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Sturgeon Week Features

Fishing WisconsinWinnebago System sturgeon spearing 2020

Big fish to date

Jonathan Eiden's opening day 2019 fish weighing 171.0 pounds and measuring 85.5 inches. This large fish had been tagged at the Shawano Dam in 2012.

2020 Spearing season

The 2020 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago system is February 8 - 23, 2020

2019 Season recap

February 24 - The 2019 sturgeon spearing season on the Winnebago System is now in the books. There were 23 fish harvested today bringing the season total to 479 fish. The clear water along the north shore made areas 1 and 2 the places to be during this season. This was evident by Stockbridge Harbor and Waverly Beach being the busiest registration stations this season. The largest fish harvested on the season’s final day was 111.7 pounds (74.0”) and registered at Wendt’s by Kraig Kelliher of Hartford . That name may sound familiar as this is the 2nd time in 3 seasons that Kraig has spearerd a fish 100 pounds or larger. In fact, Kraig and his friend Doug Endlich were featured on the front page of the 2018 sturgeon spearing regulation pamphlet holding Kraig’s 140.5 pound (76.0”) sturgeon that he harvested during the 2017 spearing season. Deja vue today as Kraig speared another 100 pound fish, but this time Doug also speared roughly a 66” fish on the same day. Congratulations goes out to these guys on one heck of a day!


Lake Winnebago system sturgeon spearing regulations 2020

Winnebago System sturgeon spearing regulations and information pamphlet 2020 [PDF]

Daily harvest - February 24, 2019

Daily harvest (February 24, 2019) [PDF]

2019 Lake Winnebago - Closed February 24, 2019

Daily harvest Season harvest Harvest cap
Juvenile females 0 65 344
Adult females 13 205 855
Males 10 209 960
Totals 23 479 -

2019 Upriver Lakes - Closed February 18, 2019

Daily harvest Season harvest Harvest cap
Juvenile females 0


Adult females 4


Males 5 173 240


307 -

Tagging your sturgeon

What you need to know [PDF]

2019 Winnebago system sturgeon season summary reports

2018 Winnebago system sturgeon season summary reports

2016 Winnebago system sturgeon vignettes

Sturgeon shanty rentals

If you or someone you know rents shanties for the spearing season on Lake Winnebago and/or the Upriver Lakes, please send the contact information to Ryan Koenigs. Shanty rental information is very popular (and helpful) to first-time sturgeon spearers.

History of the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spear fishery and trends in the modern era

More information about the history of the Upriver Lakes spear fishery can be viewed in the document History of the Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spear Fishery and Trends in the Modern Era. [PDF]

2015 sturgeon spearing season summaries

Sturgeon spearing culture

The ice-fishing season for lake sturgeon is more about getting together and fishing together than harvesting a lunker.

Sturgeon guard

There are two critical time periods for collecting data from our sturgeon population, the annual spearing season and spring spawning assessments.  Each year thousands of lake sturgeon migrate up the tributaries of the Winnebago System (Wolf, upper Fox, Embarrass and Little Wolf Rivers most notably) to spawn. The sturgeon spawn along rocky shorelines on outside river bends and literally spawn at your feet.  This provides a great opportunity to view sturgeon spawning in the wild, which is an experience not available anywhere else in North America.  However, poaching has historically been a concern given the vulnerability of these majestic fish during spawning.  The Sturgeon Guard program was implemented to curtail the illegal activity and protect these fish during spawning periods.  At first, law enforcement officers would monitor known spawning sites, but it was difficult for the warden staff to cover all of the known spawning areas with a limited work force.  The Sturgeon Guard program then went public and the rest is history.  The general public can now sign up for 12-hour shifts to watch sturgeon spawn and protect the fish from harassment and other illegal activity.  There are hundreds of folks who sign up every year for this opportunity, and this really is an example of a successful collaboration between the community and the DNR that has helped the population significantly increase!  As the spearing season draws near the end, I thought it would be beneficial to highlight a potential next opportunity for folks interested in sturgeon and that opportunity is volunteering through the Sturgeon Guard program.

Contact Information

For Winnebago System sturgeon information or local conditions and season updates during the sturgeon season, contact Ryan Koenigs, fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

Last revised: Monday January 06 2020