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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008

Hunting the Ancient Sea Monster

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While rules around Sturgeon fishing keep getting tighter and the deadline just passed for the 2009 season, for those of you who purchased a license, or are wishing you had. There are a few new stories that are must reads for avid fishermen getting prepared for life on the ice in 2008/09.

Here is a link to a must-read series from local UWM science writer Jennifer Yauck. She is at the Great Lakes WATER Institute. GLWI(glwi.uwm.edu), which is the largest academic freshwater research facility on the Great Lakes. The two part series is via the Bay View Compass.

A little more than 8,000 licenses had been sold so far for the spearing season, which begins Saturday, Feb. 14 on Lake Winnebago and the upriver lakes of Winneconne, Butte des Morts and Poygan.

Licenses are $20 for Wisconsin residents and $65 for non-residents and can be purchased at DNR service centers throughout the state, from authorized DNR license vendors and on-line by going to dnr.wi.gov and clicking on hunting and fishing licenses. Spearers can also call (877) 945-4236 to purchase a license.

The upriver lakes fishery is managed through a lottery and 500 individuals out of 4,031 who submitted a lottery application prior to August 1 were randomly drawn and authorized to buy an upriver sturgeon spearing license.

Fifty-two of the lottery winners for the upriver spear have yet to purchase a license.

Lottery winners for the 2009 season who have purchased a license for upriver spearing are not eligible to buy a license for Lake Winnebago. Those who applied for an upriver lakes license in the lottery but were not selected can still buy a license through Friday to spear on Lake Winnebago.

Ron Bruch, DNR sturgeon biologist in Oshkosh, said proceeds from sturgeon license fees are used for sturgeon management projects.

"I'm looking for another successful spearing season," Bruch said. "It's too early to tell what the water quality will be, but we know the shad population is down this year. Sturgeon like to eat them in the wintertime, so it's possible the sturgeon may be more spread out on the lake this coming season instead of concentrating where the shad were located, which seemed to be on the south end of the lake."

Officials from the DNR said the Winnebago System is home to the largest lake sturgeon population in North America with current estimates at approximately 38,000 adult fish.

Here's a sampling of upcoming ice fishing tournaments:

Ice Fishing Rumble January 3, 2009 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Open at 6 a.m. with a breakfast special available. Registration anytime up to 10 a.m. the day of each tournament. Prizes for 1st & 2nd place of longest fish in the following categories: walleye, northern, perch, blue gill & crappie; Also, 1st place for 12 & under walleye. Door prizes; food & drink will be available all day; entrance fee is $10 per person each day (100% payback). Tickets can be purchased at Ross' Sport Shop and Roll-In Point Bar & Grill. Proceeds from the Paddle Wheel Raffle will be donated to the Youth Turkey Hunt sponsored by the Price County Strutting Toms. E-mail: nordland04@pctcnet.net. 715-339-4585 Solberg Lake, Roll-In Point, Phillips W6605 Point Lane Phillips, WI For more information, call 715-339-4585

2nd Annual Big Elk/Musser Lake Association Ice Fishing Contest January 17, 2009 Fishing contest 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.; paddle wheel contests and hot food & beverages throughout the day in the heated/carpeted tent on Musser Lake; Cash prizes will be awarded for the largest fish in each of the following categories: 1) Northern, 2) Walleye, 3) Crappie, 4) Blue Gill, and 5) Perch. The amount of the cash prizes will be determined by the number of entrants. The entry fee is $5.00 per person. Fisherman may pre-register at the Big Elk Bar and Grill on Musser Road across from the Musser Dam. Directions: From Phillips take 13 to H. Turn onto H and follow it for approximately 7 miles to Musser Road. Turn right onto Musser Road and follow till you see the Big Elk Bar and Grill on the right-hand side. Entrants may also register on the ice the day of the contest. All fishermen must be registered and ready to fish by 9 a.m.! All fish must be at the judging area by 3 p.m. Trophies and cash prizes will be awarded at 4 p.m. Raffle tickets at $1 each or 6/$5 - prizes include: 1) 14 ft. Old Town Canoe & paddles, 2) Minkota trolling motor, 3) 32" HD flat screen LCD television from Radio Shack, 4) and other prizes. Drawings will be at 4 p.m. This event is being sponsored by the Musser Lake Association. Highway 13 to downtown Phillips, east on County Highway H then south on Musser Road. Phillips, WI For more information, call 715-339-3166 / 4277 Click here to visit their Web site.

