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Large sturgeon reported as spearing season closes on Upriver Lakes

Today the sturgeon spearing season came to a close on the up-river lake system.
CALUMET COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) - Today the sturgeon spearing season came to a close on the up-river lake system.

Harvest caps were quickly reached in the best opening weekend in a decade.

"This morning I am laying down and all of a sudden I see the nose coming underneath the shanty in the perfect shot" explains Glenn Kees. He says his heart was racing when he speared a prized prehistoric fish.

"I mean you lay there and lay there thinking it is never going to come and all of sudden it is there" he says.

Kees' 134.6 pounds and 79.2 inch sturgeon was the star of the Quinney Registration Station where weigh-ins are a spectator sport.

"It is really critical to the area" explains Ryan Koenigs, a Sturgeon Biologist for the Winnebago System.

"There is a lot of culture a lot of tradition that goes along with sturgeon spearing" Koenigs says.

More than 12,000 licenses were sold this year. Spearers pulled in nearly 900 fish opening day alone.

"Spearers are also getting a lot of very large fish" Koenigs explains. "Coming into the day we had 75 fish harvested that were over 100 pounds".

Sturgeon can often live more than 100 years, giving them time to grow.

"A lot of these people could be waiting 5,10,15 years some of them just to see a fish much less harvest it, There is a lot of time that goes into it, no matter how big or small people are always happy to harvest a fish" says Koenigs. 

Thick ice and clear water made the perfect combination for a fast a furious spearing season.

"It is kind of bittersweet because it is a short season but there are a lot of people who have been able to harvest fish" Koenigs says.

"I'll be eating fish once a week for a year " Kees says with a laugh.

The DNR  expects spearing to wrap up by Friday on Lake Winnebago.

That is quite a bit shorter than the full 16 day season we have seen for the past couple of years.

If you have photos from the sturgeon spearing season Local 5 wants to see them.

Send an e-mail to shareit@wearegreenbay.com.

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