NewsLocal News


People prepare for start of Sturgeon Spearing Season

Screen Shot 2022-02-11 at 5.51.48 PM.png
Posted at 8:19 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 21:19:15-05

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Some people are excited for the weather to get colder this weekend as they get ready for Sturgeon Spearing Season to begin Saturday morning.

"Sturgeon spearing tradition and culture has been going on for over a century," said Peter Wilke, Fond du Lac festivals executive director.

Friday carved the way for a weekend-long celebration of the season called 'Sturgeon Spectacular' in downtown Fond du Lac. Saturday events include a 'Hot Cocoa and Chocolate Crawl' from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an 'Outdoor Curling Funspiel' from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sculptors chipped away at nine giant blocks of ice on Friday to kick off the festival, competing in the Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Championship ahead of one of the most popular events in town.

"I know my family goes out spearing every year on opening weekend. They get really excited," Wilke said. "They're fixing their shacks and building their shacks for the last couple weeks just to get out on the ice."

The party continued both on and off the ice as people set up shop on Lake Winnebago in Fond du Lac County, putting up shanties and cutting holes in the ice.

"We're more prepared than ever. So hopefully we finally get one," said Joe Maedke, Madison.

Maedke and his friends set up their shanty Friday afternoon by Wendt's On the Lake. They've been sturgeon spearing in that area for seven years, but haven't gotten lucky just yet.

"We know better where we're going, and what kind of water depth we're looking for and that kind of stuff," Maedke said. "So we feel we're ready this time."

Sturgeon Spearing Season begins Saturday morning and runs through Feb. 27. The 2022 season system-wide harvest caps are 400 juvenile females, 875 adult females and 1,200 males, according to the Wisconsin DNR.