Wisconsin Upper St. Croix River Sturgeon Season (catch and release)

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A catch and release lake sturgeon season on the Upper St. Croix River will open for the first time since 1994. In Wisconsin, the catch and release season runs from June 16, 2016 to March 1, 2017.

Anglers are urged to use special care during catch and release fishing. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wisconsin DNR) offers several tips for handling sturgeon:

  • Do not tether or tie by the tail to weigh a sturgeon. Weighing a sturgeon by the tail can cause permanent developmental damage.
  • Avoid lifting the fish by the head as this can stress or damage the gill plates. If a smaller sturgeon is caught, simply hold the fish under the belly when handling.
  • Leave large sturgeon in the water or hold near shore for a photo and measurements.
  • After landing the fish and taking any photos or measurements, release fish quickly to reduce stress and ensure survival.

Wisconsin DNR and Minnesota DNR both mark lake sturgeon with yellow dangler tags attached at the base of the dorsal fin in the Upper St. Croix River. These marked fish allow DNR staff to track fish movement and growth.

Wisconsin anglers are encouraged to report tagged fish to Wisconsin DNR.

Lake Sturgeon Facts:

  • The lake sturgeon is a primitive fish with a soft (cartilaginous) skeleton
  • Lake sturgeon can grow to be more than six feet long
  • Females may live more than 100 years
  • Lake sturgeon prefer moderately clear, large rivers and lakes

For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov.

source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources