Summer 2010

Featured Video

Big Fish on a Small Screen

Watch two new videos about the world’s busiest sturgeon spearing season and the management that makes it possible. Each February, spearers move their ice shanties onto lakes Winnebago, Butte des Morts and Poygan. They cut a hole in the ice, push shanties over it and then they wait...and wait. Some people wait 15 years; others spear one their first morning on the ice.

Sturgeon spearing has its roots in Native American customs. Specific rules and regulations have changed several times, but the Lake Winnebago system is now a model for management agencies around the world.

Sturgeon spawning is a yearly event that draws spectators, researchers, wardens and volunteer guards. They gather on the banks of Wisconsin’s Wolf River and its tributaries, where the fish journey to spawn on the rocky banks from where they themselves hatched years before. It’s truly a sight to behold, and all of the sturgeon look like the ancient creatures they are—nearly unchanged for 150 million years.

Watch the videos at

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

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