Poor ice conditions, warm weather and lack of water clarity have combined to make for a lackluster 2012 Lake Winnebago sturgeon spearing season.
After Saturday, the season total stood at 306 sturgeon, down significantly from last year’s 1,091 harvest. The season ends at 12:30 p.m. today.
Spearers said Saturday that the top few inches of ice was soft due to sunshine beating on it, said Ron Bruch, sturgeon biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Weather forecasts call for more of the same today with temperatures approaching 40 degrees.
The largest fish speared Saturday was a 137.1-pound, 76.9-inch female caught by Jake Tschirgi of Neenah. A total of 12 sturgeon were speared Saturday.
Eighteen sturgeon were speared on Friday.
Including the Upriver Lakes of Butte des Morts, Poygan and Winneconne, the season total was 548.