March 13, 2013
OSHKOSH, Wis. — A new online registration process is now available for those interested in taking part in the Sturgeon Guard program. For the past 36 years, the program has relied on volunteers to help guard the prehistoric fish from being harvested as they head up rivers to spawn.“Anyone interested in volunteering can go online and pick the time, date, and preferred location where they’d like to volunteer,” said April Dombrowski, DNR conservation warden supervisor at Oshkosh, who headed up the effort to create the online system. “This is really great for the volunteers to see what opportunities are available to come out and help protect the fish.”The preferred spawning site location is a new feature with the Web-based program. This is designed for volunteers that, if they have participated in the past, can request the same spawning site location. The Department of Natural Resources can then attempt to coordinate their request, if fish are actively spawning at the site during their assigned shift.The all-volunteer sturgeon guards monitor spawning grounds 24 hours a day throughout the spawning season, which typically runs late April to early May. While it’s impossible to predict the exact dates spawning will occur, guards are routinely scheduled from April 15 through May 5. People who are interested in volunteering, are encouraged to sign up early as spots fill quickly.You can register online by going to our website (dnr.wi.gov) and searching “Sturgeon Guard.” Another new feature this year involves the DNR’s call center which will now also accept registrations by phone. It is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-888-936-7463.