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30 Days To Go!

January 11, 2012

First off, I’m excited to announce that the Winnebago Lake Sturgeon blog is two years old today!  I have had so much fun over the past 2+ years documenting spearing and am so happy that the 2012 season is almost here!  Did everyone enjoy what looks to be the last 50 degree day today?!  I have enjoyed the warmer weather, but it’s obviously not the greatest for winter sports including sturgeon spearing.  We’ve questioned whether or not the lakes would freeze over in the past, but it has always worked out so I’ll give it a couple more weeks before I start to worry.  Temperatures should drop quickly over the next week and I will keep you posted on the ice condition as I learn more.  Although it’s not safe to be out on the ice yet, the ice on the north end of Lake Winnebago is looking alright so far.  I heard there are large ice shoves near the Harbor Bar on the east side of the lake in Chilton, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  If you’d like to share an update, please drop me an email at, leave a comment on the blog, or post to the Winnebago Lake Sturgeon Facebook page!

I’ve also received questions concerning sturgeon spearing guide services.  Is anyone familiar with local guides?  If so, leave a comment or send some info via email and I will be sure to post it!  Also feel free to contact me if you know of any equipment for sale, shacks for rent, etc.  I want to share as much info as I can find with the spearing community!

If you haven’t done so already, get your tickets for your local SFT banquet – 2012 Events/Sturgeon for Tomorrow Banquets:

January 14, 2012: SFT Southwest Chapter Banquet at the Holiday Inn in Fond du Lac. Call Jim Patt at 920-922-7136 for tickets.
January 28, 2012: SFT Main Chapter Banquet at the Millhome Supper Club in Kiel. Call David Vogds at 920-921-3701 for tickets.
February 4, 2012: SFT Northern Half Chapter Banquet at the Darboy Club in Darboy. Call Wayne Hoelzel at 920.725.1206 for tickets.
March 17, 2012: SFT West Central Chapter Banquet at the Oshkosh Convention Center in Oshkosh. Call Dick Braasch at 920.231.4708.
September 15, 2012: SFT Upper Lakes Chapter Banquet at the Hahn-A-Lula in Fremont. Call Matt Woods at 920.582.0113 for tickets.

And lastly is an update from Ron Bruch himself (The following update has been posted with permission from Ron Bruch and the Wisconsin DNR.  This website is not affiliated with the DNR, Sturgeon for Tomorrow, or any other organization.):

“Here are a few updates and other information you may be interested in…………..

Sturgeon Spearing 2012

The 2012 sturgeon spearing season is around the corner (only 30 days away!) and the biggest question spearers are asking at this point is will we have adequate ice. Given the forecast for very cold weather coming in over the next ten days or so, we can all still be optimistic. Regardless though what kind of ice we end up with, the ice is never completely safe. I have a great respect for Winnebago sturgeon spearers ability read ice, but you can never be too careful.

The 2012 Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Regulations are attached for your reading pleasure. We are also distributing hard copies to the major DNR license vendors around the lake system; and I will be bringing copies with me to the upcoming Sturgeon for Tomorrow banquets in Fond du Lac this Sat Jan 14, in Kiel Jan 28, and in Darboy Feb 4. (If you haven’t already got your tickets contact SFT – details in the reg pamphlet page 12).

I’ve also attached a Spearing Shanty Rental List. I am certain there are more rental places out there so if you would like me to add your name to the list, please send me your contact information and where you rent shanties (Winnebago and/or Upriver Lakes).

Winnebago Fisheries Public Meetings January 24 & 25

Kendall Kamke, Ryan Koenigs, and I, along with other Oshkosh Fisheries staff, will be conducting two general public meetings Tuesday January 24 in Winneconne, and Wednesday January 25 at Fisherman’s Road Fishing Club Headquarters (SE Shore of Lake Winnebago). Details and more information is in the attached flyer.

The purpose of the meetings is to provide updates and status reports on the sturgeon, walleye, perch, sauger, and other fisheries on the Winnebago System; as well as to discuss restoring spawning and resident lake sturgeon in the Wolf River in the Menominee Reservation above Shawano.

Looking forward to seeing you at an SFT Banquet or one of our meetings. I’ll be sending out a more in-depth pre-spearing season news release in a couple of weeks.

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

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