Sturgeon Patrol Short on Volunteers

GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WBAY) Both the calendar and the forecasted warm temperatures this weekend have Department of Natural Resources wardens turning their attention to the Wolf River.

"I think sturgeon activity is in the near future," says DNR Regional Conservation Warden Ben Treml.

Since 1988, wardens have relied on hundreds of volunteers to help guard sturgeon at their spawning sites along the river's rocky shorelines and protect the fish from poaching.

"And we have this great partnership with Sturgeon For Tomorrow and the public that the people will actually sit there and be proactive and watch and protect the sturgeon, it's a win-win for everybody," says Treml.

But over the past few years, Treml says there's been a decline in the number of Sturgeon Patrol volunteers.

"People have crazy lifestyles, they're busy and we're just going to try and try to advertise and get more volunteers to help," says Treml.

With more than 50 spawning locations along the Wolf River from Lake Winnebago to Shawano, the DNR is in need of 18 volunteers per shift, with each shift covering 12 hours from 7am to 7pm during the day, or 7pm to 7am overnight.

Treml says for many volunteers the experience is both educational and rewarding.

"It's a great way to bring a family out and watch the sturgeon, but then also it's a neat way to have a piece of protecting the resource," says Treml.