Lake Sturgeon Larval Production in the Upper Menominee River

The 2024 Research in the Rotunda featured 16 Freshwater Collaborative-funded research projects. Students shared more about their experience.

Student: Lauren Klawiter 
University: UW-Green Bay
Major: Biology with an emphasis in Fisheries and Aquatic Ecology and minor in Environmental Sciences
Expected graduation date: May of 2025
Mentor: Patrick Forsythe

Lauren Klawiter with sturgeon

Summarize the research and your role.

The main goal of this research was to determine the larval production downstream from the Grand Rapids Dam, and to evaluate the timing of the drift as a function of river conditions. My role was to take part in collecting the sturgeon larvae and data collection. Once data was collected, I compared the data from 2020, 2021 and 2023 to see how they correlated. 

What skills did you learn? 

I have learned a wide variety of skills: how to collect the sturgeon larvae, how to feed them in the many different stages of life, and how to tag them. I also was able to expand my knowledge on fish hatcheries and all the skills that are needed to successfully take care of the fish.  

What has been your favorite part about this experience?

My favorite part of this entire research project was probably being able to collect the larvae. It was something I’ve never done before and being outside till almost 3 in the morning with my coworkers was something I’ll never forget. 

What are some of the opportunities you’ve had because of this research?

This research project has opened the door for me to several opportunities. I presented at the National American Fisheries Society (AFS) Conference. At the conference, I was also able to speak with multiple people and gain experience in presenting and making connections. Also, the skills I learned while on this project helped me gain a summer internship with Colorado State University, working with the Environment for Management of Military Lands at Fort McCoy. I will not only be using my skills from last summer but adding some additional skills which I am extremely excited for.

Students walking in stream

What kind of career do you hope to go into after graduation? 

I’m looking into a DNR biologist role as of now. I have really enjoyed my experiences with fish and hope to obtain a position working at a fishery or potentially with the DNR. I have always enjoyed being outside and I know my internships from last summer and this upcoming summer are setting me up nicely to help me reach my goals.

How will this experience help you attain your career goals?

My experience has helped make me a more confident person with my education and skills. I learned a variety of skills from electrofishing, tagging fish, water sampling and so much more, but I also learned to have confidence in myself.