as popular as other species living in the lake, such as walleye or trout, it is quite delicious and a famous delicacy among local fishermen.

Lake Sturgeon From Michigan Has Some Unique Characteristics

Lake Sturgeon is the most popular fish. It is famous for its characteristic five rows of bony plates, completely covered in strong ganoid scales. The Lake Sturgeon is sandy brown with black spots, while adults have olive-brown and gray tones. The typical lifespan of Lake Sturgeon is 55 years, but it can be even much longer than that. Some individuals found have been alive for over 100 years.

Chefs cooking in the kitchen

Lake Sturgeon Has a Crucial Role in American History

To understand how important this species is to the people of Michigan and the US, it would be best if you learned more about the history of this unique fish. Sturgeon used to live in abundance in many big lakes of North America and had served as an essential source of food for Natives. However, when European settlers arrived, so did the fishing boats, and the killing of sturgeons started to grow massively.

By the mid-1800s, people found ways to make a profit off of sturgeon fish and started harvesting the fish eggs and producing the luxurious sturgeon caviar. In the 1880s, more than 4 million lake sturgeon fishes were processed in Michigan and taken from Lake Huron and Lake St Clair. The current lake sturgeon population is only one percent of its historical abundance in Michigan state.

Today There Are Some Restrictions on Sturgeon Fishing in Michigan

After such an immense loss of the sturgeon population in the Great Lakes, Michigan State released restrictions on fishing of lake sturgeon. Before you head out on your next fishing trip in Michigan, learn about the following few restrictions:

  • First restriction is that you can only catch one sturgeon a day per person, and the limit applies to all state waters.
  • The second restriction is that the minimum size for a legal catch must be 36 inches.
  • You must have a valid license to be able to fish sturgeon in Michigan, and it should be obtained by the DNR office or online through the DNR website.

Cooking Sturgeon Is a Unique But Simple Process

If you wish to know more about cooking sturgeon, you first need to be introduced to this species’s uniqueness. The lake sturgeon has a unique texture, and its meat is very dense. The best way to prepare is by slow-cooking, so it does not tense up at high temperatures.

The best trick is to cut it into thick filets and bake it for 20-30 minutes, covered, at 350°F. In case you want it to be extra tender – bake it for a little bit longer. Add some wine or lemon juice before putting it in the oven for a more distinguished taste.

Sturgeon Fish Is Extremely Nutritious Food

Compared to some other fishes you can find in the majority of water in the US, lake sturgeon is superior in its nutritional value. It is rich in collagen, amino acids, and carnosine, which can help improve your overall health. When it comes to nutrition, it has quite the same percentages as caviar nutrition. In the table below, you can check out some basic nutritional values a 100-gram sturgeon fish contains.

Cholesterol77 mg
Protein21 g
Potassium364 mg
Sodium69 mg

Now That You Know Can You Eat Sturgeon in Michigan, You Should Ask Yourself – Should You?

Even though eating sturgeon has all these health benefits and is a unique specialty that most people love enjoying – the question of whether we should eat sturgeon fish is more of a moral dilemma. Sturgeons are considered to be living fossils facing a significant risk of extinction. While you may be curious to learn more about tasting lake sturgeon and enjoying its taste, you might want to opt for some alternatives that are not so harmful to such a delicate species.