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Fishing WisconsinLake sturgeon spawning

Spawning season 2016

Wednesday, April 20

The 2016 lake sturgeon run on the Lake Winnebago System has been progressing as anticipated in my previous reports. In short, the run has been very intense and condensed into a short time period. Today was our big day below the Shawano Paper Mill Dam and our three crews were able to handle 625 lake sturgeon. We handled a number of very large fish including a number of fish larger than 75” in total length, with the largest fish being 81.7”. I have been talking about how short this run has been shaping up to be, and today was an extreme example of that where the fish were spawning very hard early this morning but had slowed down drastically by days end. As for tomorrow, Shawano Dam likely holds the best chance of seeing spawning fish. Our crews will be there in the morning to tag some fish, but may not be there all day. I recommend coming early to take advantage of one of the last opportunities to see spawning lake sturgeon. This year will likely go down as one of the shortest spawning runs on record.

- Ryan Koenigs, sturgeon biologist, Oshkosh. 

Spawning at New London 2016

Sturgeon spawning

During mid-April to early May, Lake Sturgeon travel upstream to their spawning grounds, giving the public a prime opportunity to see these ancient ones up close.

Sturgeon spawning is dependent on water temperature and flow. During seasons when water flow is high and water temperatures rise slowly, spawning begins when water temperature reaches 53 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, during seasons of low water flow and more rapid water temperature rise, spawning does not begin until water temperatures reach 58-59 degrees Fahrenheit.

UWSP students with large sturgeon

Wolf River cam at Shawano Dam - underwater [exit DNR]

Call the sturgeon hotline number for recorded daily updates: (920) 303-5444.

Sturgeon guard

Volunteer to guard sturgeon at their spawning sites on the Wolf River and protect the fish from poaching

Lake sturgeon spawning/viewing locations on the Wolf River

Maps open to larger images. Sites are listed from North to South

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Shawano Dam in Shawano - Parking available on the east side of the river at the end of Richmond Street.

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Bamboo Bend at Shiocton - on County Highway 54. Parking available on the north side of County Hwy. 54.

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Wolf River Sturgeon Trail (near New London) - about 2 miles west of New London on County Highway X. Parking available on the south side of the river about 1/2 mile from the spawning site
Contact information
For more information, please contact:
Karl Scheidegger
Fisheries biologist
Last revised: Thursday April 21 2016