Phillips Winter Fest January 24 & 25, 2009 Saturday - 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Radar Runs at Birch Island Resort on Wilson Flowage (on snowmobile corridor #12 southwest of Phillips), 400-yard track (snow side & ice side) will be available for snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles, and lawn mowers. Trail Class is two runs for $10 and Modified class is one run for $10. Prize money will be awarded. Saturday evening - The Raffle Drawing, Dance & Queen Coronation will be held at Club 13. Sunday - Ice fishing contest on Duroy Lake from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is 6 to 10 a.m.; a "tagged" walleye will be released with a prize of $5,000 to any person that can catch it. Other prizes are $50, $30, and $20 for each for the three largest Walleye, Northern & Crappies. The entry fee is $5.00. Food will be sold on the grounds. E-mail: pacc@pctcnet.net; Website: www.phillipswisconsin.net/ 715-339-4100/888-408-480 Lake Duroy, Downtown Phillips Lake Duroy Boat LandingFor more information, contact Phillips Chamber at 715-339-4100/888-408-480Click here to visit their Web site. Phillips, WI

Ice Fishing Rumble February 7, 2009 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Open at 6 a.m. with a breakfast special available. Registration anytime but closes at 10 a.m. the day of each tournament. Prizes for 1st & 2nd place of longest fish in the following categories: walleye, northern, perch, blue gill & crappie; Also, 1st place for 12 & under walleye. Door prizes; food & drink will be available all day; entrance fee is $10 per person each day (100% payback). Tickets can be purchased at Ross' Sport Shop and Roll-In Point Bar & Grill. Proceeds from the Paddle Wheel Raffle will be donated to the Youth Turkey Hunt sponsored by the Price County Strutting Toms. E-mail: nordland04@pctcnet.net; 715-339-4585 Solberg Lake, Roll-In-Point, Phillips W6605 Point Lane Phillips, WI For more information, call 715-339-4585 Click here to visit their Web site.

Spirit Lake Ice Fishing Jamboree February 14, 2009 The Spirit Lake Improvement Association hosts this family fun ice fishing contest from 6 am to 3 pm at the Spirit Lake boat landing. Prizes, food and fun! No entry fee, cash prizes; Brats, chili and refreshments served at 11 am. Raffle at 3:30 p.m. E-mail: lspirit@newnorth.net Spirit Lake Boat Landing, Price & Taylor Counties. Seven (7) miles east of Rib Lake on State Hwy. 102.Hwy 102 Spirit, WI For more information, call 715-427-3778 Click here to visit their Web site.

Boulder Junction Winter Festival - Ice Fishing & Ice Golf February 21, 2009 9am to 2pm A day of fishing and ice golf, held on Boulder Lake. All proceeds benefit the Boulder Junction Boat Landing Improvement Fund and the Boulder Junction Food Pantry. For more information, entry forms, and regulations call the Chamber at 715-385-2400. Boulder Lake Boulder Junction, WI For more information, contact Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce at 715-385-2400 Click here to visit their Web site.

Ice Fishing Rumble March 7, 2009 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Open at 6 a.m. with a breakfast special available. Registration anytime but closes at 10 a.m. the day of each tournament. Prizes for 1st & 2nd place of longest fish in the following categories: walleye, northern, perch, blue gill & crappie; Also, 1st place for 12 & under walleye. Door prizes; food & drink will be available all day; entrance fee is $10 per person each day (100% payback). Tickets can be purchased at Ross' Sport Shop and Roll-In Point Bar & Grill. Proceeds from the Paddle Wheel Raffle will be donated to the Youth Turkey Hunt sponsored by the Price County Strutting Toms. E-mail: nordland04@pctcnet.net; 715-339-4585 Solberg Lake, Roll-In Point, Phillips W6605 Point Lane Phillips, WI For more information, call 715-339-4585Click here to visit their Web site.

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