Sturgeon Season Starts Saturday

Nearly 13,000 people took out sturgeon spearing licenses for the season that starts on Saturday. Many will go home empty-handed, but DNR Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs  says the season isn’t just about getting your fish. He says, “What really is special about this sport is the social and group camaraderie aspect of the sport. Even in successful years we are looking at 10 to 20 percent of the license holders are successful in getting a fish.” Last season nine fish taken weighed over 140 pounds and two were over 150 pounds. Koenigs doesn’t expect as many big fish to be taken this season due to lack of forage for sturgeon. He says, “We don’t have as strong of a forage base for lake sturgeon in the form of a strong gizzard  shad hatch this past summer or a real strong abundance of lake fly or red worm water bait, which are the two staple food sources for sturgeon in the Lake Winnebago System.” Water clarity is expected to lead to a full 16-day season on Lake Winnebago. Clarity issues are not expected to have much of an impact on the shallower Upriver Lakes.