Former DNR Biologist Fined $500, Resigns

An almost four year investigation into the illegal bartering of sturgeon eggs for caviar has resulted in the the DNR’s top sturgeon biologist resigning Thursday.

Ryan Koenigs plead no contest to the charge of obstructing a conservation warden and was fined $500. He also resigned his position with the DNR. Koenigs was found guilty of the charge in Calumet County Court.

Koenigs had been convicted back in June in a Winnebago County court of resisting a conservation warden and was also fined $50.

At the center of the investigation was Koenigs, who allegedly was removing sturgeon eggs from the lab and turning them into caviar. The finished product was given to DNR employees, friends and processors.

The investigation began back in 2017, with Koenigs charged just days before the opening of the 2021 sturgeon spearing season. Koenigs had been the DNR’s top sturgeon biologist since 2012.