Sturgeon spearers tied a record Monday when only one fish was taken on the 10th day of the annual season.
The 62.3-pound male was speared on Lake Winnebago. No fish were registered on Upriver Lakes, where the season has now closed after the 90 percent harvest cap was reached on Sunday.
The one fish registered Monday ties previous records set in 1969 and 1973, when one fish also was registered. It fails to tie several records set during those same seasons when no sturgeon were registered on Lake Winnebago or Upriver Lakes, said Ron Bruch of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
On the opening weekend of the 1973 season, no fish were registered on either Saturday or Sunday. Both the 1969 and the 1973 seasons ended up with a registered harvest of eight fish. The seasons were marred by poor travel conditions on the lake, similar to this year, and terrible water clarity. The sturgeon population on Lake Winnebago those years also was at a critically low point, Bruch said.
It was during those critically low years that groups of fishermen got together and formed the clubs that now work toward preserving the Lake Winnebago system sturgeon population.
Total fish registered this season include 989 on Lake Winnebago and 333 on Upriver Lakes. Registration stations at Harrison, Quinney and Calumet Harbor will remain closed until further notice.
Another 201 adult females must be registered to trigger the 90 percent harvest cap on Lake Winnebago. Bruch said there is a good chance the season will run the maximum 16 days.