Sturgeon spearing season starts with little optimism
OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — Sturgeon spearers may have another long season with murky water in Lake Winnebago, where spearing starts Saturday.
The season is scheduled for 16 days but can end early if a cap is reached. Last year’s season went the full time without hitting the limit for the number of the prehistoric fish taken.
“From Stockbridge to Pipe, we found 6 to 9 feet of visibility,” said Ryan Koenigs, a biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “When conditions are like this in terms of water clarity, it usually makes for a long season on Lake Winnebago. What I’ve heard is water clarity has gotten worse on upriver lakes, as well.”
Along with Lake Winnebago, spearing will begin Saturday on Lake Butte des Morts and Lake Poygan.
License sales are down about 4.5 percent this year at just over 12,000, Koenigs said Thursday. There were half as many shanties last year compared to 2011 because of poor ice conditions, and last year’s issues may have deterred people this year, he said.