DNR reacts cautiously to protections for lake sturgeon

Sturgeon spawning on the Wolf River (WBAY photo)

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reaction cautiously to news that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will consider protecting lake sturgeon as a threatened or endangered species (see related story).

DNR senior fisheries biologist Ryan Koenigs said, "It does not mean that sturgeon are or will be listed. The process that will be pursued by the USFWS will determine that."

He went on, "Any implications on lake sturgeon harvest opportunities in Wisconsin -- spearing or hook and line angling -- would be speculative at this time, but the species would have to be listed first."

The Fish and Wildlife Service believes there's plenty of information to justify studying the issue. It says these ancient fish once numbered in the millions but numbers fell in the past century due to pollution and over-fishing.

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