Donald Petersen, Sr.

Location of Interview
Collection Name

People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin's Love Affair with an Ancient Fish


People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish a tale of the cultural and scientific history of an iconic Wisconsin fish, the lake sturgeon. Throughout the process of writing the book, the authors interviewed community activists, sturgeon spearing enthusiasts, spear and decoy craftsmen, and scientific researchers associated with the Lake Winnebago sturgeon population. Because of the cultural, social, economic, and scientific knowledge captured in these interviews, the UW-Madison Wisconsin Water Library preserved the audio files as a collection of  oral histories. This collection, People of the Sturgeon, encapsulates perspectives on lake sturgeon as they are reflected in the book.

The People of the Sturgeon collection includes interviews with outdoorsmen, scientists, and craftsmen associated with the Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin, lake sturgeon population.

Collection compiled by the UW-Madison Wisconsin Water Library. Audio courtesy of the Oshkosh Public Museum. Recordings were collected as part of the research for People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin's Love Affair with an Ancient Fish published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison, WI.

Date of Interview
Supplemental Material
Biographical Sketch

Interviewed by Dick Koerner, Donald Petersen, Sr. (also known as Old Timer or O.T.) discusses his experiences with sturgeon spearing. He talks about changes in the sport, his spearing history, and preferences for recipes, spearing locations, and spears.

Please Note: The oral histories in this collection are protected by copyright and have been created for educational, research and personal use as described by the Fair Use Doctrine in the U.S. Copyright law. Please reach out to let us know how these interviews are being used in your research, project, exhibit, etc.  The Voices staff can help provide other useful resources related to your inquiry. 

The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.