Wisconsin DNR ending sturgeon guards on Wolf River

April 15, 2022 GMT

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources is ending its practice of posting volunteer guards along the Wolf River to protect spawning sturgeon from poachers.

WLUK-TV reported Wednesday that Sturgeon for Tomorrow has been posting guards along the river around the clock each spring for decades in coordination with the DNR to protect the fish.

DNR Regional Conservation Warden Ben Treml says there’s been no major complaints or poaching cases for at least 15 years and coordinating the volunteers is a lot of work and it’s hard to find people willing to work overnight. He added that no volunteers have patrolled the river for the last two years during the pandemic.

Jim Patt is the president of the southwest chapter of Sturgeon for Tomorrow. He says he’s not happy with the DNR’s decision. No one knows how much poaching is really going on, he said, and if word gets around that the guards aren’t on the river any more poaching could increase.