Feb. 19, 2017 – Fond du Lac, WI – We are now half way through the 2017 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes. The majority of the license holders have already called it a season with the unseasonably warm weather, but we still have a number of diehard spearers still looking to fill their tag. One of our DNR pilots was up in the air today for an earial shanty count and there were still 826 shanties on Lake Winnebago this morning with another 90 on the Upriver Lakes.
A total of 31 fish were harvested Saturday with 20 coming from Lake Winnebago and 11 from the Upriver Lakes. The largest fish was Tom Kulibert’s 118.9 pound (72.5”) female that he registered at Wendt’s (photo included in report). With the drop in harvest the last few days it looks like we will have our first 16-day season on the Upriver Lakes.
Sturgeon Vignette – “The 1967 sturgeon spearing season”
Today I will continue the trend of chronicling past spearing seasons, which started with the 1957 season on Wednesday. It’s interesting to read through these documents and see what changed from 1957 to 1967 and then what also remains the same. One thing that comes to my attention is how long most of our sturgeon registration stations have been in operation. This season we are manning 7 registration stations on Lake Winnebago. Five of those stations (Waverly Beach, Stockbridge, Calumet Harbor, Wendt’s, and Payne’s Point) were open during the 1967 season 50 years ago. Quinney and Jerry’s Bar are the only exceptions. The Quinney station has just moved just north from Ecker Lakeland landing down the road.
A couple of things jumped out to me as different between the 1957 and 1967 seasons:
- No season on the Upriver Lakes, but there was a season on Little Lake Butte des Morts
- $2.50 license required. There was not a license fee in 1957.
- 14-year old age requirement. There was no mention of an age requirement in 1957
- In 1957 you could cut a hole within 24 hours of season opener, changed to 48 for 1967 season
- No longer offering rewards for tagged sturgeon.