Outdoor Report for March 7, 2013

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Winter continued to hang on this week, with a mid-week storm dropping from 2 to six to 8 inches across a swath from northwestern to south eastern Wisconsin. Snow depths range from a low of 6 to 8 inches in the south to nearly 2 feet in some areas the north. That could change rapidly, though with warmer temperatures and rain in the forecast for this weekend across southern and central Wisconsin.

Snowmobile trails reopened in many counties in southern and central Wisconsin with conditions generally fair to good, while many trails in the north range from good to excellent. State recreational safety wardens are cautioning snowmobilers that while many trails have reopened, rain and warm temperatures this weekend could cause conditions to deteriorate rapidly, especially on waterways. Wisconsin has already recorded 18 snowmobile deaths this winter, and wardens are reminding sledders to slow down and avoid travelling on rivers and lakes.

Some very good cross-country skiing is being reported statewide, from trails in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine all the way to the Northern Highland-American Legion state forests in good to excellent condition. Again, that could change this weekend, so call ahead to check on current conditions.

Participation was quite heavy in some locations for the opening of the early catch-and-release trout season that enjoyed clear water and sunny warmer weather. Trout anglers reported success ranging from moderate to excellent. Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay is still locked in ice, though there is a lot of snow on top and the sunny days have been creating slush, and ice fishing has generally been slow. Along Lake Michigan, anglers were now open water fishing on the Fox River at Voyageur Park with some walleye and perch being reported. Northern pike action has been good through the ice on the bay in several locations. Some perch and whitefish were being caught along Door County. Trout and steelhead action has been spotty at Lake Michigan harbors.

Ice depths on inland Northwoods lakes continue to hold in the 18-20 inch range and travel remains tough with the deep snow and slushy conditions on many waters. Ice fishing pressure has been rather light in the past week with these difficult travel conditions and the closure of the game fish season March 3. In the south, northern pike are starting to stage for spawning at Theresa Marsh and other spawning sites.

Wisconsin fishing and hunting licenses for the 2013-14 seasons went on sale Wednesday. Licenses are available through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236). Licenses for 2012-13 seasons expire March 31.

Snow has temporarily grounded the early March bird migration. Warmer temperatures predicted for this weekend should bring significant thaw to open fields and will likely bring another large push of migrants. Expect to see eagles, red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, red-winged blackbirds, robins, song sparrows and sandhill cranes. Trumpeter swans are beginning to claim their territory on iced over flowages and goldeneye drakes are starting to display some of their mating rituals and calls.

Statewide Birding Report

Snow, snow and more snow has grounded the early March migration. Despite the weather, birders are reporting some adventurous sandhill cranes, song sparrows, robins and a few other early migrants. Warmer temperatures predicted for this weekend should bring significant thaw to open fields and will likely bring another large push of migrants. Expect to see migrating eagles, red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, red-winged blackbirds, robins, song sparrows and sandhill cranes. Open water and sheet-water in agricultural fields will be good places to look for migrant geese and puddle ducks. Mid-March is the best time to look for larger flocks of white-fronted geese in southern and western Wisconsin. Birders in far southern Wisconsin may also detect their first peenting woodcock of the year on calmer evenings. Please report your bird sightings to Wisconsin eBird www.ebird.org/WI (exit DNR) so that we can better track our migratory bird populations.- Andy Paulios, wildlife biologists and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative coordinator

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Northern Region

Ashland DNR Service Center area

Bayfield County - The northern half of Bayfield County was not hit by the snowstorm that affected the lower half of the state. Regardless, snowmobile trails in the area are still in great condition, especially in the forested areas. The trails nearest cities and where logging activity is occurring are deteriorating quickly. The ice on Chequamegon Bay is still locked in, though there is a lot of snow on top of the ice, and the sunny days have been creating slush. The ice on Lake Superior outside of the Bay has been good, though people going out on the ice are encouraged to go only where they know it is safe and take safety precautions. Ice fishing has not been the greatest, though it is expected to pick up within the next few weeks. Wardens also want to remind the ice fishermen that permanent ice shanties need to be off the ice by Sunday, March 17. - Cara Kamke, conservation warden recruit, Bayfield

Pattison State Park - The park currently has a little over 11 inches of snow on the ground. The ski trails are still in good condition. The trails were last groomed on March 6. Please call the park at 715-399-3111 for an up to the minute grooming report as trails are continually groomed as new snow falls.- Phillip Brown, Ranger

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Snowshoeing and cross country skiing conditions are great right now. There are 15-18 inches of snow in the woods, and 18-20 inches of snow in the open areas. Animal tracks are harder to identify with deep snow. Trumpeter swans are beginning to claim their territory on iced over flowages. Other new bird sightings include northern harrier and horned lark. A Spring Walk is scheduled for Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m. Learn more at www.crexmeadows.org/wildlifehighlights.htm (exit DNR) - Heidi Rusch, natural resources educator

