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Sturgeon Spawning Begins on the Wolf River

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Photo: Video by nbc26.com

Sturgeon Spawning Begins on the Wolf River

By Raquel Lamal. CREATED Apr 25, 2014

 NEW LONDON, Wis.- It's a yearly tradition that draws hundreds of people to Northeast Wisconsin sturgeon spawning.   It's getting underway today on the Wolf River in New London.  

People are coming to watch these fish from all over Northeast Wisconsin.  Many say it's a journey worth making to be this up close and personal with a fish that otherwise they wouldn't see.

"I've never seen the actual spawn run, so this is very exciting," said David Mueller of Green Bay.

 Mueller and his wife have been trying to catch the sturgeon spawn for years.  This year they finally made it to the Wolf River in time.

It's tricky because sturgeon only spawn for about one week and only when the weather is right.

"The draw is being able to come and see this magnitude of spawning sturgeon doesn't happen anywhere else in Wisconsin let alone the world," said DNR sturgeon biologist, Ryan Koenigs.

The DNR is catching sturgeon as they come to shore to spawn and tagging them.  They're measuring length and counting how many males and females there are to keep track of the sturgeon population.

"Typically when fish start spawning they're only in that location for a day or two," said Koenigs.

 As sturgeon move down river so do people and that means money to local businesses.  It can amount to as much as $350,000.

The big fish are stunning crowds and for Mueller and his wife, they say they plan to make sturgeon spawning a yearly tradition.

The DNR expects to tag more than 1,500 fish by the end of the spawning season  They say spawning could have already started in Shioctin and move to Shawano by early next week.