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News & Updates on the 2013 Sturgeon Spearing Season

February 8, 2013

Sturgeon spearing 2013 kicks off tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. Who’s ready?!? Before we get all excited, first things first — if you’re heading out on the ice this season be very careful. As with the last few years of strange weather, the ice is inconsistent and I’m hearing mixed reviews from one spot to another. Be on the lookout for cracks, thin spots, open water, and other hazardous areas. Do your research before heading out and ask around, but even then be extremely cautious. Here is some of the best news and info I’ve pulled together:

From the DNR’s Ryan Koenigs:
Feb. 5, 2012:  Only 4 more days until the start of the 2013 Sturgeon Spear Fishery, and trust me when I say that it will be here before you know it. Our staff was out yesterday checking water clarity at a few locations along the East Shore of Lake Winnebago, and overall clarity is down from what we had experienced over the last few years. We decided to just check conditions along the East shore because better ice conditions are present on that side of the lake. Hopefully water clarity will increase as the season goes on, but for now the current water clarity readings that we observed are shown below:

Fisherman’s Road: ½ Mile out = 6′ of water clarity
1 Mile out = 7′ of water clarity
2 Miles out = 8′ of water clarity

Brothertown: ½ Mile out = 0′ of water clarity
1 Mile out = 8′ of water clarity
2 Miles out = 7.5′ of water clarity

Stockbridge: 1 Mile out = 9.5′ of water clarity
2 Miles out = 9.5′ of water clarity

DNR Sturgeon Spearing Homepage:

Check out the live view of Lake Winnebago from the Harbor Bar in Stockbridge provided by Wisconsin Lake Weather:

From SUNK? Dive and Ice Service:
“ICE UPDATE 2/7/13 11:20AM: Crack pushed up on shore at Ceape and Merritt due to the warm temperature. The crack off from Merritt St. has the 4 wheeler bridge out over it you can cross with a 4 wheeler. Some guys ar jumping the crack with vehicles. There are 10” of ice on the west side of the crack and 15” on the east side….off of the mouth of the river and Asylum Bay has only 4/5 inches. ICE UPDATE: 2/5/13 – Pipe has a tree line out 4 miles, Quinny has a tree line out 3-4 miles, Lower Cliff has vehicle bridges out. Anything on the WEST shore 4-wheeler travel is recommended. Check with your local fishing clubs…West Shore Fishing Club, Otter Street and Paine’s Point. Where crack was by Neenah/Oshkosh there is about 8-9 inches, we are 3 inches short of putting the bridges out….the forecast is not looking good for the extra 3 inches we need!”

Video from Fox 11:

“With spearing around the corner, ice conditions debatable”

Sturgeon Spearing Articles from Wisconsin Outdoor Fun & the Post Crescent:
“Poor ice, cloudy water complicate sturgeon season”

“Sturgeon spearing season starts Saturday”

Info from Fond du Lac Outdoors:
What do Christmas trees mean on the ice? A tree that is laying down means DANGER, other than that:

1. When the trees are first set the holes are drilled at an angle so that the trees lean toward shore and can aid in directing anglers to the landing.
2. The trees marking the road are set at 1/10th of a mile apart.
3. At the ½ mile marker or 5 trees, the tree is turned upside down. This is to indicate ½ mile of travel.
4. Mile markers are as follows: 2 Trees = 1 Mile
3 Trees = 2 Miles 4 Trees = 3 Miles 5 Trees = 4 Miles 6 Trees = 5 Miles Years with good ice conditions we will try to work with Wend’s fishing club to hook up with their North road.
5. Trees lying down mean poor ice conditions or danger Please steer clear of these areas. Never move any trees on the lake as they all serve a purpose.
6. Trees marking the road at the Pipe landing does not mean that ice conditions are suitable for cars and trucks to travel. The trees are put out to assist anglers that wish to walk, snowmobile or use their ATV to get to their favorite fishing spot.
7. All travel on the lake is at your own risk. Please check with the local business for ice conditions.

Have fun cutting in today and please share your photos and any info on ice conditions and water clarity!  I’ll be out on the lake tomorrow and will be posting live to  Good luck!

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