The Gun Lake Tribe has organized another annual release of lake sturgeon into the Kalamazoo River. Participating parties include the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the Kalamazoo River chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow, and Grand Valley State University. This year, more than two hundred (200) young sturgeon will be hand-released back into the river, which is the highest amount of fish the Tribe has ever released.
The release will take place Wednesday, August 28, 2019 from 5 pm to 7 pm at the New Richmond Bridge County Park, 5731 Old Allegan Road, Hamilton, Michigan.
Sturgeon, or Nmé in Pottawatomi, is culturally important to the Tribe as the fish represents an animal clan in traditional beliefs. Sturgeon clan people have spiritual knowledge offered as guidance to others and they live to an old age, just like lake sturgeon. The rehabilitation of lake sturgeon reflects the Tribe’s present-day progression as a community and a tribal government.
A welcome will be provided by Tribal Council. Tribal drum group, Thunder Buddies, will perform. The Tribe’s Language and Culture Department will give an oral teaching about the sturgeon. The event will also include park tours, hatchery tours, Central Michigan University interpretive mussel trailer and light dinner for up to 200 people in attendance. The general public is encouraged to attend this event.