Fishing, Life, Love & The Great Outdoors
DNR Officials Figuring On Shortened Sturgeon SeasonF

February 9th begins another season of Sturgeon spearing on the Winnebago system. This is also the second year that a lottery that allowed 500 people the opportunity to purchase a license for the upper lakes of the system. With good ice conditions and better then normal water clarity, the planned season looks to end early as spearers are expected to reach harvest caps prior to the passing of the alloted 16 days. That’s a good news bad news situation as good conditions means many sturgeon speared. But the shortened season is always bad news to some. There are those, young and old, to whom the social event is worth more then spearing a sturgeon. The chance to tell stories, pass photos and revive legends of family and friends deserves more then just a couple of days. But past seasons have been just that short as safe harvest caps are reached. Those caps are put in place to assure future generations sturgeon to spear and for the most part, those who enjoy the sport are OK with it. There are always a few who think there are more fish in the system then what the DNR estimates, but generally those who participate are happy with conservation efforts. In fact, it’s groups like Sturgeon For Tomorrow which are made up of anglers who provide a great deal of resources, time and man power to this cause.

Even with forecasts being for a shortened season, some long time spearers are not so sure. Water conditions can change and clarity can go from a good for spearing 16 feet, to much less very quickly. Fish location is another factor and a part of the formula that makes up a sturgeon season. Well. actually it’s two seasons in one as harvest caps separate the Winnebago and “Upper lakes” seasons. Cap numbers are as such.

Juvenile Females Adult Females Males
Lake Winnebago 445 500 800
Upriver Lakes 111 56 200
System-Wide 556 556 1000

The season closes at the end of the day if 100% of any of the three harvest cap numbers are reached or exceeded. The season will also end 24 hours from the end of the day that 90% - 99% of the harvest cap number is reached. So, based on the fishing, the Winnebago season could be longer, or shorter the the upper lakes season. But that’s why there’s a separate license for each. Based on harvest numbers from years past with favorable conditions, it is not inconceivable that one or both of the seasons will be over with the weekend.
For information on the sturgeon spearing season, the Winnebago Sturgeon History Project, or on the Sturgeon Guard Program Call The Sturgeon Hotline 920-303-5444

Area Ice Fishing Remains Good

Anglers are continuing to catch walleye from the Wolf River, perch, bluegill on local back waters and some small local lakes and even some white bass from out on Lake Poygan. Generally ice conditions are good and most days are rewarded with some fish. There have been a few pike caught too. Lake Winnebago remains good for walleye, perch and white bass but due to it’s size and changing weather patterns can be hit or miss.


The line up is looking better every day with more to do and lots to learn. Once again our friends at Yar Craft have stepped up and helped provide for a better show. What they did was sponsor a trout pond that will feature some tagged fish and matching prizes. Young and old will be able to participate and with the planned light weight ice fishing rods, should be some fun.

Seminars are being expanded to include information on the systems great bass fishing and also the BIG Muskies that are starting to show up. Very few anglers even know that they are here, but 50 inch fish are here and reproducing again in the Winnebago and Wolf River system. A complete line up and schedule will be posted soon. keep in touch.

So make sure to be at ICE BREAKER III, March 8 & 9, 2008 at Critters Sports in Winneconne for the BEST fishing information available on the entire Winnebago and Wolf River system. For more information on topics such as this and the areas great fishing, make sure to check out Doc’s Wolf River Country.Com Joel “Doc” Kunz is a freelance outdoor writer / photographer published weekly by Outdoor Gazette. His work is also seen in many other Wisconsin and Midwest publications. He is a recent READERS CHOICE award winner and a member of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. He is a Pro Team member of Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Motorguide & Lindy Little Joe


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