Sturgeon Update 2-8-14

The Following is the Day One Sturgeon Report from the Wisconsin DNR 


Well conditions were ripe for a big opening day of the 2014 sturgeon spearing season, and that is just what it was a BIG DAY!  In fact, our crews at Wendt’s on the Lake just finished registering fish and were finally able to call in their numbers at 4:40 PM.  The South end of Lake Winnebago was the hot spot, with 211 fish being registered at Wendt’s and 121 fish being registered at Jim and Linda’s Super Club in Pipe.  Spearers were able to harvest just over 42% of the Lake Winnebago adult female harvest cap today, meaning that the season will continue through Sunday and likely into the early part of next week. 
As for the Upriver Lakes, the season goes on but likely not for much longer.  There was a total of 242 fish harvested on the Upriver Lakes on opening day, which means that roughly half of the license holders for the lottery fishery registered a fish already.  As with the Winnebago fishery, the season continues on the Upriver Lakes.  As of the day’s end, spearers were able to harvest 69% of the adult female harvest cap and 65% of the male harvest cap for the Upriver Lakes.  We are 18 adult females away from the 90% trigger and 26 fish from the 100% trigger, meaning that the season will end if 26 adult females are harvested on Sunday. 
Similar to years past, the real story this year is the big fish.  We didn’t have any “top 10” fish harvested on opening day, but there still were 50 fish that tipped the scales at 100+ pounds (44 from Lake Winnebago and 6 from the Upriver Lakes).  The two largest fish harvested today were both registered at Stockbridge Harbor.  I have included pictures of both fish.  
William Zahringer had the largest fish on opening day, tipping the scales at 143.9 pounds, 75.4”.
Lucas Schneider also registered his 77.8”, 140.1 pound fish at Stockbridge on opening day: