SHAWANO - Tuesday was a historic day for sturgeon spawning.
DNR workers say they not only captured and tagged the largest sturgeon they've ever handled, but they also tagged a record number of the fish.
Workers captured an 87.5-inch, 240-pound sturgeon. DNR biologist Ron Bruch says the female had already laid some eggs and would have been about 30 pounds heavier had she not begun spawning. For comparison, the largest sturgeon ever speared on the Lake Winnebago system was a 212-pound lunker landed in 2010.
The fish captured, tagged and released Wednesday is estimated to be about 125 years old, the DNR says. She would have made her first spawning run up the Wolf River around 1914 and is likely spawning for about the 25th time.
For the day, workers captured and tagged 565 fish, the most sturgeon they've tagged in a single day since the project began in the 1950s.
Sturgeon have been spawning near the Shawano Dam all week. The Shawano run is typically their last run of the season. Each spring, sturgeon move up the Wolf and Embarrass rivers from the Lake Winnebago system to spawn. The fish are easily visible on the river banks, drawing spectators to public areas along the rivers.
The cold caused some problems in the Fox Valley Friday.
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