Just three days into the 16 day sturgeon spearing season and things are already starting to wrap up. Spearing on the upriver lakes is over and according to the DNR it won't be long before harvest caps are met on Lake Winnebago too.
With good solid ice and great water clarity the DNR said sturgeon season wouldn't be long and after only three days caps have been met on the upriver lakes. The shortest season on record for the upriver lakes is only two days, but one adult female short of the caps after yesterday allowed the DNR to keep the season open on lakes Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts one day longer.
Ryan Koenigs is a DNR fish biologist. He says, "Coming into today there were already 319 fish harvested from those 500 license holders, so more than 60% of the spearers had already gotten a fish in the first two days."
Knowing the caps were close to being reached, Tony Kobriger took a vacation day at work. His gamble paid off as he speared a fish toward the end of today. It wasn't the big one he was hoping for, but at least he's going home with something.
He says, "We were down to the last hour and a half, it was starting to get a little tense in that shanty, passed up a couple of fish that were probably the same size, maybe a little bit bigger but was holding out for a nice fish."
Holding out for a big fish proved fruitful for Derrick Ingles. He speared a 100-plus pound sturgeon around 9am.
"It was the last day, I was pretty excited to see the one come through the hole," says Ingles. "Thought I missed it at first, only got two tines in the side of it, but we got it."
While spearing is done on the upriver lakes, there's still hope for those with licenses on Lake Winnebago. But according to the DNR spearers better hurry if they want to get a fish. The season most likely will end before the end of the week.
Ryan Koenigs says, "The way we think fish are going to continue to come in over the next few days we'll probably hit the 90% either on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, more than likely Wednesday or Thursday and the fishery will close on either Thursday or Friday."
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