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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Sponsor a Sturgeon Release at Riveredge Sturgeon Fest

Sep 28, 2012 04:44PM

The seventh annual Riveredge Sturgeon Fest, to be held in Thiensville Village Park, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., October 6, gives individuals the opportunity to sponsor and release young lake sturgeon into the Milwaukee River as part of an ongoing effort to restore a naturally reproducing population of the species to the river.

Native to the Great Lakes ecosystem, sturgeon used the Milwaukee River as spawning grounds up until the late 1800s. However, overfishing, manmade dams and pollution set the population back to dangerously low levels. These primitive creatures were found in oceans as far back as 100 million years ago.

Now, the sturgeon are reared in tanks of river water at the Riveredge Nature Center. Raising them in river water improves the odds that they will return to the Milwaukee River to spawn, once they reach maturity in Lake Michigan. The program has resulted in more than 5,100 sturgeon being released over the past five years.

The event offers other family activities, including a local arts and crafts fair and a live reptile and animal educational display for children. The Mequon-Thiensville Lion’s Club will offer food for purchase, as well.

Cost: $5 per sturgeon. Location: 299 Elm St., Thiensville. For more information, and to register, visit

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