Sturgeon Spearers Aided By Water Clarity

(Fond du Lac County) Water clarity conditions could lead to a 16-day season for sturgeon spearers on Lake Winnebago. Sturgeon spearing season begins today (Saturday). DNR Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs (KAY-nigs) was out on the Lake Monday looking at 20 different sites. In early January water clarity was at nine feet, but the latest readings average out to around six-and-a half feet. He says, “The water clarity is very poor. On average we are probably only looking at about six-and-a-half to seven feet right now, which is well below the threshold they we normally need to see around 12 feet to have a high harvest on Lake Winnebago and likely a shortened season because we reached the caps.” Koenigs says water clarity conditions are much better on the Upriver Lakes. He says, “Reports I’m hearing from people out scouting is that they can see bottom in most areas on the Upriver Lakes, but those lakes in general are a lot shallower so you can get by and have a successful season with dirtier water relative to Lake Winnebago where most of the spearing is taking place in 12-to-18,19 feet of water.” Koenigs points out the last two seasons on Lake Winnebago the water clarity averaged nine to nine-and-a-half feet and both those seasons went the full 16 days.