Rain Sunday into Monday made for wet conditions throughout Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes, but spearers were still able to get out in search of the elusive, prehistoric sturgeon, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials said Monday, Feb. 11.
Spearers harvested 21 fish from the Upriver Lakes and nine from Lake Winnebago, the biggest fish taken by Mandi Rahmer, said Ryan P. Koenigs, the DNR fisheries biologist from Oshkosh. Rahmer pulled in a 67.1-inch, 92.2-pound female sturgeon she registered at Stockbridge Harbor. Jayme Pray of Neenah also pulled in a 72.2-inche, 86.7-pound fish registered at Boom Bay.
Spearing on Lake Winnebago continues to be slow due to poor water clarity, Koenigs said.
"Due to very low registration numbers at stations along the North shore of Lake Winnebago, we have closed our Harrison Town Hall and Payne’s Point registration stations until further notice," Koenigs said in an email. "Harvested fish in these areas can be registered at Stockbridge Harbor, Waverly Beach, or Jerry’s Bar (Oshkosh)."
Monday's harvest on the Upriver Lakes tripped the 90 percent trigger for the adult female harvest cap, meaning that spearers will have one more day to fish the Upriver Lakes before the season closes at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
"As expected, the 2013 spear fishery on the Upriver Lakes has been very successful, with 235 fish being harvested in the first three days of the season (nine of which have been in excess of 100 pounds)," Koenigs said. "Tomorrow’s report will include a vignette about the history of the spear fishery on the Upriver Lakes and what trends we have observed since the lottery fishery was implemented in 2007."