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Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.

Fishing WisconsinLake sturgeon

A giant among Wisconsin's inland freshwater fishes, the bottom dwelling lake sturgeon is a living fossil - a relic from the Middle Ages of fish evolution. This ancient species made its first appearance about 100 million years ago in the Upper Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era, just about the time that the dinosaurs made their abrupt exit from Earth's ever-changing stage. Today the lake sturgeon retains many primitive characteristics that have been lost or modified in other modern-day fishes.

Harvest

lake sturgeon underwater

Inland Fisheries - hook and line harvest from several of Wisconsin's large river systems
Lake Winnebago System - spearing harvest from a world-renowned sturgeon fishery.
Lake Sturgeon Management Plan [PDF] - providing guidance for all sturgeon management
Sturgeon Propagation - producing sturgeon for management and research activities
Sturgeon Population Restoration - restoring sturgeon to their historical range in Wisconsin.

Protection and advocacy

Sturgeon Guard - protection program created to protect spawning sturgeon and minimize illegal poaching activity
Sturgeon for Tomorrow - sturgeon advocacy organization dedicated to sturgeon conservation

Lake sturgeon spawning

Lake sturgeon migrate to their annual spawning grounds generally between mid April and early May, preferring to spawn in shallow, rocky areas along river banks. Sturgeon spawning is dependent on water temperature and flow. Optimum lake sturgeon spawning temperatures range from 52 to 58 degrees F. Sturgeon can often be seen doing pre-spawn porpoising at the preferred spawning sites. As conditions become more favorable, the fish will move into shore to spawn. 2012 Sturgeon Spawning Information

Sturgeon publications

Contact information
For more information, please contact:
Karl Scheidegger
Fisheries biologist
Last revised: Friday August 31 2012