Day 16 Sturgeon Report : 2/25/18

Photo: Kristine Halbach speared the largest sturgeon of the day on the final day of the season

By DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs

Today marked the 16th and final day of the 2018 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago.  The season concluded with the lowest daily harvest of the season, 14 fish.  Five of the fish were registered at Calumet Harbor, 4 at Stockbridge Harbor, 3 at Payne’s Point, and 2 at Wendt’s.  The largest fish of today’s harvest was 131.0 pounds, 76.4” and registered at Calumet Harbor by Kristine Halbach of St. Cloud (photo attached).      


There were 654 sturgeon harvested from Lake Winnebago this season.  An additional 297 fish were harvested from the Upriver Lakes, bringing the system-wide total to 951 sturgeon harvested during the 2018 spearing season.  This season’s harvest from Lake Winnebago ranks 42nd out of the 78 seasons dating back to 1941 (attached document breaks down LW harvest by season).


Earlier this week I wrote about the results of the diet analysis that we conducted.  I will be curious to see how fish condition observed during this year’s spearing season compares to years past.  From our observations, it seemed the fish were a bit leaner this season, which is what we expected based on a relatively low abundance of smaller gizzard shad and redworms.  With the slower season, we already have a good portion of the harvest data entered.  I will be sure to send out a successful spearer list once we have everything entered and proofed.  However, it may be another couple of weeks as our entire team will be at a training most of the upcoming week and then looking to have a couple days off following a long spearing season.   


So I’m signing off for now.  I would like to thank all of the spearers out there for another safe and successful sturgeon spearing season.  Congratulations to everyone that was fortunate to harvest a fish this season!