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Sturgeon spearing on upriver lakes likely to end Friday or Saturday: DNR

Steven Lenz registered this 154.5 pound (78.2 inches) female from Lake Poygan at Boom Bay
Steven Lenz registered this 154.5 pound (78.2 inches) female from Lake Poygan at Boom Bay(Wisconsin DNR)
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 9:02 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The sturgeon spearing season is nearing an end on upriver lakes of the Winnebago System.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the harvest was just shy of the 90% trigger on upriver lakes after Thursday brought in 14 more sturgeon. There’s just 1 male and 14 adult females to hit that target. The DNR expects spearers to reach it Friday, which would bring an end to the season on those lakes on Saturday.

However, the DNR says it’s possible spearers could hit 100% of the harvest caps Friday. That would end the season upriver immediately. After six days, 215 males, 72 adult females and 40 juvenile female sturgeon have been taken on upriver lakes.

DNR wardens think there’s plenty of room under the harvest caps on Lake Winnebago to keep the season going through the weekend. There were 329 males, 401 adult females and 145 juvenile females speared so far. That includes 101 harvested on Lake Winnebago on Thursday. The most were registered at Stockbridge Harbor, which had 24, while Grundman Lane registered 20.

The biggest fish on Thursday was a 154.5-pound female taken on Lake Poygan and registered at Boom Bay. The DNR says 55 sturgeon harvested so far weighed over 100 pounds, including four that weighed over 150.

Wardens also says two fish were for the history books: Two males weighing over 100 pounds were both registered on Thursday. Until then, there were only 13 male sturgeon weighing in at the century mark in all of the DNR’s harvest records. As a bonus, both males collected Thursday had DNR tags, which the agency says will give it the “important information needed to manage the Winnebago sturgeon population.”

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