Joint project DNR (WDNR) and the MITW
Good morning Winnebago Sturgeon Enthusiasts:
You may be aware of a joint project between the Wisconsin DNR (WDNR) and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (MITW) to restore lake sturgeon to the Menominee Indian Reservation. If you are not, the short version of the project is that before the construction of the Shawano Dam in 1892, sturgeon were able to migrate upstream to the Menominee Indian Reservation to utilize the ideal spawning habitat below Keshena Falls. However, the construction of the dam cut off the migration of sturgeon up to the reservation each spring and the tribe in turn lost touch with a part of their culture (sturgeon are spiritually and culturally significant to the Menominee people). To help restore sturgeon to the upper Wolf River, the WDNR and the MITW entered a joint memorandum of understanding in 2011. The efforts involved in the MOU center around the capture of 100 sub-adult and adult lake sturgeon per year from the lower Wolf River below Shawano Dam and the transferring of those fish upstream of the dams just below Keshena Falls. These efforts are aimed at restoring sturgeon spawning to Keshena Falls and a resident sturgeon population in the upper Wolf River above the dams. We have completed the first two years of the transfers and the early results of the project have yielded very culturally and scientifically significant results. Sturgeon were viewed spawning below Keshena Falls in 2013 for the 2nd straight year after not being present for over 100 years! The work that is being done is truly historic and initiated interest from the media to write a story. So Ron Bruch and myself wrote an article that was recently published in the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine (August 2013 issue). I have attached a PDF version of the article if you would like to learn more about the project.
I hope you enjoy the read!
PRyan P. Koenigs