LAKE WINNEBAGO - Imagine spearing a sturgeon that is 212 poundsand was born when Wililam Taft was president.
Plus, had never been seen by Department of Natural Resourcesbiologists.
That's what happened to Appleton's Ron Grishaber.
The 60 year-old man, who has been spearing for 43 years, wason Lake Winnebago's north shore Saturday morning when he saw hissuper trophy-size sturgeon.
Grishaber said it took all of his rope and that three peoplehad to slide the sturgeon out of the hole, which was so large itshook the shanty.
While he'd like get the sturgeon mounted, Grishaber says heisn't willing to pay the estimated $3,000-4,000 to have the prizesturgeon on his wall.
DNR officials say they need to study samples of the fish todefinitively age it, but estimate it's about 100 years old.According to the agency, that means:
- This fish hatched from an egg laid by its mother approximately in the year 1910 - at that time the lake sturgeon stocks on the Great Lakes were nearly decimated from commercial overharvest, driven to such low levels between 1880 and 1910 that even after 100 years of protection, the stocks in Lake Michigan are just now beginning to show some meager signs of recovery.
- This fish would have become legal size for the Winnebago spear fishery in 1918 - the year the US entered World War I (Sturgeon harvest on the Lake Winnebago System was closed from 1915 to 1932; the first modern spear fishery on Lake Winnebago opened in the winter of 1931-32 with a 30" minimum size limit and a 5 fish per spearer season bag limit. This fish therefore was legal size for all 78 spearing seasons held since 1932.)
- This fish would have likely first spawned approximately in 1936 - the year the year President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the Hoover Dam.
- This fish would have made spawning runs up the Wolf River 19 times in its life (females only spawn once every 4 years after they reach maturity at the average age of 27); would have laid a total 11.4 millions eggs in its lifetime, and produced an estimated 228 one year old lake sturgeon in its lifetime.
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