I have received quite a few inquiries over the last couple of weeks as to when the sturgeon will start spawning on the Winnebago System, particularly the Wolf River. I am happy to report that the fish have started spawning on the Wolf River as of today. I am currently sitting on the bank at the Sturgeon Trail in New London and there are multiple pods of fish spawning. There are also fish visible at Bamboo Bend in Shiocton, but they are not actively spawning like fish are in New London. Our crew will be tagging fish here today and I will be sure to send out an email update later on this afternoon or evening with how things went and what to expect for tomorrow.
This year’s spawning run is starting a bit later than normal due to the colder temps, but there is a good chance that it will be a very quick spawning run due to the forecasted warmer temperatures this week. So I suggest making plans to get out in the next few days if you want to see sturgeon spawn on the Wolf River, particularly in the New London area.
Our crew has had a successful start to our sturgeon spawning assessments this spring as we have been handling spawning fish on the upper Fox River. Water temperatures on the Fox River usually warm faster than on the Wolf River, thus fish usually spawn there earlier. This year was no exception as fish have been spawning heavily in Eureka for the past couple of days. Between Friday and Saturday, we were able to handle 103 lake sturgeon at Eureka, 10 at Berlin and 10 at Princeton. This marks my 11th spring with the DNR fisheries crew in Oshkosh and this is by far the most fish we have handled on the upper Fox River during that period. In fact, it’s probably more fish than we have handled in the previous 10 years combined! There were fish visible in Princeton today and there likely will be some spawning activity occurring there in the coming days as well.
I will be sure to send out a follow-up report later today, but for now it’s time to get the gear on and handle some fish!
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Senior Fisheries Biologist / Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist W
isconsin Department of Natural Resources
625 E County Rd. Y, Suite 700
Oshkosh, WI 54901