Fresh trails are being made on the snow covered ice on Lake Winnebago near Waverly Beach.
Sturgeon spearer Marlin Breakers, "I plowed it open yesterday and the guys that cut the holes ran up and down it- they were happy."
Tyler Dorn and Ryan Koester are two of the more than 12-thousand people who bought licenses to take part in this year's sturgeon spearing season...
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Winnebago Sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs, "The number of participants is slightly down from the nearly 12,700 who signed up a year ago.
I think that's because with poor ice conditions and water clarity last year there were folks who bought a tag for 2012 and didn't use it because they didn't want to go out on the ice and when it was time to buy one for 2013 they decided they didn't want to buy a tag this year in case the ice conditions were poor again."
The D-N-R says water conditions on Lake Winnebago are not the greatest and that can make things interesting.
Says Koenigs, "Given the water clarity we have right now of 6-to-9 feet on Lake Winnebago it is suggested that we will have a long 16 day season on Winnebago and on the upper lakes it might be a shorter season."
Despite the situation the D-N-R says the sturgeon population is very healthy.
They suspect some 30,000 adult males and 19,000 adult females are available.
Says Koenigs, "We'll allow the harvest of up to 400 juveniles females, 820 adult females or 12-hundred males - and once 90 percent of that is reached there will be one more day in the fisheries."
This is the first season 12 and 13 year olds are welcome to spear. The DNR opened the sport up to them as a way to make sure this ancient tradition continues.
Sturgeon spearing hours are from 6:30 AM until 12:30 PM daily starting Saturday, February 9th.