Day three of the sturgeon season is fruitful on the Upriver Lakes and dismal on Lake Winnebago. According to the DNR, another 21 fish were harvested today on the Upriver Lakes, so tomorrow will be last day for spearing there. Only nine fish were registered at Lake Winnebago stations. Bad ice and bad water clarity will most likely continue to hamper spearers have on Lake Winnebago.
Some spearers say they've had enough.
Darryl Prodell of Shawano says, "It's getting too bad out there with that west wind, got that last night and everything is shoved up."
And because of that, some are packing up their shanties and heading home. The average ice conditions on Lake Winnebago from the first two days of the sturgeon season have now deteriorated to the point that some just don't feel safe. Sunday's rain led to large pools of water on the ice, conditions simply not appealing to many.
"For now I'm taking my shack off," says Ed Marohol of Boduel. "Travel is very difficult. From Friday it was really hard to get out there, there's at least four inches of water out there and it's not safe."
While temperatures are expected to get colder as the week goes on, which will most likely help to refreeze parts of the lake, water clarity not ice conditions is the bigger problem.
"You can't spear fish you can't see and when the water clarity is only six to nine feet it really reduces the spearers ability to harvest fish," says DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs.
And that's what spearers are finding, poor water clarity.
According to Marohol, "Other years we'd see shads, minnows, made the day go fast. But it was pretty boring this year. It's pretty discouraging when you see the kill, not many being speared. It's pretty sad."
But also just part of the sturgeon experience, that may have derailed this season, but gives spearers something to look forward to for the next one.
Says Prodell, "It's like deer hunting. It's hit or miss deal. If the waters good, you see one, you get it, if not wait til next year."
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