Wolf River Sturgeon Trail
& Sturgeon Spawning
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Wolf River Sturgeon Trail Background

A site on the Wolf River two miles west of New London on Waupaca Cty. Hwy. X had been a favorite place for people to get an up-close view of Wisconsin’s oldest and largest fish, the sturgeon, during its annual spawning ritual.  The Wolf River Basin Partnership – a group of people representing local, state and federal agencies, local organizations and businesses and individual residents – identified the Mukwa Wildlife Area as an area that could be developed for multiple uses by their joint efforts.

During discussions about the wildlife Area, the State was able to purchase about 1,600 feet of shoreline along Cty. X.  That property was eased to Waupaca County for development of a trail, sturgeon spawning area, shoreline fishing and other recreational and educational uses.  That property and about another 1,400 feet of shoreline owned by the County and Town of Mukwa was developed into what is now called the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail. 

 

Wolf River Sturgeon Trail

The Sturgeon trail is a half mile long paved trail immediately next to the Wolf River just two miles west of New London on Cty. Hwy. X.  It is a great place for fishing or leisurely walks.  There are accessible fishing platforms, picnic tables, and a few benches along the trail. A boardwalk extends into a marsh for nature or wildlife viewing. The Mukwa Wildlife Area is on the opposite side of the road.

Wolf River Sturgeon Trail Location

From New London proceed west on Cty. Hwy. X about 2 miles.  Parking is available at both ends of the trail either on Big Eddy Rd. or in the Mukwa Wildlife Area lot.

Click here for trail map

Sturgeon Guard

Each year hundreds of volunteers assist the DNR in guarding the sturgeon at multiple spring spawning sites on the Wolf River to protect them from being poached.  The Sturgeon Guard is looking for volunteers to fill 12 hour shifts.  If interested, click here to sign up or call the customer service line seven days a week from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. at (888) 936-7463.  Although it is impossible to predict exact spawning dates and length, guards are routinely scheduled somewhere between April 15 through May 5.


Sturgeon Spawning

Each year in late March to early May, Lake Sturgeon travel upstream to their spawning grounds, giving the public a prime opportunity to see these ancient fish up close.  The paved Sturgeon trail along Hwy. X west of New London is a favorite spot for people in the area to view this wonder of nature.

Sturgeon spawning is dependent on water temperature and flow. During seasons when water flow is high and water temperatures rise slowly, spawning begins when water temperature reaches 53° F.  However, during seasons when the water flow is low and the water temperature rises more rapidly, the water temperature must reach 58° - 59° F before spawning will begin. 

To check the daily water temperature visit the USGS Website, scroll down to the chart entitled "Temperature, water, degrees Celsius"; the water temperature in Fahrenheit is on the right of the chart.

Sturgeon Spawning (Video)

Once spawning begins, you can view sturgeon up to 6 feet long from the trail. This incredible sight lasts for only a couple of days, so the window of opportunity to witness this ritual is small.  For the most up-to-date sturgeon spawning report call the sturgeon hotline number for recorded daily updates: (920) 303-5444.

Sturgeon Spawning Notification

Contact the New London Area Chamber of Commerce at (920) 982-5822 or  via E-mail for spawning updates or to have your name added to a notification list for when they start to spawn.

Lake Winnebago Lake Sturgeon Media

People of the Sturgeon (book)

If you're searching for additional information on lake sturgeon, look for the book entitled "People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish".  This well done publication features the beautiful photography of the late Bob Rashid and dozens of sturgeon stories collected from spearers, decoy carvers, poachers, retired game wardens and Menominee Tribal elders throughout the Winnebago-Fox-Wolf River System.

Enjoy more Sturgeon videos

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