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Just 17 fish registered on Lake Winnebago during sturgeon season kickoff


STOCKBRIDGE, WI (WTAQ) - On opening day of the 2013 sturgeon spearing season, spearers on Lake Winnebago registered only 17 fish.

Odds are always long to catch one of the prehistoric fish: according to numbers from the Wisconsin DNR, over the last five years, only about 13% of people who bought sturgeon spearing licenses took home a sturgeon.

"That's kind of what keeps people coming back, when they do get a fish it really means something, because it doesn't happen every day, it doesn't happen every year,” DNR sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs tells FOX 11.

Koenigs says poor water quality on Lake Winnebago, and questionable ice conditions on the lake’s west side were big contributing factors.

“What we're seeing come in at our stations so far this morning suggests we're going to be in the long haul for a full 16-day season, unless conditions improve, which they could,” said Koenigs.

This would be the third-straight 16-day season on Lake Winnebago.

Sturgeon spearing season lasts until Feburary 24th, or until certain harvest caps are met, triggering an early end to the season.