The legendary Black Lake Sturgeon Fishing Season is one of the wildest in the world. It's often held on the first Saturday of February, when conditions are typically best for ice fishing for these lake monsters, and can last anywhere from several days, to several minutes... because this season only allows for six TOTAL fish to be caught.

But the 2024 season might be in jeopardy, as it typically takes place on the ice of Black Lake between Cheboygan and Presque Isle. But conditions aren't great, and could jeopardize it happening at all.

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Normally, in early February, ice levels and coverage are at their peak in Michigan. But warmer-than-average weather (aside from a few very cold weeks in January) have severely depleted the Great Lakes, and local lakes' levels of ice for the winter of 2023 and 2024.

As such, officials MIGHT consider axing ice fishing for the legendary sturgeon this year.

Tim Cwalinski, who is a fisheries biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently told MLive, he predicts the season could be canceled.

"I think it's just going to be a year where the sturgeon catch a break."

BUT, this could only apply to those who were set for ice fishing, as the DNR is also exploring other options that could potentially save the season, rather than the lives of six unlucky lake sturgeon.

"We would be better off with open water and boats being used. It is a fishing season, not ice fishing season. Having said that, upper management is exploring if and how we can close a season like this that is already in the fishing guide. Kind of unprecedented."

The Black Lake Sturgeon in particular are a highly protected species of fish, which is why the season is so short, and only allows for six fish to be caught every year. It begins at 8 a.m. and can last up to four days. However, most don't, and the 2023 season only lasted 65 minutes.

But for the first time ever, the season could last zero minutes, and Jay Woiderski, who is the president of the Black Lake Sturgeon advocacy group, says they've done all they can.

"I cannot fix Mother Nature. Her and I have had a few discussions, and she just is very unreasonable. Safety is absolutely the first priority."

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