The 2011 sturgeon spearing season is expected to end this weekend on the upriver lakes of Butte des Morts, Poygan and Winneconne, but it continues on Lake Winnebago.
State Department of Natural Resources sturgeon expert Ron Bruch said if just two more adult females are speared today, it would hit the closure trigger for the upriver lakes, meaning the season there would end at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.
However, if 10 adult females are speared there today, the season would end at 12:30 p.m. today.
By comparison, 239 adult females are needed to activate the closure trigger on Lake Winnebago, where the season could last a full 16 days.
A total of 50 sturgeon were registered on Friday, the seventh day of the season, including two that were 100 pounds or more.
Of those, 43 were speared on Lake Winnebago and seven on the upriver lakes.
The largest sturgeon taken Friday was a 115.3-pound, 69.4-inch female registered at Wendt's Station in Van Dyne by Kevin Abraham of Fond du Lac.
A total of 1,208 sturgeon have been speared in the Lake Winnebago System during the current season. Of those, 894 have been speared on Lake Winnebago and 314 on the upriver lakes.
"Conditions seem to be improving on the lakes with the cold weather that moved in last night," Bruch said Friday.
"Dozens of shanties were being moved back onto Lake Winnebago today by spearers planning to give 'er for what may be the last weekend of the 2011 season," he said.
"Water off Stockbridge on the east shore is still very clear with good harvests (considering the relatively low effort) coming from this area. Harvest success has also greatly improved off Paynes Point (south of Neenah) on the west shore."