Sturgeon decoy carved and painted by Ojibwe artist John V. Snow.
A beautifully detailed sturgeon decoy for spearfishing through the ice. Made by John V. Snow, a member of the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe, in the early 1990s. To use these, you’d dangle and jig the decoy with one hand and spear with the other. Archaeologists in Wisconsin have found many early Native American decoys made from carved shell.
Read more about winter spearfishing: Ron Deiss, “A Brief History of Ice Spear Fishing on the Fox River,” Oshkosh Public Museum
Thanks to Jody Clowes, exhibitions manager at the James Watrous Gallery at the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, for curating this week’s blog. She learned to fish as a girl in south Florida, and became fascinated with winter fishing after visiting a 1997 exhibit about Native American fishing traditions at the Wisconsin Historical Museum. Jody says: “I’m grateful to my ice-fishing friend Tim Kubala for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm, even if I still haven’t taken to the ice myself!”