DNR proposes lottery for licenses
Written by The Northwestern   
Thursday, 10 March 2005 04:29
Matt Woods has tried to spear a sturgeon for 10 years and he?s been skunked every year.

But the Winneconne resident won?t give up his pursuit of the large fish just like the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources refuses to give up attempts to level out the length of spearing seasons and harvest levels on lakes Winnebago, Poygan and Winneconne.

DNR Fisheries Manager Ron Bruch discussed several options under consideration to better manage the sturgeon population on the upriver lakes with about 100 sturgeon spearers at Fisher?s Westward Ho Ballroom in Butte des Morts Tuesday night.

The 2005 spearing season on Poygan and Winneconne ended after just one day because fishers caught 345 sturgeon.

Bruch presented ideas ranging from a lottery for licenses to spear on Poygan and Winneconne with a portion of the total quota being allocated to upriver lakes each year as well as changes to the Lake Winnebago season aimed at leveling off the length of the season after a two-day season in 2004 and a 12-day season in 2005.

Orrin Prindle, of Neenah, said he liked the ideas Bruch and his fellow spearers offered because he saw a need to reduce the pressure put on the sturgeon populations in the upriver lakes after the DNR counted 2,055 shanties on the upriver lakes on the first day of the season.

"They?ve got to put a cap on some of these bad spots," Prindle said.

Bruch said a lottery or any other rule change would not go into effect until 2007 or 2008 because of the approval process any changes must go through.

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