By Kortny Hahn /

The event will kick off on Friday, Feb. 2 and will feature two days of fishing and fun. The Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree was started more than five decades ago.

BLACK LAKE- Every year, a celebration of the iconic Lake Sturgeon is held on Black Lake, marking the start of sturgeon season and is a weekend full of fun, breaking up the monotony of winter.

The event will kick off on Friday, Feb. 2 and will feature two days of fishing and fun. The Black Lake Sturgeon Shivaree was started more than five decades ago.

All of the fun is held on Black Lake, in front of the former Black Lake Hotel at 1701 Winifred Street. All of the proceeds from the event will go to help fund the lake sturgeon hatchery, research of the fish species, habitat conservation and outreach programs such as Sturgeon in the Classroom.

“Just having a place on Saturday to have our Cabin Fever Social, let people come out and have a warm place to be, food and drinks, just have camaraderie and watch the fish come in,” said event coordinator and president of Sturgeon for Tomorrow. “Not just sturgeon, but with the fishing contests. It’s a place to share stories. The people who are out fishing, they have lots of stories to tell.”

To get into the event, a $5 button needs to be purchased. These are available for purchase at the door. They are also available at the stops for the poker run being held Saturday.

On Friday, the entertainment tent opens at 3 p.m. with live tunes with Charlie Reager. You can also register for the ice fishing contest and poker run at the entertainment tent.

Registrations for the sturgeon fishing tournament will take place at the 211 Department of Natural Resources Field Station.

A cultural sturgeon ceremony will be held from 6-7 p.m. and from 7-11 p.m., there will be live music in the tent from 7-11 p.m. with Polar Bear Recon. This is a 21 years old and older show.

On Saturday, the Sturgeon Spearing season starts at 8 a.m. The season is normally very short, lasting only a couple of hours, but it is never certain how long it will take for the fishermen to bring in the limit of seven of the ancient fish.

“Everything happens so fast,” said Archambo. “The season could only last an hour, who knows?”

In order to reduce the chance of the limit of fish being exceeded, officials will close the season if one

or two scenarios happens, either the sixth fish is harvested or if five fish have been harvested at the end

of any of the fishing days.

The fishing hours are between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The season will end Wednesday, Feb. 7 if neither of the two scenarios happen on opening day.

The person who brings in the heaviest sturgeon will be crowned the Sturgeon King or the Sturgeon Queen.

The entertainment tent will be open all day Saturday, with several fishing contests being held from 6

a.m. to 6 p.m. These contests include Sturgeon, Muskie, Pike, Walleye and Perch. The tent opens at 8 a.m., with a Cabin Feature Social, food, beverages, 50-50 raffles, a bonfire and fun.

A poker run will take place from 9-7 p.m., including stops at 211 Bar and Grill, Lorenzo’s, The Bluffs, Dirty Duck and The Pines. Evan Archambo, soloist and DJ will be in the entertainment tent from 10:30-4:30 p.m.

A youth outdoor education with natureology and activities will be available for the younger Shivaree attendees, taught by Maureen Stine from 11-4 p.m. This will also include a live sturgeon exhibit with the Onaway Environmental Class. A horseshoe tournament will be held from 1-5 p.m. on the ice. To participate in this event, you register in the entertainment tent at 12:30 p.m.

“We started this last year and it was a big hit,” said Archambo. “They really enjoyed it.”

The Blitz will be playing in the entertainment from 6-10 p.m. This is also a 21 and older show.

The winners of the ice fishing contest will be announced and the winners of the Poker Run will be announced at 7 p.m. The winners of the Shivaree Raffle will be drawn from 8-9 p.m. First prize for this raffle is a Husqvarna 395XP custom ice chain saw, second prize is a Jiffy Pro 4 Propane ice drill and third prize is a portable ice shanty.

Tickets for this raffle are $10 each or three for $20. These tickets can be purchased at the Sturgeon for Tomorrow booth in the entertainment tent.

“People should come out to participate in the sturgeon season, to have camaraderie and break the cabin fever,” said Archambo. “We have great food, beverages, the different events and the raffle. We have a bonfire to keep warm that’s outside. And it’s fun and there’s a good vibe. Ultimately, we’re there to celebrate the sturgeon, to celebrate these conservation success stories that we’ve built through the last 20 years.”

If there is not good enough ice on Black Lake for the event, there is a back up plan for where the event can be held.

“Our goal is to have it on the ice. We do have a plan B, in case the ice isn’t conducive to having the event on the ice,” said Archambo. “But the season will go on regardless.”

This event was first started in 1961 and celebrated the iconic lake sturgeon. It brought the community together and was a big economic boom needed in the middle of winter.

Archambo said when talking with several businesses in the area, they have commented the weekend of the Shivaree is the biggest weekend, bar none, all year round. The economic aspect is a positive to doing the event because it helps the local businesses get through the dead of winter.

“It really does help the community in the off season,” said Archambo. “It’s really one of our largest fund development events that we do each year too.”

Created on Wednesday, October 31, 2018