Tag Archives: Wisconsin

Lake Winnebago Sturgeon Spearing Report

Lake WInnebago and the upriver lakes of Poygan, WInneconne and Butte des Morts are home to thousands of lake sturgeon.

David Zeitler, donning his snappy SK lid shows off a nice sturgeon he speared.

These prehistoric fish grow big, and the only way to catch one legally is to spear it through the ice during the brief spearing season held in February. This year’s season began on Feb. 13. It will run through Feb. 28, unless certain quotas are met before then. Dedicated spearers spend days, weeks, even years watching through a refrigerator-size hole in the ice for the shadowy form of a sturgeon to glide into view.

Here’s today’s harvest report, compiled by DNR sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs. Note that successful spearer David Zietler’s 50-incher is the 7th sturgeon he has speared in 14 years. That’s an enviable record. I wonder if that classy Stormy-Kromer cap he is wearing had anything to do with his success!

Winnebago System Sturgeon Spearing Enthusiasts:

We are now ¾ of the way through the 2016 sturgeon spearing season, meaning that spearers only have 4 more days to try and harvest a fish this season. Today’s harvest of 10 fish marks a slight increase over yesterday, with Stockbridge Harbor continuing to lead the pack for registration numbers. Today’s largest fish (65.2″; 62.1 pounds) was registered by Travis Trepanier at Wendt’s. Attached is a more detailed breakdown of today’s harvest and season totals by station.

This week’s harvest numbers have been pretty low, mostly as a result of a significant reduction in effort. There just aren’t that many people still spearing and that’s evident by the low number of shanties on the lake. However, there are still some “die-hards” out there and they are having some success. I wanted to recognize some of these dedicated spearers in today’s report. To accomplish this, I asked that stations take a photo of every spearer with their fish, while also asking three general questions:

  • how many days have you speared this season
  • how many seasons have you been spearing
  • how many fish have you speared in your career

I was pretty confident that most of these folks had invested a great deal of time in this season already, and that their perseverance finally paid off today. I also figured that most of these folks had defied the odds of sturgeon spearing and had more luck than the average license holder, if for no other reason than the duration of time they spend on the ice. For the most part my assumptions were right.

Gloria Groeschel waited the fewest days for her fish (7), but she had been sitting with family members on the Upriver Lakes prior to starting on Lake Winnebago last week. Further, both Kevin Rach and Gary Dollevoet had been spearing every day this season. Also, the majority of these spearers were having better luck than the 1 in 8 years (12% annual success rate) that the “average” spearer should harvest fish. I have included the story of 8 of the 10 successful spearers from today in the attached Power Point. Congratulations to these die-hard sturgeon spearers, your perseverance paid off and I would like to recognize you in today’s edition of the “Perseverance Awards!”

Ryan Koenigs
Senior Fisheries Biologist / Winnebago System Sturgeon Biologist
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
625 E County Rd. Y, Suite 700
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Phone: (920)303-5450
Fax: (920)424-4404

Good luck during the remaining 4 days of the sturgeon spearing season!

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First DSO Products Purchase

Mike Erwin makes first purchase of Dan Small’s Organic Coffee

Mike Erwin was the first person to buy some of my new organic coffees at the Milwaukee Boat Show. Mike bought a box of Angler’s Edge Medium Roast and one of Camo Decaf to kick off sales of my new line of specialty food products.

I launched these products last weekend at the Milwaukee Boat Show and will be selling my coffees and sausage snacks at the Boat Show and the Lake Home and Cabin Show in Madison this weekend.

Here’s a snapshot of these new products:


First Dan Small Outdoors Products COFFEE purchase

Dan Small’s Premium Gourmet Organic Coffees

  • Angler’s Edge Medium Roast Coffee
  • Hunter’s Edge Dark Roast Coffee
  • Camo Decaf Coffee

Our gourmet 100% certified organic coffee is grown through small farmer cooperatives in Central America and Indonesia. We pre-grind our coffee in small batches to give you the best flavor in camp or at home.

012115_dsoprod_meats02Campsite Gourmet Sausage Snacks

  • Pre-Sliced Summer Sausage

Our delicious, conveniently packed gourmet summer sausage is made by AmericanaTM Ranch Premium Meat Products. Enjoy them at home, at camp or on your next outdoor adventure.

  • All-Beef Snack Stix

Our delicious, conveniently packed all-beef snack sticks are made by AmericanaTM Ranch Premium Meat Products. Enjoy them at home, at camp or on your next outdoor adventure.


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Salads on the grill? Why not?

You’ve grilled burgers, steaks and salmon, but have you ever grilled a salad?


Listen to Dan’s interview w/Chef Patrick Moore on OUTDOORS RADIO w/ Dan Small – as they grill up goodies at the Lake Home & Cabin Show, 23-25 JAN 2015

If not, you’ll learn how at the Lake Home & Cabin Show in Madison, Jan. 23-25.

On this week’s edition of Outdoors Radio, show director Dave Greer previews the Lake Home & Cabin Show, including Chef Patrick Moore’s (the “Getaway Gourmet’) tips for great salad recipes that start on a grill. Moore will demonstrate Grilled Shrimp & Asparagus, Grilled Wedge with Blue Cheese Dressing and Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad with Chipotle Vinagrette.

Moore’s motto is “Everything tastes better when it’s cooked outdoors!” He will be cooking at the Getaway Gourmet Cooking Stage Friday at 3, 5 & 7 p.m.; Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 & 3 p.m. and Sunday at noon & 2 p.m.

Learn more on Outdoors Radio Show 1002
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