When I was 9-years old my parents used to take us to a friend’s cottage along Lake Erie. One summer we were walking along the beach and we found a dead sturgeon. It wasn’t a very large sturgeon but we thought it was a sea monster. We found out the name from a fisherman who was in the area. He knew it was a sturgeon. Back then, there was no internet. After that, I just really read all I could, I went to the library and got all the information I could on sturgeon and I just found them so fascinating.
To this day, when I go out to teach students about the Great Lakes I always talk about sturgeon. I talk about the fact that they can live 100 years. I’ll ask the students, how many of you know some person that has lived over a 100 years. Imagine a fish living a 100 years in any of the Great Lakes. So sturgeon have really become an important topic. I teach at the university. I
f you ask any of my students, they’ll say oh yes, she loves sturgeon. I think it’s a prime example of the magnitude of the lakes because they’ve lived since the time of the dinosaurs. They can grow so large. And unfortunately it’s also an image that we can look back and see how people impacted them negatively. It’s a great example to use when talking about the lakes.
My name is Helen Domske and I’m a senior coastal education specialist with New York’s Sea Grant at the University of Buffalo. My water body is Lake Erie.