Feb. 12, 2018 – Fond du Lac, WI – Opening weekend of the 2018 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago System is now in the books. The harvest from Lake Winnebago remained low Sunday (56 fish), but the Upriver Lakes continues to produce fish for spearers (68 fish).
We have now reached 66% of the adult female harvest cap for the Upriver Lakes and are 23 adult females away from the 90% trigger.
This may not seem like far off, but more than 40% of spearers have already tagged out so effort will be reduced during the remainder of the season.
I anticipate the Upriver Lakes season will go at least into mid-week.
The big fish on the system today was 147.3 pounds, 77.5” and harvested by Joseph Orlando who registered his fish at Critter’s,
The two largest fish of the season have been registered at that station.
The largest fish of the day on Lake Winnebago was a 122.1 pound, 72.1” female registered at Wendt’s by Joseph Kowalkowski.
Joseph is originally from Wisconsin, but currently resides in South Carolina and represents 1 of 358 non-residents that purchased a spearing license for this season.
Non-resident license sales represent 2.8% of total purchases with sportsmen and sportswomen from 31 states and 1 Canadian Province purchasing licenses this season.
Good luck to all you spearers out there as the season continues!
— Ryan Koenigs, Oshkosh
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource conservation wardens have received and answered a lot of questions leading up to this year’s spearing season. Wardens wish to remind sturgeon spearers of the following often asked questions about regulations regarding tags and registration.
Spearers are required to be in possession of their paper license/ tags while spearing. Immediately upon harvest, successful spearers must validate their tags by removing the validation stub from their tag by cutting or tearing at the dotted line. The sturgeon carcass tag is only required to be attached to the sturgeon if the successful spearer leaves the sturgeon prior to registration. It is also illegal to possess more than one sturgeon carcass tag or the tag of another while spearing.
In person registration is still required. Successful spearers have until 2:00PM the day of harvest to register their sturgeon. There is no online or call in registration for lake sturgeon.
— Chris Shea, Lake Winnebago Team Warden Supervisor