MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the inland hook and line season for lake sturgeon will take place Sept. 3 – Sept. 30 on certain waters. Lake sturgeon in these waterbodies remain strong thanks to continued science-based management practices and habitat work.
To harvest a sturgeon, anglers must have a valid fishing license and purchase either an inland or boundary water sturgeon harvest tag. Licenses and tags can be purchased through Go Wild, the DNR’s online license portal, or at one of our licensed sales locations. All licenses and regulations apply.
A hook and line sturgeon tag is not required if an angler plans to release the sturgeon they catch.
The minimum length for harvesting sturgeon is set at 60 inches, with a one-fish limit per season. If an angler catches a lake sturgeon that they wish to harvest, they must immediately validate their tag. Any harvested sturgeon must be registered at a designated registration station no later than 6 p.m. the day after they caught the fish.
If anglers catch a tagged sturgeon, they should submit the date of catch, location and tag number, color and material composition (i.e. metal or plastic) and the length of the fish to the county biologist where the fish was caught. Tags are located near the dorsal fin of sturgeon and the information these tags contain is used to monitor the movement and growth of lake sturgeon, aiding in future species management.
Based on recent surveys, DNR fisheries biologists predict anglers on the lower Chippewa River near Eau Claire will likely catch plenty of juvenile lake sturgeon while fishing for a legal fish, signaling that this population will be around for generations to come.
Yellow Lake in Burnett County continues to provide a trophy lake sturgeon fishery and anglers will likely continue to catch juvenile and adult lake sturgeon, many in the 40 to 60-inch range, though it’s possible some lucky anglers could reel in a sturgeon over 70 inches.
When fishing on Yellow Lake, anglers should be on the lookout for yellow dangler tags, which contain a five-digit number on the dorsal fin of lake sturgeon. These tags are often covered in algae, so anglers may need to clean them off in order to see the tag number. Please leave the tag on the fish and report the tag number to DNR Fisheries Biologist Craig Roberts at 715-416-0351 or email@example.com.
The Menominee River is also expected to provide good catch and release action. If the current low river levels on the Wisconsin River continue, conditions will likely be ideal for targeting lake sturgeon. Biologists predict large numbers of juvenile and adult sturgeon will be caught.
The DNR encourages anglers to continue to practice responsible catch and release when releasing any fish they do not wish to keep. Advice on responsible catch and release can be found on the DNR’s responsible release webpage.