Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Season Could Close Friday

Thursday, Feb. 18 was the sixth day of the 2021 sturgeon spearing season. Today, 115 fish were speared on the Winnebago System, including 101 harvested on Lake Winnebago and 14 harvested on the Upriver Lakes.

The Lake Winnebago daily total has slightly increased from day 5, and for the second day in a row, Stockbridge Harbor registered the most fish, 24, followed by Grundman Lane with 20. Lake Winnebago season totals have reached 145 juvenile females, 401 adult females, and 329 males. Although harvest is likely to pick up, it’s anticipated that the Lake Winnebago and system-wide sex-specific harvest caps will remain out of reach throughout the weekend.

The Upriver Lakes season will continue through Friday, Feb. 19.

Today’s harvest narrowly missed tripping the 90% trigger. After today, only 14 adult females and 1 male remain on the Upriver Lakes to that trigger. We expect the 90% trigger will likely be hit on Friday, resulting in the final day of spearing for the Upriver Lakes being Saturday.

Please note: There is potential for the 100% closure to be met on Friday, Feb. 19, which would close the Upriver Lakes season immediately. Be sure to check the day 7 harvest report for the latest information.

After today, the season on the Upriver Lakes has seen the harvest of 40 juvenile females, 72 adult females, and 215 males.

Click here to view the full harvest report for day 6.

The big story of the 2021 spearing season has been the number of large fish harvested. After today, 55 fish have been registered weighing over 100 pounds, four of which weighed over 150 pounds.

One of the fish over 150 pounds was registered today by Steven Lenz at the Boom Bay station. Steven’s fish(photo attached to story) was an F4 female weighing 154.5 pounds (78.2 inches), speared on Lake Poygan. Today, the biggest fish on Lake Winnebago was speared by Jackson Schroeder and weighed 121.7 pounds (73.1 inches). Jackson’s fish was an F4 female and was registered at the Blackwolf Landing station.

In most scenarios on the Winnebago System, the huge sturgeon weighing over 100 pounds are females. In past records, there have only been 13 males harvested weighing over 100 pounds. Today, however, two fish were added to those records as a 103.2 pound (71.3 inches) M2 male and a 104.6 pound (70.6 inches) M2 male. Moreover, both astonishing fish were previously tagged by Wisconsin DNR staff, allowing us to glean the important information needed to manage the Winnebago sturgeon population carefully.