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Sturgeon hook & line season opens Sept. 2; harvest tag needed

MADISON - The hook and line sturgeon season will open on Sept. 2 and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says anglers looking to take sturgeons will need a harvest tag.

"The harvest tag is required only if you're planning to harvest a sturgeon and you must have the tag before you fish," says Mike Staggs, Wisconsin's fisheries director. "You don't need a harvest tag if you only plan to catch and release."

This year harvest tags cost $20 for Wisconsin residents and $50 for non-residents. Previously harvest tags were free.

The DNR says that revenues from harvest tag sales will be directed to projects to strengthen and expand sturgeon populations and fishing opportunities in Wisconsin's inland waters.

The harvest tag is required for people who do not need a fishing license such as anglers under 16 years old, active military personnel, and people born before Jan. 1, 1927 if they plan on harvesting a sturgeon.

"We hope anglers will agree that this is a good investment in the future of sturgeon fisheries in Wisconsin," Staggs said.

"The money we get from harvest tags is going to allow us for the first time, in many cases, to get in and survey sturgeon populations, set appropriate angling regulations and possibly expand or better target our sturgeon restoration and stocking activities," he added.

The harvest tag can be purchased in over the Internet through the DNR Web site at

It can also be purchased at any DNR Service Center; at automated license issuance system sales locations; or by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). The harvest tag is available throughout the season.

Anglers who harvest a legal size fish must immediately attach the harvest tag to the fish and take it to a registration station by 6 p.m. the next day for registration.

On the St. Croix River downstream of the St. Croix Falls dam there is a 50-inch minimum length limit and a one-per-season bag.

The rule also applies to specific segments of the Chippewa, Flambeau, Jump and Yellow rivers, and Yellow Lake in Rusk County and Butternut Lake in Price County.

Lake sturgeon are found in major rivers in Wisconsin's Lake Superior, Mississippi River, and Lake Michigan drainages.