Sturgeon line the banks of the Wolf River in Shiocton during the annual spawning season
The sturgeon spawning season is officially underway, as many throughout the region flocked to Bamboo Bend in Shiocton to catch a glimpse of the impressive prehistoric fish.
Generally after warmer spring temperatures, such as experienced over the weekend, the water temperature rises and thousands of sturgeon make their way up the Wolf River to spawn, which creates a site to behold for many.
“I had no idea where it was,” said John, who is originally from Janesville, but in the area because of work. “This is really, really cool.”
Sturgeon spawning at Bamboo Bend lasts for only a couple of days, and for those who try to witness the event annually, they know they only have a limited opportunity.
“Once a year we come down to see them,” said Larene, who made the trip from Appleton. “We picked a good day to come. Sometimes we caught it at the tail end and there’s not been much to see, so nice that we could catch it on a busy day.”
“I’ve seen them caught hook and line down by New London and last year down by Fremont, but I’ve never really seen them this close,” said Jim Weber of St. Cloud, as he got a first look at the sturgeon at Bamboo Bend. “It’s amazing that they come back to the same spot every year. I can’t fathom that and how many there are in the whole system.”
Already, there have been about 200 sturgeon tagged at the Shiocton location.
According to DNR biologists, this year has been especially rewarding to take in the sights of the sturgeon spawn. The male and female populations are both healthy, and some estimate that there are more sturgeon now than there has been within the last 50 years.
Because the spawning season is short, the DNR says they are expected to move out of the area as early as the end of the week to continue upriver.
Those who may have been unable to get to Bamboo Bend in Shiocton for spawning will have another opportunity to catch the fish, as the spawning run is expected to move to the Shawano Dam as early as Thursday or Friday.