240-pound sturgeon tagged in Wisconsin

A DNR fisheries crew netted this 871⁄2-inch, 240-pound female sturgeon from the Wolf River near Shawano on April 10. The previous record – a sturgeon weighing 212.2 pounds and 84.2 inches long – was set in 2010 during the spearing season. Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin DNRShawano, Wis. — DNR sturgeon fishery crew members netted the largest sturgeon ever encountered in the Winnebago system – an 871⁄2-inch female sturgeon that weighed approximately 240 pounds – from the Wolf River near Shawano.

“Tuesday, April 10 was a very long, but very historic day in the Winnebago Lake Sturgeon Management Program,” said DNR fish biologist Ron Bruch. “We not only captured and tagged the most sturgeon in one day (565 fish) since spawning assessment operations began in the early 1950s, but Ryan Koenig’s and Kendall Kamke’s crew captured the largest sturgeon we have ever handled in any spawning assessment operation.

“After our two crews worked all day at the spawning site, Ryan Zernzach, one of our fisheries technicians, made one last dip with his net to capture the last fish of the day. He came up with a fish that will likely be the subject of folklore and song for decades – the fish was partially spawned out and would have been about 30 pounds heavier had she still had all of her eggs,” said Bruch.

Bruch estimated the 7-foot-3-inch long to be about 125 years old, which means it would have hatched around 1887.

The fish was released back into the river wearing a tag.

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