The Wisconsin DNR today published the 2023 Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Regulations. The 2023 sturgeon spearing season will open on Saturday, Feb. 11 and will run for 16 days or until any of the pre-determined harvest caps are met. If harvest caps are met early, a closure notice will be posted to the DNR’s Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing webpage.
Important Regulation Notices
Registration stations have been moved back to their pre-pandemic locations. All registration will once again be in-person with some locations offering a drive-thru option.
The maximum width of a spear head is restricted to 18 inches or less and tines can only be arranged in a single straight line.
Spearing of any species of fish other than sturgeon from the Winnebago system is prohibited during the sturgeon spearing season, except that a licensed sturgeon spearer with a valid unused sturgeon carcass tag and valid fishing license may retain or dispose of any carp taken incidentally while sturgeon spearing. Any carp incidentally speared must be removed from the water, bank or shore and properly disposed of.
As a reminder, all harvested sturgeon must be registered at an official DNR registration station by 2 p.m. on the day it was speared. Any sturgeon harvested from Lake Winnebago must be registered at one of the registration stations on Lake Winnebago. Likewise, any sturgeon harvested from lakes Poygan, Butte des Morts or Winneconne must be registered at one of the Upriver Lakes registration stations.
Please continue to place harvested sturgeon on a tailgate or in an easily accessible location to aid in the registration process, and allow staff to collect important biological data, such as the size, sex and tagging history of the sturgeon. This information will help the DNR to properly manage the sturgeon population.