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Sturgeon Spearing Report For Day Four Of The Season

13-Feb-2018

DNR Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs writes:

The big question coming into today was how long the spear fishery on the Upriver Lakes would last.  We were only 2 adult females away from the 90% trigger and 11 adult females from the 100% season closure.  Well it literally came down to the wire.  At 1:50, we were still sitting on 10 adult females, but the 11th adult female was registered at Critter’s at 1:55 resulting in a complete season closure.  So the 2018 sturgeon spearing season on the Upriver Lakes is now over.  There were 32 fish harvested from the Upriver Lakes today, which brings the season total to 297 sturgeon.  This is very similar to last season’s harvest of 295 fish.  I plan to draft an Upriver Lakes summary report either later today or tomorrow that will go into more detail about this season.  As a sneak preview though, I put together the following table comparing the season length and harvest of the 2018 season to other spearing season’s since the lottery fishery was implemented in 2007:

  

Season

Length (days)

License Sales

Applicants

Harvest

Success Rate

2007

6

485

2795

313

64.5%

2008

4

484

3902

300

62.0%

2009

5

490

4031

275

56.1%

2010

6

494

4228

312

63.2%

2011

10

490

4114

335

68.4%

2012

2

498

4597

242

48.6%

2013

4

491

4,893

261

53.2%

2014

3

469

5,863

341

72.7%

2015

5

484

6,466

288

59.5%

2016

7

484

5,981

307

63.4%

2017

16

483

6,148

295

61.1%

2018

4

484

6,633

297

61.4%

Average

6.0

486.3

4970.9

297.2

61.2%

 

Today there were 42 fish registered at stations around Lake Winnebago bringing the season total to 229 sturgeon.  Payne’s Point registered the most fish (10) followed by Wendt’s (9), Calumet Harbor (7), Jerry’s (6), Stockbridge (4), Waverly (4), and Quinney (4).  Four more fish 100 pounds or larger were registered today, including Kyle Jenkins (pictured)  143.7 pound, 84.5” female that was registered at Jerry’s Bar in Oshkosh.  Kyle’s fish is not only the largest fish in today’s harvest, but also is the longest fish that I have confirmed record of being harvested.  Fish records typically go from weight, and the current state record lake sturgeon was harvested during the 2010 spearing season.  That fish weighed close to 70 pounds more (212.2 pounds) than the fish Kyle speared today, but was actually 0.3” shorter (84.2”).   Fish condition (plumpness) can be extremely variable from one fish to another, but can also be highly variable from year to year.  Strong hatches of gizzard shad and abundant red worm populations between 2009-2012 provided great foraging conditions for lake sturgeon and fish weights increased greatly during that time.  I plan to draft a report later in the season to describe these trends in more detail, so stay tuned.  

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