Sturgeon Report – 2-20-15

Here’s today’s report from Ryan Koenigs of Wisconsin DNR

Dear Winnebago Sturgeon Enthusiasts:
Well the suspense is over and the numbers are in for Day 7’s harvest.  As expected today’s harvest exceeded the 90% trigger for adult females and brought us very close to the season closure of 100% of the adult female harvest cap.  However, we did not reach the 100% closure and the fishery will end tomorrow, Saturday at 1:00 PM.  Coming into today a harvest of 94 or more adult females would have closed down the fishery, but today’s harvest of 74 adult females came up just short.  A total of 152 fish were harvested today from Lake Winnebago with Payne’s Point and Stockbridge continuing to lead the way in number of fish registered.  A more detailed breakdown of registration numbers by station can be viewed in the attached PDF file.
James Fryman led the way today with his 116.3 pound, 75.2” female that he registered at Wendt’s.  There were 2 additional fish >100 pounds speared today (1 registered at Stockbridge and 1 registered at Jerry’s).     
On Monday I sent a vignette about the importance of red worms and gizzard shad to the diet of lake sturgeon in the Winnebago System.  You likely have heard this numerous times by now, but the fish are in poorer condition this year than what we have become accustomed to over the last 5-10 years.  The lack of gizzard shad in the system is the main reason for this and that was the focus of my previous vignette.  I did expand on the forage concept with today’s vignette, “Where did all the 100 pounders and top 10 heaviest fish go this year?”  I hope you enjoy the vignette  
As the saying goes, all good things come to an end.  The 2015 sturgeon spearing season has been a very successful season with a total harvest of 2,022 sturgeon through the first 7 days.  I am expecting a pretty substantial increase in effort tomorrow and that many spearers will be taking advantage of one last day to the spearing season.  Good luck to all you spearers out there and thanks for making this a great season!  Good luck and throw straight!