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Bessemer students learn about lake sturgeon, wild rice

 

JORDYN MAZANEC, Caitlyn Pelissero, Lake Superior State University Aquatic Lab Manager Roger Greil, Madeline Gabka and Rachel Mazurek participate in a sturgeon presentation.

BESSEMER — A.D. Johnston biology students have been enjoying an informal lecture series that started last fall.

The series started when Roger Greil, an aquatic lab manager at Lake Superior State University, talked about lake sturgeon, and continued when Peter David, a wildlife biologist from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, talked about wild rice.

Greil, a Bessemer native, said the lake sturgeon is a “relic from the age of the dinosaurs that has appeared unchanged for the past 100 million years,” and is the longest living and largest fish of the Great Lakes.

The oldest recorded sturgeon was 155 years old. The largest caught was 355 pounds. Greil told the students the word “sturgeon” means stirrer.

He said sturgeons stir up mud like a vacuum and unwanted material goes out through their gills. Their food, including clams and mussels, is swallowed whole to be crushed in their spiral intestines.

LSSU has developed partnerships with the USFWS.