Janis hops the state line over to Wisconsin and travels to Lake Winnebago for the annual lake sturgeon spearing season.
Lake sturgeon are ancient and incredible fish, and the communities around lake Winnebago have long revered and relied on these fish. For generations, people around here have spent their winters trying to spear 100+ pound swimming dinosaurs through the ice. 50 years ago, the sturgeon were disappearing, and a coalition of sturgeon spearers started working together with biologists and fisheries managers to try and bring back this population. They succeeded. Today the sturgeon in the lake are healthy, and thousands of spearers head out every year to try their luck at spearing a sturgeon, but the truth is that this is a difficult game; on an average year only 5% of spearers fill their tags.
Local angler Jake Andrews is one of the few who consistently gets sturgeon almost every season. In this episode Janis hooks up with Jake and his crew to prep for the season opener. Janis meets local legend Mary Lou Schneider who has been hand carving sturgeon decoys for over 60 years. Finally, Janis checks out the local Sturgeon Spectacular festival in Fond du Lac, where he learns that while some people are excited about to go out and try to harvest a sturgeon, others are just happy for a good excuse to party.
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