Sturgeon Update 2-12-14

From Ryan Koenigs of WI DNR

The real Day 5 of the 2014 sturgeon spearing is now over and we have reached the 90% trigger for the system-wide adult female harvest cap.  That means that tomorrow (Thursday) will be the last day of the 2014 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago System and the season will end at 1:00 PM.   The 6 day season will be tied for the 3rd shortest season since the 6-hour spearing day was implemented in 2002.  I will be sending out many more summaries about the 2014 sturgeon spearing season as the data get entered and summarized.   Back to today’s fishery through, a total of 118 fish were harvested today, and the registration stations on the south end continue to lead the way in numbers.   A more detailed breakdown of today’s harvest can be viewed in the attached document. 
The highlight of today was the new big fish for the season.  John Skahen registered a 161.0 pound, 77.1” sturgeon at Quinney today, which currently leads the way for the big fish of the year. 

 This fish may be the largest thus far this year, but is not in the top 11 in history.  The record books for big fish have been basically re-written since the 2004 season, but surprisingly no fish have entered the list this season.  

Four other fish over 100 pounds were harvested today including Jeffrey Dahlberg’s 140.4 pound, 72.6” fish that he registered at Jerry’s and a 137.8 pound, 74.1” fish that Arthur Gruner registered at Wendt’s on the Lake.  Thus far we have registered 99 fish this year that have exceeded 100 pounds.      
Day 5 was also a long time coming for another dedicated sturgeon spearer.  Allan Kraemer has been sturgeon spearing since 1972 and claims to only have missed 5-6 seasons during that 42 year period.  During that 42 years he has never seen a sturgeon in the hole, but his dedication kept him coming back for more year after year.  Well today it all finally paid off as he saw and speared his first sturgeon, which he proudly displayed while registering his fish at Stockbridge Harbor.  We have all heard stories about people going 15 to 20, maybe 25 years without seeing a fish, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone going 42 years without getting a fish.  I think most people would have picked up a new hobby during that time, but I’m glad that Allan stuck with spearing!  A picture of Allan and his fish is provided below. 
I hope many of you are able to get out and enjoy the last day of the 2014 sturgeon spear fishery tomorrow.  It has been a short, yet very successful season!