Sturgeon Update 2-21-15
This is from Ryan Koenigs of Wisconsin DNR
Dear Winnebago System Sturgeon Enthusiasts:
Well the 2015 sturgeon spearing season is now complete and I think this season will be looked upon fondly by many spearers. Today was by far the nicest weather of the season, which was a nice change from the very cold temperatures most of the last 7 days. An additional 136 sturgeon were harvested today, bringing the season total to 2,158 fish harvested during the season (1,870 from Lake Winnebago and 288 from the Upriver Lakes). The 1,870 fish harvested from Lake Winnebago ranks this season as the 6th highest harvest on record from the 1940-2015 seasons (attached PDF). That’s really pretty impressive when you consider that’s 75 spearing seasons, the majority of which had longer spearing days, no harvest caps, and seasons that were longer than 16 days.
Coming into today, I was anticipating an increase in spearing effort and in turn an increase in harvest given that today was a Saturday. However, that was not the case and today’s harvest numbers were actually one of the lowest of any day this season.
Today was a special day for the Drexler family from Oshkosh. The day started with 12 year old Derek harvesting a 70.1”, 75.6 pound fish, but that shanty wasn’t done giving up fish. Just a half hour after Derek’s fish came through, his father Robert speared a 23.9 pound, 50.2” fish out of the same hole! This story exemplifies what sturgeon spearing is all about…family, friends, and fun! Sturgeon spearing is a family tradition to many and that’s what makes it so special. Congratulations to this father-son duo!
The season may be over, but our work at the DNR is just getting started. We will be cleaning up our registration stations this week and then get started on the data entry and report writing. I hope to have the spearing data entered and spearer list drafted within the next 2 weeks, but it will be quite time consuming given the number of fish harvested and other commitments that myself and staff have over the next couple of weeks. I will be sending out updates and summary reports as they become available over the next month or so.
Thank you to all of the spearers out there for making 2015 a safe, successful, and enjoyable sturgeon spearing season. It truly is a joy to work with such a great group of passionate sportsmen!