Nine Volunteers tag close to 1,100 sturgeon at the Genoa Fish
Hatchery on April 2. The sturgeon are assigned for the Chippewa Indian
Tribe in Northern Wisconsin for their tribal harvest and fishery.
“Since they have started this stocking program some years ago, the
tribe has only claimed one sturgeon.” Explains Ann, a staff member of
the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service. There are many factors that
contribute to the poor harvest of the sturgeon. Equipment to harvest
sturgeon is very expensive and the poverty rate in Northern Wisconsin is
very high; also it has been many years and generations since the tribe
has been able to harvest sturgeon, many of the traditional ways of
sturgeon harvest are forgotten; lastly, the depth of the Chippewa lakes
are deeper than the more common sturgeon harvesting location of Lake
Winnebago. The Chippewa Nation is allowed to harvest 100 sturgeon each
Tagging a sturgeon is relatively easy, the sturgeon are injected with
an electronic tag- very similar to what a pet identifier is, then the
tag is activated with a magnetic wand that assigns the tag with a
number, then the fish is released back into the fish tank. During the
tagging process, sturgeon are randomly selected to be measured. The tag
number is logged on a data sheet for future reference.
When the sturgeon are caught in the future, the agent will have a
very similar wand that will detect the tag number and the agent will
know the location and batch the sturgeon came from and the growth of the
sturgeon over time.