U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Consider Protections for Lake Sturgeon
Lake Sturgeon may be receiving some federal protections.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday an initial review had yielded
“substantial information” on continuing threats to the sturgeon, which justifies
a more detailed study of whether they should be listed under the Endangered
Species Act. Population of the fish on the Great Lakes once exceeded 15
million, but dropped sharply due to over-harvesting, water pollution and dam construction.
The range of the Lake Sturgeon extends from Hudson Bay through the Great Lakes –
including portions of 18 states. That includes eastern Wisconsin, where sturgeon
spearing is a popular event on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes each
February. The sturgeon spearing harvest is capped by the Wisconsin DNR each
year to provide protection to the fish. It’s unclear how the potential for
federal protections for the sturgeon would impact sturgeon spearing.