Deadline for sturgeon spearing license is Oct. 31, 2020 | By Ryan Koenigs

Fond du Lac, WI – The deadline for purchasing sturgeon spearing licenses for the 2021 Lake Winnebago spearing season is less than two weeks away. Spearers must purchase their licenses before Oct. 31, 2020.


Bill Thern sturgeon spearing

The 2021 sturgeon spearing season will open on the Winnebago system Feb. 13, 2021 and run for a maximum of 16 days or until any of the pre-determined harvest caps are reached.

The minimum spearing age is 12 years old. Youth who turn 12 years of age between Nov. 1 and the last day of the 2021 spearing season are eligible to purchase a spearing license after Oct. 31. Military personnel home on leave can also purchase a license after Oct. 31.

While there are unlimited licenses available for Lake Winnebago, the Upper Lakes fishery is managed by a preference point system and limited to 500 spearers.

Only those who have already received eligibility through the drawing may purchase a license. Applicants authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes sturgeon tag may only purchase that license and cannot purchase one for Lake Winnebago.

Licenses are $20 for Wisconsin residents and $65 for nonresidents and can be purchased through the GoWild system or at any license sales location. For more details, please visit the Lake Winnebago sturgeon fishery on the DNR’s fisheries webpage.


The Wisconsin DNR and Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin have been jointly working on a project to restore lake sturgeon to the upper Wolf River within the Menominee Tribal Reservation. Efforts include successfully capturing and transferring subadult and adult lake sturgeon upstream to their ancestral spawning grounds below Keshena Falls.

The Wisconsin DNR also assists with various other lake sturgeon recovery programs throughout the U.S. Here’s a video showcasing the DNR’s involvement in lake sturgeon rehabilitation programs and the positive impact these partnerships have on lake sturgeon recovery efforts.

Ryan Koenigs
Senior Fisheries Biologist / Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist

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