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Sturgeon Spearing Update from Ron Bruch on February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012

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.

“Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Report – Tuesday February 21, 2012

Big fish day today – not many fish (only 10), but mostly dandies that show persistence and patience eventually pays off with sturgeon spearing. We’re in the home stretch now – only 5 days left in the 2012 season.

Biggest fish: 137.0 lb, 76.4 inch, F2 female speared by Robert Singler of Shiocton and registered at Payne’s Point tavern

137 lb., 76.4" F2 sturgeon speared by Robert Singler (DNR Photo)

137 lb., 76.4" F2 sturgeon speared by Robert Singler (DNR Photo)

Another very nice (and historic) fish speared by Danny Groeschel, a 123.0 lb, 77.0 inch F2 female registered at Calumet Harbor (by Jim and Linda’s in Pipe). Dan is one of the founders of Sturgeon for Tomorrow and has dedicated most of his life to sturgeon. He is also a member of the Winnebago Citizens Sturgeon Advisory Committee, and played a key role in developing and shaping the Winnebago sturgeon population and management program we have today through his contributions to the committee, as well as through the countless hours and resources he and his wife Gloria have put into Sturgeon for Tomorrow over the years. He’s been spearing since he was 8 years old, and has persevered through 60 seasons staring down that hole before finally joining the “100 pounder” Club. Congratulations Dan!

Danny Groeschel, Fond du Lac, 77 inch 123 lb F2, Pipe (DNR Photo)

Danny Groeschel, Fond du Lac, 77 inch 123 lb F2, Pipe (DNR Photo)

Thus far into the season, 15 of 257 fish harvested from Lake Winnebago are 100 pounds or larger in weight (5.8%). Of the 242 fish registered opening weekend during the 2 days of the 2012 Upriver Lakes fishery, 15 were 100 pound plus fish (6.2%).

Today’s totals:

Sturgeon Spearing Harvest for February 21, 2012Sturgeon Vignette …….“History of Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Licenses – How much have they cost over the years?” and “Did you know you could legally hook & line for sturgeon on the system at one time?” (click to download)

More fun Winnebago sturgeon facts and figures………….

Till Tomorrow,

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

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Terry Rockteschel permalink
    February 21, 2012 6:52 pm

    Ron I have a sturgeon story that is really hard to believe. I speared a 70lb 67 incher yesterday and would like to share the story with you. Terry 920-851-3399

  2. Terry Rockteschel permalink
    February 21, 2012 10:28 pm

    Hi Stephanie, At 9:48 Feb 20th I speared a sturgeon that came in my hole about 8′ down. It took off to the south west of the hole. I called my buddy in a shanty next to me to come and give me a hand. As I was pulling the rope up I felt the rope go slack, Continued to pull up the rope to find the fish was gone. I felt terrible! My buddy went back to his shanty and I put my decoys and camera back down the hole. The bottom was all dirty and I couldn’t see much on the camera. About 40 minutes later I could see pretty well again and noticed something laying on the bottom about 8′ behind my decoy. It was my sturgeon I had speared, I called my buddy back to the shanty to confirm what I was seeing. He agreed with me that it was a sturgeon laying on it’s side on the bottom. Now what to do? I called my spearing partner who lives in Dale and asked him if he could bring out his ice auger. It took him about an hour to get there, now it is 11:15. We started drilling holes about 8 feet behind the shanty and then dropping a coffee cup down to see with the camera how close we were to the fish. When we had the cup close we drilled several hole together to make it big enough for the spear. We tried three throws before we made contact! We pulled up the spear and found the handle was separated from the spear head ( GOOD we thought) We pulled up the fish very slow because we could see it was just speared in the skin near the tail. Now we had to try and get it through about a 20″ hole made by several 8″ holes drilled next to each other. We tried to get a gaff in the tail but it just didn’t work. Finally the tip of the tail came in the hole and my buddy from Dale grabbed it and pulled, soon after my 67.7″ 70.4 lb sturgeon laid on the ice!! The time was 12:20. We gave each other hi fives and hugs! A short time later a Warden stopped by to see what all the comotion was. Told him the whole story and he couldn’t believe it. He said that is one for the books! He took a couple of pictures of the fish and said he would email them to me. This was my first time spearing so I’m not sure what to expect next year. PS After we picked up all our equipment we saw that we had drilled 14 holes to find the location of the sturgeon, the sturgeon ended up being 10 feet south of the shanty. So that’s the story Stephanie Terry Rockteschel PO Box 134, Dale, Wi. 54931 920-851-3399 cell

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