Wisconsin Sturgeon Spearing Season Starts February 8, 2014
Clear water, thick ice and the anticipation of spearing an ancient fish await thousands of spear fishermen on Lake Winnebago in Oshhkosh, Fond du Lac and across the Fox Valley in Wisconsin this Saturday. Holes have been cut, game plans have been set and there are thousands of shanties out on the ice. The 16 day sturgeon season on Lake Winnebago, WI will last until the quota is met and this year it seems as if it will be a fast and intense season.
Currently, Most of Lake Winnebago has 20-30 inches of ice and the water is more clear than it has been in years. The WI DNR says that visibility is 14-16 feet, so fisherman will have adequate chances at Sturgeon. The season opens at 7 a.m. on Saturday and closes at one p.m. to count the number of fish taken and decide how close the quota is to being met.
The quota is based on studies by the DNR to determine populations of Lake Sturgeon in Lake Winnebago. The total number of fish needed to fill the quota that ends the season is— 960 males, 745 adult females and 320 juvenile females for Lake Winnebago and 240 males, 83 adult females and 80 juvenile females for upriver lakes. This could be reached early in the week due to the great ice and water conditions.
The total number of licenses sold this year includes 11,823 and 11,355 of those are for Lake Winnebago. This is down 6 percent from last year but is still the fourth highest of all time.
The short season could affect a number of businesses on the Lake and surrounding communities. Many bars and restaurants rely on the fishing and the people to bring the beasts to their bars to register them and a short season will cut into business.
This year many are also predicting a new record fish. The current record is 212 pounds, but the DNR has tagged some big fish in the last few years including a fish in the Wolf River that weighed 242 pounds and was 87 1/2 pounds pre spawn.
Let’s all hope for a great season and if you’re out there, Good Luck! Please send us your photos and videos of the day to PJ@morningmoss.com and let us know how you did.