OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) — As the 2020 Sturgeon Spearing season approaches on February 8th, area ice experts are concerned poor ice conditions could impact the annual tradition.
“We only have about five inches, six inches at most,” Don Herman of the Otter Street Fishing Club said. “Some places are 10 inches on the lake [Lake Winnebago] but if you want to go fishing, you’re going to have to go on Lake Poygan or Lake Butte des Morts.”
Herman added that it is safe to walk on Lake Winnebago, but conditions are not currently suitable for any type of vehicle.
“We’d like to have around at least 12, hopefully 20 inches this time of year,” he said. “This is the worst I’ve seen it in 45 years.”
Herman said it does not look like there are going to be many opportunities for improvement.
“It’s going to get in the teens and it will make some ice, but I don’t see the bitter cold coming,” he said. “In February, half the winter’s gone. With my experience, we’re probably not going to drive out more than a couple weeks if it gets cold…it doesn’t get as cold in March.”
The ice fishing season may be shorter this year, but Herman said it’s not something worth pushing.
“Be careful,” he said. “There isn’t a fish worth your life, and the ice is never 100% safe.”