Will you be on the ice?
Sturgeon spearing continues to be a popular sport in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin DNR sold 12,962 licenses for the 2017 season. Of those, 12,479 were for Lake Winnebago. The 2018 sturgeon spearing season for Lake Winnebago and the upriver lakes opens on Saturday, February 10th. The deadline to purchase a license for the 2018 season was the end of October in 2017. If you didn’t purchase a license in time to spear this year, it’s still worth checking out the action at the registration stations located around the lake (see the map below) or by joining in the fun at Fond du Lac’s 3rd Annual Sturgeon Spectacular (Feb 9-11th, 2018).
Looking for 2018 Winnebago System Fishing Regulations? CLICK HERE
According to Ryan Koenigs with the WI DNR, water clarity ranged from 7.5-10.5′ with quite a bit of variability at the locations checked by one of their technicians on January 8th. At that point in time clarity wasn’t great, but they plan to monitor clarity leading up to season opening.
Why is water clarity important for sturgeon spearing? CLICK HERE
The spears used to catch the lake sturgeon during the Winnebago System spearing season are have wood or metal handles that are six to nine feet long with three to eight barbed tines. The spears are shot through holes in the ice about three feet wide and five feet long. According to the WI DNR, the record lake sturgeon speared in Wisconsin is a 212 -pounder taken in 2010 from Lake Winnebago.
Interested to learn more about lake sturgeon? CLICK HERE
Although ice is overall pretty thick on Lake Winnebago with some clubs reporting up to 22 inches in some spots, cracks have been moving around quite a bit. Be sure to check with your local fishing club or bait shop before you head out to find out about any weak or open spots. Remember – ice is never 100% safe.
To learn more about ice safety, CLICK HERE
Follow the Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance’s Winnebago Waterways Program on our Winnebago Waterways FacebookPage or @WinnWaterways on Twitter! You can also sign-up for email updates at WinnebagoWaterways.org.