People of the Sturgeon tells the poignant story of an ancient fish. Wanton harvest and habitat loss took a heavy toll on these prehistoric creatures until they teetered on the brink of extinction. But, in Wisconsin, lake sturgeon have flourished because of the dedicated work of Department of Natural Resources staff, university researchers and a determined group of spearers known as Sturgeon For Tomorrow. Thanks to these efforts, spearers can still flock by the thousands to frozen Lake Winnebago each winter to take part in a ritual rooted in the traditions of the Menominee and other Wisconsin Indians. A century of sturgeon management on Lake Winnebago has produced the world's largest and healthiest lake sturgeon population.
Through a fascinating collection of images, stories and interviews, People of the Sturgeon chronicles the history of this remarkable fish and the cultural traditions it has spawned. The authors introduce a colorful cast of characters with a good fish tale to tell. Color photos by the late Bob Rashid and images from the Wisconsin Historical Society evoke both the magical and the mortal. Weaving together myriad voices and examining the sturgeon's profound cultural impact, the authors reveal how a diverse group of people are now joined together as "people of the sturgeon."