DNR Announces New Fisheries Biologists For Lake Winnebago System

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Wednesday Margaret Stadig and Angelo Cozzola are the new Lake Winnebago System fisheries biologists. Both Stadig and Cozzola started their new roles on Monday, Feb. 14.

“These are two very important positions that are critical to fish management for the entire Winnebago System, especially our walleye, panfish, and sturgeon species,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Fisheries Management Bureau Director. “I’m so excited to have them both on board and can’t wait to see the great things they’ll bring to the program and the fishery.”

At 28 and a half miles long and 10 and a half miles wide, Lake Winnebago is the largest inland lake in Wisconsin and an essential resource for surrounding communities. With more than 88 miles of shoreline spanning 215 square miles, the lake provides ample outdoor recreation and angling opportunities.   

Anglers from across the state seek out the popular Winnebago System for walleye, white bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge and panfish, including perch and bluegill.

The Winnebago System also supports strong populations of lake sturgeon and an annual winter sturgeon spearing season that provides biologists with valuable data on the iconic fish species. Stadig and Cozzola will work on species management, habitat monitoring and restoration, and more.

Margaret Stadig will focus primarily on managing the iconic Lake Winnebago System lake sturgeon population. A native of Michigan, Stadig has extensive experience working with large, primitive fish species. Most recently, she worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department partnering on the reintroduction of the prehistoric paddlefish into the Big Cypress Bayou System. Prior to working at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Stadig studied lake sturgeon with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the St. Clair River system.

“I am extremely excited to be back in the Great Lakes region managing one of my favorite fish species,” said Stadig. “Working with the staff and seeing the passion the spearers have these past few days during the season has been a great reminder of why I went into fisheries management. I look forward to interacting with the staff and our partners to continue to do right by this resource in the future.” 

Angelo Cozzola will focus primarily on managing the highly sought-after walleye, as well as northern pike, muskellunge and other popular game fish on the Winnebago system. Prior to his new role, Cozzola was a DNR fisheries technician based in Oshkosh. Before joining the DNR`s fisheries management program, he completed graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he investigated the effects of herbicides on native Wisconsin fish species.

“I am very excited to take on my new role managing game fish on the Lake Winnebago system. The system is incredibly diverse in species composition and habitat types that make it a really interesting place to work,” said Cozzola. “The system is also surrounded by a super passionate user group I am looking forward to working with. Working out of the office previous to my new position has helped me get familiar with the management activities of the area.”