Day 1 Sturgeon Report – DNR say Ice Conditions lead to Low Harvest Numbers

Day One of the 2020 Sturgeon Spearing Season on the Lake Winnebago System was Saturday, and DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs says it went “about as expected.”

Variable ice conditions and unfavorable water clarity on Lake Winnebago had the DNR expecting to result in a reduced harvest on day one, and Koenigs says that’s exactly what happened.

Only 44 fish were speared on Lake Winnebago – the lowest opening day harvest number on the lake since 2013. A total of 101 fish were harvested from the Upriver Lakes, which is the lowest opening day harvest total there since the lottery system was implemented in 2007.

Koenigs writes in his day one report that the DNR’s opening day “shanty count” of 2,439 shanties was 47 percent lower than observed during the 2018 season, when over 4,600 shanties were seen.

The largest fish of Saturday went to Vincent Catania, who registered his 140 pound, 75 inch sturgeon at Critters. The largest fish on Lake Winnebago went to Maxwell Schmidt of Oshkosh, who registered his 107.3 pound, 75.2 inch sturgeon at Jerry’s Bar.