Sturgeon Report 2-18-16

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Here’s what DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs has to say today:

Attention Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearers:

The harvest numbers from day 6 are now in and, as expected, the Upriver Lakes season will come to a close tomorrow (Friday) at 1:00 PM. The Upriver Lakes harvest today included 4 adult females, which was enough to trip the 90% trigger but not reach the 100% closure. So the 2016 sturgeon spear season on the Upriver Lakes will last 7 days, making it the 2nd longest season since the lottery fishery was implemented in 2007 (2011 season lasted 10 days). Today’s harvest of 15 fish from the URL brings the season total to 290 fish. There were 484 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing licenses sold this season, so I would expect that the majority of the remaining 194 license holders will be out tomorrow for one last chance.

The harvest on Lake Winnebago picked up again today for the 2nd day in a row with a total harvest of 36 fish. Stockbridge Harbor, Payne’s Point and Calumet Harbor were the busiest stations, each registering 10 fish, while Jerry’s Bar, Wendt’s and Quinney all remained pretty slow. The figure below displays today’s harvest information by station.

Harvests from the last two days did not include a 100+ pound fish, however, there were two speared today. The largest fish of the day (75.0″, 122.8 pounds) was registered at Stockbridge Harbor by Judith Haske (photos below).

I’ve been hearing some concern from spearers about the slow start to this season and inquiries regarding how this season’s first few days compare to seasons past. I am currently working on a vignette to address those questions and compare this season’s first 5 days on Lake Winnebago to seasons past since the shortened spearing day began in 2002. I hope to have that report out today yet, so stay tuned. I wanted to get this first report out earlier to let URL spearers know that they still have one more day to try and harvest their fish for the 2016 season.

Good luck tomorrow!