Detroit River sturgeon population among healthiest in Great Lakes

An estimated 6,000 lake sturgeon are now swimming in the Detroit River, according to research by Canadian conservation groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The number of fish now make up about one per cent of what the abundance once was, according to a press release from Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, but the group celebrated the river's return as one of the healthiest populations in the Great Lakes.

"This research, as well as data collected from egg and larvae surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows the Fighting Island artificial reef expansion ... near the Town of LaSalle, has been successful and is aiding in the recovery of Lake Sturgeon and other fish species in the Detroit River," explained action Plan coordinator Claire Sanders.

Lake whitefish, walleye and sucker eggs have also been found on the reef, she added.

In the past century fish have had to fight for their habitat as coastal wetlands disappear, shorelines are hardened with break walls and water pollution limited where they could live.