This Valentine’s Day, thousands of fishermen will try to make a date with a monster.
Feb. 14, 2015
The annual sturgeon spearing season kicks off on Lake Winnebago, drawing fishermen from around the region and beyond. Lake Winnebago becomes a sea of shanties for this festive annual event. Fishermen spend days in darkened shanties socializing and hoping to catch sight of their prey: the Lake Sturgeon. These fish are monsters. They are called living fossils because they’ve been around for about 136 million years and they retain primitive characteristics that have been lost in other fish. In fact, lake sturgeon were around when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
As fish go, the sturgeon is not going to win any beauty contest, but these are big fish. Really big. In fact, the largest sturgeon speared on Lake Winnebago tipped the scales at 161 pounds. It measured 6 feet, four inches long!
Last year, nearly 12,000 people obtained spearing licenses and many more came out on the lake to just watch the action and take in the atmosphere. This year, come to Oshkosh and join the fun.
Lake Sturgeon facts:
Species: freshwater fish
Size: up to about 200 pounds
Diet: insects, larvae, worms, leeches and other small organisms in the mud.
Number speared on Lake Winnebago in 2014; 1,513
Number speared that season weighing more than 100 pounds: 95
Source: Wisconsin DNR