The upcoming sturgeon spearing season is just two weeks away.
Thursday the Department of Natural Resources held the last of three meetings to discuss the upcoming sturgeon season.
Sturgeon spearers say they know what they’re most excited about this season.
“Just the camaraderie. The first Thursday and Friday everybody gets out and cuts the holes, that’s kind of fun,” says sturgeon spearer Scott Wasinger. “And just the anticipation of seeing the fish come through.”
The fisherman were able to ask questions about the DNR’s latest stugeon findings.
Unfortunately the weather has delayed the Department’s predictions for this year.
“With the weather we’ve had the late freeze up because of the mild temperatures in early January and of course the weather this week,” says DNR sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs. “We haven’t been able to get out.”
And the weather has kept them from testing one very important variable.
“The big variable is water clarity,” says Koenigs. “Water clarity is the biggest predictor of certain harvests, at least for Lake Winnebago and we haven’t been able to get out to check clarity at this point.”
And then there’s the ice.
“Three weeks ago we still had some open water throughout Lake Winnebago. We’ve been fortunate to have cold temperatures the last couple of weeks, particularly really cold temperatures that we had this week because ice conditions have improved,” says Koenigs. “But they’re extremely variable. We do anticipate that a lot of fishing clubs and conservation groups will start placing their tree lines this weekend and start to plow and maintain roadways, landing off of common landings.”
But before the fun comes the first rule of ice fishing.
“You got to use your head in order to be safe,” says Wasinger. “But the ice is never 100% safe.”
The DNR says they will be able to survey the water next Monday.
At that point they will have a better idea of what the ice will be like once the season begins.