Why is it called the Sturgeon Moon?
By angelamontana

Posted: August 2, 2023

You might have heard of the Sturgeon Moon that occurred last night–but have you wondered why it is called a Sturgeon Moon?  First of all, what IS the Sturgeon Moon?  Well, according to the NASA website, “The Maine Farmer’s Almanac began publishing “Indian” names for full Moons in the 1930s and these names have become widely known and used. According to this almanac, as the full Moon in August the Algonquin tribes in what is now the northeastern USA called this the Sturgeon Moon, after the large fish in the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water that were more easily caught this time of year. Other names reported for this Moon include the Red Moon, the Corn or Green Corn Moon, the Barley Moon, the Herb Moon, the Grain Moon, and the Dog Moon.”

In addition, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has some information on this supermoon, as well:

Why Is It Called the Sturgeon Moon?

The full Moon names used by The Old Farmer’s Almanac come from a number of places, including Native American, Colonial American, and European sources. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not solely to the full Moon.

The Sturgeon Moon

August’s full Moon was traditionally called the Sturgeon Moon because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.

What Is a Sturgeon?

These prehistoric-looking fish have been traced back to around 136 million years ago and many people call them “living fossils.”

  • Females require around 20 years to start reproducing, and they can only reproduce every 4 years. However, they can live up to 150 years!

  • Today, there are about 29 species worldwide, including the lake sturgeon found in the Great Lakes. They have evolved in size from the size of a bass to monster sturgeon as big as a Volkswagen.

  • The lake sturgeon is quite rare today, due to intense overfishing in the 19th century, pollution, and damage to their habitat.

So, the next time somebody mentions the Sturgeon Moon, you can use this knowledge to tell others why it is called the Sturgeon Moon.

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