I was raised in Appleton, WI and have been around Lake Winnebago, sturgeon, and sturgeon spearing since I was born. I remember visiting the Wolf River when I was younger to see the sturgeon spawn in the spring and witnessed my dad spear a sturgeon in 1999 and then again in 2010. My dad has been a dedicated sturgeon spearer since he was young and gave me the idea to embark on this project. As I discovered how little people knew about sturgeon spearing, my interest grew. It is such an incredibly unique event that I hope to share with not only the rest of Wisconsin, but the country and the world.
I began by photographically documenting the 2010 season of sturgeon spearing on Lake Winnebago and look forward to documenting the seasons throughout the upcoming years. I’m intrigued by the uniqueness of the whole event, Wisconsin’s positive relationship with the fish, the lake sturgeon itself, and the Lake Sturgeon culture in Wisconsin. The die-hard sturgeon spearers, the creative shacks and decoys, the fish stories, and more are all vital to a classic Wisconsin season of sturgeon spearing. My goal is to share this experience with others and to create a documentation that both sturgeon spearers and non-spearers can enjoy.
Stephanie Wisnet (owner, photographer, and writer for this Winnebago Lake Sturgeon website) is not affiliated with the WDNR, Sturgeon for Tomorrow, or any other organization. The views and opinions on this website are solely her own and all outside information is published with permission from the original author.