Madison, WI – State Representative Ty Bodden (R-Stockbridge) recently circulated a letter among legislative colleagues, soliciting signatures for a letter he composed to U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Martha Williams, addressing the potential addition of Lake Sturgeon to the Endangered Species List.
Rep. Bodden issued the following statement:
“Being a resident and Representative of Stockbridge, the Sturgeon Capital of the World, and representing a substantial portion of Lake Winnebago along with other regions deeply rooted in sturgeon spearing, this issue hits extremely close to home. Even though this is a federal matter, I am committed to doing everything in my power to preserve our traditions and prevent government interference in our way of life.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been ordered by an Illinois federal judge to publish a determination on listing Lake Sturgeon as an endangered species by June 30, 2024. The court case number is 20C1227, which mandated the Department to issue a decision. The issue originated from population concerns outside of our state where we are sure there
are legitimate concerns, however, Rep. Bodden aims to ensure that Wisconsin is excluded from this list as our state has done an excellent job managing the sturgeon population.
Lake Sturgeon holds a special place in the hearts of Wisconsinites, particularly in the regions surrounding Lake Winnebago, Lake Butte des Morts, Lake Winneconne, and Lake Poygan. The annual sturgeon spearing season, an event deeply rooted in our cultural identity, is set to commence on February 10, 2024. This tradition brings together generations of residents, forging bonds and fostering a profound connection with our natural surroundings.
Listing the Lake Sturgeon as an endangered species in Wisconsin, particularly in the Fox Valley, could potentially result in the suspension or significant curtailment of the sturgeon spearing season. Such an outcome would not only impact the cultural fabric of our state but also harm the livelihoods of numerous spearfishermen and women, and local businesses that depend on this tradition for their economic well-being.
“My Great-Grandfather used to cut spear holes back in the day with his three or four-foot David Bradley chainsaw. These deep-rooted traditions are at risk of being uprooted by unelected federal bureaucrats. I am determined to prevent a repeat of what happened with wolves from occurring with our beloved lake sturgeon. Like many crucial issues, this is something I will relentlessly advocate for. Thank you to my colleagues who have signed onto this letter and stand with me in the fight for our traditions,” said Bodden.Sturgeon Letter