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UW Oshkosh alumnus Steve Boettcher (left) stops for a quick picture with one of the subjects in his new sturgeon-spearing documentary, 'The Frozen Chozen." The film debuted in Fond du Lac on Feb. 6.

UW Oshkosh alumnus Steve Boettcher (left) stops for a quick picture with one of the subjects in his new sturgeon-spearing documentary, ‘The Frozen Chozen.” The film debuted in Fond du Lac on Feb. 6.

Just as Wisconsin’s patient and determined anglers often wait season after season to land the big one, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Steve Boettcher ’82, an Appleton native, says his documentary about sturgeon spearfishing on Lake Winnebago has been decades in the making.

“I have been saving a file with notes and clips about spearfishing for 25 years,” the five-time, Emmy-award-winning director told hundreds of guests who turned out for the world premiere of “The Frozen Chosen,” Thursday at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac.

The premiere coincides with the opening of the popular sturgeon spearing season on Saturday.

 

The 57-minute film follows two Fond du Lac area families that have long traditions of spearing the curious, prehistoric sturgeons on Lake Winnebago. Boettcher says the film focuses on state agencies’ attempts to protect the species. It also entertains with glimpses into Wisconsin’s unique spearfishing culture.

“My job is to tell a great story and to tell it in a respectful way about what’s happening on this lake,” Boettcher explained.

His current work includes producing and directing PBS’s national series Pioneers of Television, now in its fourth season. His other television projects include productions for History Channel, Discovery Channel, BBC, CBS and NBC. He has lived in Wisconsin his entire life and prides himself as an advocate for our state.

“The Frozen Chosen” will air on Milwaukee Public Television, beginning Monday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m.