Sturgeon Spearing Season Could Wrap in Coming Days - WBAY

Sturgeon Spearing Season Could Wrap in Coming Days

Lake Winnebago -

A successful sturgeon spearing opener means the season will be short this year. Whether you have hours or days before the end just depends on where you spear.

On the west shore of Lake Winnebago, it was a family affair to check out prehistoric sturgeon up-close.

"They look like they belong to another generation...another time. So, that is fascinating," Jane Gehler of Watertown, said.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the start of the 2014 sturgeon spearing season was one of the biggest in years with 636 fish registered on Lake Winnebago.

And, the second day's numbers were about half of the total harvest on opening day.

"Today, it's a little bit slower, there's fewer fish coming in, but it's still pretty steady here at Wendt's. I think we've registered about 25 fish already this morning and we'll probably still get about 100, 120 fish here today," Ryan Koenigs, DNR Lake Winnebago Sturgeon Biologist, said.

With extraordinary ice and water clarity, Koenigs says the spearing season could be cut short and end sometime this week.

"The season probably will either end at the very earliest tomorrow, on Monday, probably the latest on Wednesday or Thursday.. So if people want to get out spearing again and don't get their fish on opening weekend, they should really plan to be out during the week," he said.

If they didn't spear anything on opening day, some, like Tim Dix of Fond du Lac had better luck Sunday after waiting 20 years to spear his first sturgeon.

"It's such a boring sport until you actually get one. And, then it's such a rush, such an exhilaration, and I had to call everybody right away and tell everybody I got one," Dix said.

While, the large fish are a highlight this year, some spearers say it's made for a valuable teaching opportunity for other generations.

"Grandson came along yesterday and today...and we had another grandson yesterday. So, it was all their first experience," Brad Benedict of Berlin, said. "My dad introduced me to it, and so now he's getting into it, and hopefully the grand kids will pick that up."

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