EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A Michigan State University professor has received a four-year grant for $780,000 to study Michigan’s declining population of lake sturgeon.

Growing up to seven feet long and weighing up to 200 pounds, the sturgeon is the biggest fish in the Great Lakes. However, it takes a long time to reach that size. The sturgeon takes more than 20 years to reach sexual maturity, and can live for more than a century. The sturgeon is threatened or endangered in most of its habitats because it can’t reproduce fast enough to make up for threats like predators and anglers.

Prof. Kim Scribner from the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife will use grant money from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to look for ways to restore the declining sturgeon population. The project will look at what factors make specific sturgeon more successful than others. It has a variety of components ranging from genetic analysis to community engagement.

This research is part of an 18-year, $4.2 million effort by the state to investigate lake sturgeon decline.