Opening weekend of sturgeon spearing looks similar to last year; Sturgeon Spectacular wraps up

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WBAY) -- Day two of the 2019 sturgeon spearing season is now in the books.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says spearers harvested 108 fish on Sunday; 56 coming from Lake Winnebago and 52 from the Upriver Lakes.

Sturgeon biologists say this year’s opening weekend looked very similar to last year’s opener.

The DNR says spearing on the Upriver Lakes is expected to close late this week.

The largest fish harvested on Sunday came in at 148.3 pounds and 77.1 inches. It was registered at Critters’s by Michael Bohow.

The largest fish from Lake Winnebago Sunday weighed in at 124.7 pounds and 69 inches. It was registered at Calumet Harbor by Michael Popp.

Opening weekend also brought about other activities for people who don’t spear.

In downtown Fond du Lac, sounds of sculptors putting the finishing touches on their snow masterpieces echoed in the street.

“The title of the piece is ‘The Snow Angel.’ We have a little girl who just came down off the hill sledding and flopped into the snow and making a snow angel, she's got a big smile on her face and her eyes are closed, and what she does not see is that her guardian angel is standing over her,” said Mike Austin of the team “Up to Snow Good.”

Snow sculptors have been working on their pieces all weekend as part of Sturgeon Spectacular; another option for people who want to take a break from spearing.

“This is an opportunity to get people out of their hibernation and out spending some money, staying in the hotels, eating in the restaurants, taking in the live shows,” said Craig Molitor, president of Destination Winnebago Region.

Organizers say they've seen the festival grow every year and are always looking for new ideas to top the previous year.

“Every year we say, we should do this, we should do that, so we have aspirations to see this thing become a regional tourism draw,” said Molitor.

The snow sculpting competition has been a staple of the festival for the last three years.

Competitors are competing for a chance to show off their skills on the national level.

“You see this stuff really concluding and you've developed a relationship with these artists and folks are coming back after the third and fourth day and checking it out,” said Molitor.

The sculpture called "Lost in Slow Growth" is this year’s winner, sculpted by the team Polka Pickles.

Now, it’s off to the U.S. Snow Sculpting Championship.


This snow sculpture is the winner of this year's competition called: "Lost in Slow Growth" by team Polka Pickles
The largest fish harvested Sunday was 148.3 pounds (77.1”) and registered at Critter’s by Michael Bohow
The largest fish harvested from Lake Winnebago on Sunday was 124.7 pounds (69.1”) and registered at Calumet Harbor by Michael Popp of Fond du Lac.