Join Correspondent, Julie Henning, reporting from the frigid Lake Winnebago where she reports about Sturgeon ice fishing for NPR.ORG Podcast “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”. Check out this episode!
With a lineage that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, today’s lake sturgeon can exist quietly along the bottom of a lake for over a decade, growing upwards of 200 pounds and ninety inches long. A food source for Native Americans and early settlers in Wisconsin, spearing sturgeon is a hunting tradition carried on today.
Replacing buffalo hides with propane-heated ice shanties and modern conveniences, the thrill of the hunt is the same. Regulated by the Department of Natural Resources and protected by the non-profit organization Sturgeon for Tomorrow, a two-week sturgeon-spearing season occurs through the frozen surface of a frozen Lake Winnebago in Northeastern Wisconsin. Some equate the sturgeon-experience like shooting ducks through a chimney; odds are only thirteen percent you’ll even see the beastly-looking fish. A time of ritual, tradition, and celebration, over eleven thousand people applied for a sturgeon-spearing license this year.
Join correspondent, Julie Henning, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin for the opening weekend of the 2014 sturgeon-spearing season. Craig Molitor, president of the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau (http://www.fdl.com), gives an outside-in glimpse into the influence of sturgeon spearing in the community. Stressing the importance of staying safe out on the ice is Sergeant Dobyns, member of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office Dive and Rescue Team. Manager of the local bait-and-tackle shop and trading post, Tiffany Venne, is busy filling replacement licenses for opening day. We also hear from Kathleen Kline, co-author of the book, “People of the Sturgeon.”