Feb. 10, 2017 – Fond du Lac, WI – Shanty towns are popping up on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver lakes as sturgeon spearers prepare for the start of the season Saturday.
DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs said a short season means conditions are good, but others argue for a longer season.
Nearly 13,000 people bought licenses for the season. Koenigs said that is not a true indication of how many people actually have an interest in the sport. He said for every license holder there are probably two or three or more people that take part in some aspect or contribute to the local economy that are associated with the sturgeon spearing season, but they aren’t actually a license holder.
The state record is an 84-inch female sturgeon taken on Lake Winnebago in 2010. It weighed 212 pounds.
Koenigs filed a report on water clarity:
As far as water clarity is concerned the readings on Lake Winnebago have changed since Jan. 30 as the average readings have dropped about a foot over the last week and a half (average 9.4′ yesterday compared to 10.3′ on January 30).
For the most part better clarity is present along the east and north shores of Lake Winnebago, while poorer clarity is present off Oshkosh and to the south. It’s likely the runoff coming into the lake at the mouth of the Fox River is clouding the water off Oshkosh, where runoff is having less impact to the east and further north.
We weren’t able to get up on the Upriver Lakes yesterday, but I’ve heard credible reports that clarity hasn’t changed much over the last week and a half, remaining at 4-5′ of visibility on average.
Photos courtesy Pinterest and Morning Moss.