Sturgeon spearing season off and running - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sturgeon spearing season off and running

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) -- Sturgeon spearers will be back on Lake Winnebago and upriver lakes on this opening weekend of the season.

Last year, the spearing season lasted just six days before the cap on sturgeon was reached. Harvest numbers have been raised 6 percent this season with a quota of 2,558 sturgeon.

The Department of Natural Resources has issued more than 13,000 spearing licenses.

Spearers are dealing with sub- or single-digit temperature readings and strong winds whipping up whiteout conditions on the open lakes. They huddle in their ice shanties as they wait for a sturgeon, perhaps a 100-pounder, to swim by the fishing hole.

DNR sturgeon specialist Ryan Koenigs says surveys of the fish population and recent harvest data indicate the lake and its tributaries hold increasing numbers of fish in excess of 100 pounds.

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