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Black Gold Closing Reception

Black Gold - Great Lakes Conservation Network exhibition, zine release, and panel discussion.

Exhibition runs March 24 - April 8th

A fish of legends, caviar and intensive management, Lake Sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens, have been on Earth for over 100 million years. Lake sturgeon are also one of the longest living fish; a female tagged in Wisconsin was likely 125 years old. They have a harmless disposition and a toothless grin. Belying their size, they suck their diet of relatively small organisms — mayfly nymphs, other aquatic insects, crayfish, etc. — from the bottom of lakes and rivers. On this diet, lake sturgeon, which are found in the Midwest of North America, can grow to 8 feet long and weigh over 300 pounds. You could say that sturgeon are the Leviathans and Methuselahs of freshwater fish. Henry W. Longfellow wrote about them ... the sturgeon Nahma ... in The Song of Hiawatha, published in 1855. Unfortunately, by the early 1900s they were becoming scarcer. People dined on sturgeon meat, used their skin for leather, and made their swim bladders into isinglass (an aspic for pottery cement, waterproofing and clarifying wine and beer). Additionally, people, cities and industries altered water with pollution, dams and activities that further diminished lake sturgeon populations. In the wake of these multiple stressors, lake sturgeon all but vanished. Today, thanks to the Clean Water Act, and rigorous reintroduction projects involving habitat restoration and stocking, lake sturgeon are faring better.

Panel Discussion Facilitators:
Ryuta Nakajima
Jay Walker
(director of operation, Great Lakes Aquarium)
Paula Pinsky
(Lawyer and fonder of MiNNBOX)
Nevada Littlewolf
(City councilor/ leader of Rutal And American Indigenous Leadership)
Ted Ozersky
(UMD Biology Department)

Earlier Event: April 6
Open Hours
Later Event: April 8
Open Hours