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Purchase your sturgeon spearing license by Oct. 31st!

October 14, 2011

Sturgeon spearers!  It’s time to purchase your 2012 sturgeon spearing license!  The 2012 season will begin on February 11, 2012 and licenses are $20 for residents and $65 for non-residents.  Licenses are required for sturgeon spearing on both Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes.  Purchase here online, call 1-877-WI-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236), stop by a license sales location or DNR service center.

Read Ron Bruch’s reminder below ( The following update has been posted with permission from Ron Bruch and the Wisconsin DNR):

“Dear Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Enthusiasts:

You have only 17 days left to purchase your 2012 Winnebago or Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing license.

You can not purchase your 2012 spearing license after Oct 31 – Halloween. SO – if you haven’t purchased it by then – you’d better be scared!

As of today Oct 14 at 10 AM our sales were at:

Resident Lake Winnebago: 5944
Non-Resident Lake Winnebago: 339
Resident Upriver Lakes: 77
Non-Resident Upriver lakes: 9

We have a long ways to go in the next 17 days in sales to get to where we are normally by Nov 1, although typically most sturgeon spearers seem to wait until the last minute to buy their license (like me – I just bought mine a few minutes ago – last year Paul Muche and I, and a few others, missed the deadline).

Sales of Lake Winnebago spearing licenses are not limited. For the 2012 season we had 4597 applicants for the Upriver Lakes lottery and, as in previous years since the lottery began in 2007, we authorized 500 individuals to purchase an URL spearing license for 2012. You can not buy a license for both.

Also when you buy your license make sure you ask for a Sturgeon Spearing License. We have had some problems with individuals purchasing a hook & line license for sturgeon in the past, thinking they were purchasing a spearing license. The hook & line license is no good on the Winnebago System, and if you realize your mistake after Oct 31, you’re out of luck.

The 2012 season should be another great year – the sturgeon population is remaining robust and new population estimates support another increase in harvest caps for the 2012 season. I am meeting with the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee on October 22 to discuss harvest caps for 2012 and some other current sturgeon spearing issues.

Last year (for the 2011 season) our final sales were:

Resident Lake Winnebago: 11714
Non-Resident Lake Winnebago: 218
Lake Winnebago 14 year old: 1
Resident Upriver Lakes: 483
Non-Resident Upriver Lakes: 7

Hope you are having a great fall.

Ronald M. Bruch, PhD
Upper Fox-Wolf Fisheries Work Unit Supervisor, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources”

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