Spotlight on Excellence

Lake Sturgeon Study

Matt Altenritter holding a juvenile lake sturgeon captured in Muskegon Lake.

Dr. Carl Ruetz and graduate student Matt Altenritter are collaborating with Kregg Smith of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to assess the status of lake sturgeon in the Muskegon River. The lake sturgeon is a large, bottom-dwelling species that is threatened throughout most of its native range. This study was initiated in the spring of 2008 and will continue for at least two years. Their research has focused on four objectives: 1) estimate abundance of spawning adults in the system, 2) locate spawning sites in the Muskegon River, 3) assess spawning success by sampling larval drift in the river, and 4) estimate abundance and track movements of juvenile lake sturgeon in Muskegon Lake. Currently, they are tracking the movements of two juvenile lake sturgeon in Muskegon Lake that have ultrasonic transmitters surgically implanted in their body cavity to determine residence in the lake and preferred habitats. For more information on lake sturgeon research, contact Dr. Carl Ruetz at

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Page last modified March 20, 2012