Winnebago Ice Not Safe For Cars And Pick-Ups

ATVs only. Thats what a sign says that will greet sturgeon spearers as they head out on the ice road off Cemetery Road onto Lake Winnebago this year.

Friendship Fishing Club President Scott Blanck says the ice is softer than he would like to see with depths around 12 inches in most places off the west shore with some
spotty 14 and 10 inch areas. Not thick enough to safely support the normal pick-up truck traffic we usually see out during the spearing season.

Friendship fishing club has a bridge crossing a larger crack about 100 feet off the shore of Cemetery Road.

Usually a row of pine trees would extend 2 miles out on the ice marking the road, but Blanck chose not to erect a tree line this year because some people equate the trees
with vehicle traffic and he wants to be sure no one mistakes the conditions on the ice.

Blanck says he expects the number of people out spearing this year to be lower because no trucks will be allowed saying “It’s more work getting gear and shanties out on the ice with ATVs plus you cant get other people out with you as most ATVs are not rated for more than one person.”

The story isn’t all doom and gloom for spearers though. Water clarity is really good this year compared to the last few years with visibilities as good as 14 feet according to Blanck. “If ice conditions were as good as we would like to see, the quotas would be met early and the season would be short.”

Sturgeon spearers can start cutting holes and placing shanties on the ice starting today, Thursday, February 9, for Saturdays start of the 16 day season.