The frigid temperatures and low opening numbers aren’t cooling down the enthusiasm for the start of the sturgeon spearing season.
Despite only 377 registered sturgeon on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes combined, sturgeon spearing isn’t only about the fish.
“We look forward to it because it’s a family tradition,” said Shawn Wendt, Manager of Wendt’s on the Lake. “My sons were both out this weekend. One is 12 and one is 15. It just goes on from generation to generation.”
It never hurts, however, to spear a sturgeon early on.
“I feel relief,” laughed one spearer named Phil while admiring a 96-pound sturgeon he took home Monday. “I can do some other things at home now, but you take it all in and enjoy every moment of it. If you see one, you see one, it’s great, but if you don’t it’s still a great time.”
Given the slow start, the DNR is expecting the sturgeon spearing season to reach the full 16-days on Lake Winnebago. They’re also anticipating an extended season on the Upriver Lakes.