Sturgeon spearing season ends with low harvest

OSHKOSH (AP) -- The Wisconsin sturgeon spearing season has ended, with low harvest numbers.

The state Department of Natural Resources reports spearers harvested 18 fish Sunday. That makes the season total 324 fish on Lake Winnebago and 566 for the entire Lake Winnebago System. The 16-day season ended at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

That compares to more than 1,400 fish in total last year.

The DNR attributed this year's numbers to marginal water clarity, marginal ice, poor travel conditions on the lake, and a poor shad hatch that likely kept sturgeon on the deep worm beds.

The biggest harvest since 1941 was in 1995 when spearers got nearly 3,200 fish on Lake Winnebago. That's before the 1999 harvest cap. The worst was in 1969 and 1973 with eight sturgeon registered each year.