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Shovelnose Sturgeon - Fishing

Occasionally shovelnose sturgeon are taken on hook and line in deep waters around snags, with worms and other live baits. The current state shovelnose sturgeon angling record is a 7 lb. 5.4 oz. fish taken from the Mississippi River in 1998.

Shovelnose sturgeon angling regulations

Angling for shovelnose sturgeon in Wisconsin is available in the lower Wisconsin River from the Prairie du Sac Dam downstream to the confluence with the Mississippi River, and in the Mississippi River from the Red Wing Dam downstream.The season is year round with no minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of 3 fish in the Wisconsin River, and year round, no minimum length limit and a daily bag limit of 10 fish in the Mississippi River.

7 lb. 5.4 oz. fish taken from the Mississippi River - 1998.

Commercial Fishing

Once this species was considered almost worthless, and, when taken in nets, was regarded by fishermen as a nuisance. It was the common practice to throw them up on the bank to die. Today this species is considered a delicacy, and demand for it exceeds production. The largest numbers of shovelnose sturgeon are commercially caught in trammel nets, drifted with the current. The sturgeon are highly vulnerable to drift nets, regardless of mesh size, because the hooked scutes of the small sturgeon become entangled in the threads. In Wisconsin, they are taken in trammel nets, seines, setlines, buffalo nets, and bait nets. Setlines may be baited with cutbait, small fish, or worms. State management agencies along the Mississippi River have expressed concern over the possible overexploitation of shovelnose sturgeon. With the decline of other sturgeon for their roe (eggs). Sturgeon eggs, freed from ovarian membranes and pickled in brine, become the much sought-after delicacy called caviar.

Sturgeon eggs are considered a delicacy.
Contact information
For more information, please contact:
Karl Scheidegger
Fisheries biologist
Last revised: Friday August 31 2012