Sturgeon Report – 2-23-16

Here’s today’s Sturgeon Update presented by Air Tech Heating
This is what Ryan Koenigs of the Wisconsin DNR had to say about today’s harvest..
Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Enthusiasts:
There were 8 lake sturgeon harvested from Lake Winnebago today (8 registered at Stockbridge Harbor, 2 at Calumet Harbor, and 1 at each station of Payne’s Point and Wendt’s).  Through the first 11 days,  there has been a harvest of 342 fish from Lake Winnebago, 7 of which have been 100 pounds or larger.  The largest fish registered today was Joseph Diener’s 70.8”, 88.3 pound female that he registered at Stockbridge Harbor. 
I mentioned in my report yesterday that we would be processing sturgeon stomachs today for diet analysis.  In total we looked through 100 stomachs from fish harvested this season (32 from the Upriver Lakes and 68 from Lake Winnebago).  The data are not entered yet or analyzed, but some general trends were very evident: 1) Sturgeon harvested from the Upriver Lakes were predominantly feeding on gizzard shad, 2) diet items observed in stomachs from fish harvested from Lake Winnebago were more diverse with shad, isopods, Chironomid (lake fly larvae), and zebra mussels all being observed in a portion of the stomachs sampled.  Overall, I can confidently say that Chironomid lake fly larvae were the most prevalent diet item observed in stomachs collected from Lake Winnebago, but the other three diet items were fairly common as well.  3) NO round gobies were observed in the stomachs sampled during the 2016 spearing season.  We will be entering these data tomorrow and starting some preliminary analysis.  I hope to draft a sturgeon diet vignette later this week to further describe the sampling and compare results from this season to season’s past.  I included photos of three of the diet items sampled from sturgeon stomachs this season:  Chironomid larvae (808 grams equated to 1.78 pounds);  Gizzard shad (893 grams equating to 1.97 pounds); zebra mussels (272 grams equating to 0.60 pounds).  
Until tomorrow’s report, good luck to those spearers who will be out on the lake tomorrow!