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Sturgeon Spearing Update for February 24 & 25, 2012

February 25, 2012

I can’t believe the weather this year!  The sun was shining and even with a slight breeze it felt pretty warm out there.  There aren’t too many shacks left on the ice, but there are definitely spearers still hoping to catch the big one tomorrow.  It looks like the water is clearing up a bit on the north shore and according to the guys, this is the best it has been all season.  I stopped by Waverly Beach this morning to find…well, absolutely nothing.  Even the bar was vacant this morning, but it gave me a chance to talk a bit with Bob Olynyk and Scott Koehnke of the DNR.  They’ve seen me around the station, camera in hand, over the past 3 years that I’ve been photographing spearing as Waverly is usually my “home base” since it’s closest to home for me.  They’ve been great to me (despite how crazy they must think I am) and are always willing to help me grab a good shot, so I wanted to get a portrait of them while things were quiet.  They’ve been working together for 14 years now and they put on a great, educational show every year at Waverly while they register fish (provided there are sturgeon around).  I’ve learned so much from listening to them teach the crowd about sturgeon and they clearly have a great time doing it.  I’ve always loved that about the sport–the DNR uses the season not only for research to understand and help the sturgeon population, but also to educate the public which is much of the reason why Wisconsinites have such a great respect for those crazy prehistoric fish.  Thanks Bob & Scott!

Scott Koehnke (left) & Bob Olynyk (right) with the Wisconsin DNR

Scott Koehnke (left) & Bob Olynyk (right) with the Wisconsin DNR

I also spent much of the day with spearer Anthony Capener who was kind enough to show me around his “corner” of the lake west of Waverly.  He introduced me to a lot of wonderful people and I was able to grab a few shots of the shacks, gear, and he and his buddies.  Anthony has been spearing for about 5 years now and has hours and hours of sturgeon spearing video that he has taken.  I’m looking forward to watching his documentary “Sturg N’ Gears” and hope to share some of his video and photos with everyone on the blog.  Stay posted for more to come on this, but here is a group shot from today in the meantime.  Thanks to Anthony and everyone I had the pleasure of meeting!

And now for the daily update from Ron Bruch!  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 – Saturday February 25, 2012

Harvest up again today to 22 fish on Lake Winnebago. Last day of the season tomorrow. The 2012 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago will end tomorrow (Sunday Feb 26) at 12:30 PM. Spearers have until 1:30 PM to get their fish to one of our registration stations. Good Luck if you are going out to give it one more try.

Today’s totals:

Big Fish Today: 137.1pound, 76.9 inch, F2 female speared by Jake Tschirgi of Neenah, WI registered at Payne’s Point Bar, Neenah (DNR Photo):

Sturgeon Vignette ……..”Sturgeon Biologists on the Winnebago System through the years – 1941 to present”

Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Report – Friday February 24, 2012

Sorry about the late report today, but I was in Madison all day and away from my computer and Oshkosh till 7:30 this evening.

Things improved 6 fold today on the lake harvest-wise from yesterday with 18 fish brought in to our registration stations. Spearers figure the weather change may have got the fish moving a bit and there likely was a little more effort today as well. From what I hear spearers are ready to make the final push this weekend, especially if the fish are on the move. The season will close Sunday Feb 26 at 12:30 PM so if you still want to try to get your fish – you got two good days to get ‘er done.

Today’s totals:

Big Fish Today: Big fish today was a 71.4″ 94.5 lb. F2 female speared by Michael Karls of Hilbert registered at Stockbridge (DNR photo attached):

Besides the above fish, there were 2 other 90+ lb fish speared, one came in to Quinney and one at Payne’s.

Till Tomorrow,

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

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