Susan Bence

For people who revel in snowy and icy winter pursuits, Wisconsin boasts a unique fishing season. Generations of family and friends gather on Lake Winnebago to try their luck at spearing huge, prehistoric-looking sturgeon. But what’s considered a conservation success story has become overcast.

Debbi McCullough

Spring has officially begun, and sunlight will represent a majority of our soon to be warmer days for the next six months. While that’s welcome news, I'm a little conflicted about winter’s demise. That's because I'm a New Zealand transplant whose family picked up a new hobby over the winter: ice fishing. 

Census data shows that of the 1.4 million licensed anglers within Wisconsin, roughly one-third of those report to ice fish. Within Wisconsin, ice anglers catch 14 million fish each season.

Susan Bence

Brooks Niedziejko has always loved fishing for carp and there’s plenty to fish. A number of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes are challenged by the prolific reproducer.

Common carp are not native, but have been swimming here for years. Europeans prized carp as a game fish, so they brought it along when settling in America.

Susan Bence

Inland fishing season opens Saturday.

Thirty years ago, Eagle Lake would not have been a popular angler destination.  The rural Racine County lake was dominated by common carp. The fish is not native to North American waters, but has been around a long time.

S Bence

Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago is home to what’s considered to be one of the largest, self-sustaining lake sturgeon populations in the world.

The state's largest inland lake stretches from Fond du Lac up to Menasha and its abundance of sturgeon is a wildlife management success story.

Last century, over-harvesting and poaching nearly did the species in, including in Lake Winnebago. In fact, Wisconsin banned sturgeon spearing from 1915 until 1931. Gradually the numbers stabilized and flourished.

VIDEO: Ready Your Spears - Wisconsin's Sturgeon Season Is About to Start

Feb 4, 2014
Fond du Lac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

More than 11,000 people are expected to take to the ice of Wisconsin's Lake Winnebago this week, hoping to spear themselves a mighty prize: a sturgeon.

David Kinney, Flickr

Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan on Wednesday that he says will “dramatically increase” the number of walleye in the state.

Spear Fishing
Wolfgang Hoffmann

Tribal leaders in Wisconsin have been unhappy with state leaders for relaxing mining standards and approving a wolf hunt. Now tensions have emerged over spear fishing.

Every spring in southeastern Wisconsin, rising water temperatures activate certain fishes’ instincts to leave Lake Michigan and migrate up river. Several species, including big trout called “steelhead,” make the run upstream to find gravel beds. That’s where the females deposit eggs and the males then fertilize them.