Those hoping to spear a sturgeon will be heading out on to Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes today, as the annual season gets underway.
Wisconsin DNR Sturgeon Biologist Ryan Koenigs says a record of more than 13,000 licenses have been sold, and they expect a successful 2015 season. He says the increase in overall sales is likely a result of the success people saw during the 2014 season, with improvements in habitat and management resulting in fishermen seeing more and bigger fish.
For those hoping to spear one of the massive fish, Koenigs says water clarity is key. He says the east and north shores had visibility as deep as 16 to 17 feet, while spottier conditions were reported on the south and west shores.
The season means big business for communities around the Lake Winnebago area. Koenigs says it typically has a $3.5 million impact for communities during the spearing, along with another $100,000 during spawning season.
The season can last up to 16 days, but Koenigs says quotas are typically hit after about nine days.
Affiliates WTAQ and KFIZ contributed to this report.