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4/5/2022
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Wolf River Sturgeon Spawning Report - Thursday March 22, 2012

By Ronald Bruch

Sturgeon spawning is ramping up as we suspected it would (sometimes we even get it right).  The crew tagged like crazy all day today at the Sturgeon Trail spawning site on X west of New London finishing the day with over 200 fish.  By the end of the day, sturgeon were also very actively spawning at Bamboo Bend (again like we suspected - have to gloat as hitting it right twice the same day on a spawning prediction with these fish is like winning the lottery).  Fish have also moved into a couple of sites on private property in the Shiocton area on the Wolf, on the Little Wolf River below the dam in Manawa, and began spawning heavy on the upper Fox River in Princeton (right behind Main St).

There was little to no fish activity below the Shawano Dam on the Wolf this morning, but we still expect spawning to begin there within the next 2-4 days (I'm heading to Vegas if we get this one right).

I missed putting an important sturgeon event in my report from yesterday…..Yesterday morning we used our electrofishing boats to capture 32 sturgeon from Wolf River in Shawano and transfer them by truck upstream for release into the Wolf below Keshena Falls.  Prior to releasing the fish, we tagged all the fish, and surgically implanted ten year sonic tags into 6 of the fish - 3 males and 3 females This is the last batch of fish for the first fall-spring transfers we are doing for a joint project with the Menominee Tribe to transfer 100 fish per fall-spring time period for the next ten years.  The project is designed to provide a stock of adult fish below Keshena Falls that will spawn there as they did up to about 100 years ago. Most of the fish transferred to the river in Keshena will likely move back downstream through the two dams to the river blow Shawano after they spawn. Yesterday's batch of fish was the third of three with the other two occurring in September and October last fall (all 70 fish transferred last fall had sonic tags surgically implanted in them).  The spawning and nursery habitat for lake sturgeon below Keshena Falls is some of the best on the entire Wolf River.  The long-term goal is to re-establish a stock of spawning adults below Keshena Falls to help the Menominee Tribe meet their cultural sturgeon needs into the future without negatively impacting the overall Winnebago lake sturgeon stock or winter spear fishery down on the Winnebago pool lakes.  This is a very exciting project that appears to already be showing good signs of success - Tribal members have been reporting seeing sturgeon porpoising and gathering below Keshena Falls in the last few days - a sign that they will be spawning at this sacred site once again this year - more than a century since their ancestors spawned here to produce perhaps some of the fish waiting to lay their eggs there this very day.

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