Washburn County - Anglers have reported some good catches of panfish on county lakes. Snowmobile trials are still open and in fair condition.- Dave Swanson, conservation warden, Minong

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - Ice depths continue to hold in the 18-20 inch range on most lakes across the area and travel remains tough with the deep snow and slushy conditions that are found on many waters. Ice fishing pressure was rather light in the past week with these difficult travel conditions and the game fish harvest season ended on a rather quiet note. Panfish harvest does remain open, but many anglers seem to be waiting for a spring thaw to improve conditions out on the ice. The anglers that have been out have been seeing some spotty success. A few crappie have been found suspended 4-5 feet up in deeper water areas, and some perch and bluegill have been caught near old weed beds in 6-8 feet of water. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls

Flambeau River State Forest - The entire trail was groomed and tracked Wednesday and is in very good to excellent condition. The forest received a dusting of snow on Tuesday, but not enough to cover the small twigs and needles scattered on the trail. The northern trails are relatively free of debris and are in excellent condition. Cold nights and sunny days have local maple syrup producers getting ready for tapping trees. - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - All cross-country ski trails were groomed March 5 and are in very good condition. Escanaba trail has some leaf debris on the green loop around Palette Lake. McNaughton Trail has some leaf debris under the evergreens. - Tony Martinez, forestry facilities worker

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Northeast Region

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

With the warmer weather this past week some of the landings are starting to deteriorate. Many of the permanent shack owners are pulling off the ice in anticipation of even warmer weather.

Peshtigo River State Forest -Winter is still hanging on in the forest, but with above freezing temperatures and the strong March sun, the snow is slowly starting to melt. The area missed out on the recent snowstorm that hit the majority of the Midwest, so there has been no new snow in over a week. The forecast is for continued mild weather with the possibility of some rain by weekend. As ice anglers begin removing ice shanties off the flowages, remember, storing them on state property is prohibited. Snowmobile and ATV trails in the area are open, and are in good condition. Cross-country ski trails remain in good condition. Trails were groomed as recent as Feb. 28. Trail grooming will cease as of March 12, regardless of weather conditions. Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the forest, other than groomed ski trails.- Sara Pearson, Ranger/Assistant Manager

Marinette County - Pike fishermen have been catching some fish in 3 to 12 feet of water using tip ups with live bait or fishing smelt on bottom. Access to the Bay is still good from Oconto Park I and II as well as the Peshtigo Harbor area and Pond Road. No fishing activity was observed on the Menominee River. - Calhoun Derbush, creel clerk

Oconto County - Trails in the southern half of Oconto county range from open to very good condition. Trail across open fields are starting to show some bare spots. We did not receive any new snow during this week's storm. Inland fishing is down to just pan fishing with reports being slow at this time. The bay is producing some nice northern pike and should get better as more water runs out of the small tributaries. Goldeneye drakes are starting to display some of their mating rituals and calls. Quite a few waterfowl are no present in the Oconto River downstream of the Stiles dam. - Mike Stahl, conservation warden, Oconto Falls

Geano Beach landing is one of those that are staring to get muddy. Fishermen are still fishing the reef south of the Geano landing for white fish in 5 to 8 feet of water, jigging with small spoons tipped with wax worms is working well. Pike fishing is in full swing from the Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II, using tip ups with dead smelt fished in the round or large shiner minnow, fished in 3 to 12 feet of water. White fish are still being caught at the mouth of the Oconto River jigging with wax worms. - Calhoun Derbush - creel clerk

Shawano County - Panfish have been plentiful on area waters. Drivers should be very careful as many turkeys area along roadsides. Slow down. Many accidents have occurred with turkeys causing significant damage including shattering windshields. Snowmobile trails remain open but with the powerful sun out they won't be open long. - Jim Horne, conservation warden, Shawano

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Brown County - Voyageur park is now open water fishing with some walleye and perch being reported. Jig heads and twister tails have been working well for walleye, with jigs and minnows being used for perch and walleye. Fishermen are still catching perch and a few pike out of Sunset Beach landing, and are reporting good ice. Tip ups and jigging are working for perch, while large shiner minnows are being used for pike. . - Calhoun Derbush - creel clerk

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Door County - This week was a little warmer, but most days had high winds lowering fishing pressure along the east shore of the bay. With the high winds, some fishermen were getting stuck out on the ice in their trucks due to big snow drifts. Some were also moving their shanties closer to shore due to the high winds. They were back out though over the weekend. Ice conditions are stable from last week with anywhere from about 18 inches of ice to about 40 inches of ice up in Sturgeon Bay. 2 miles out of Stone Quarry, fishermen were reporting about 18 inches of ice. At Birmingham's, fishing activity was a little busy during the week and busy over the weekend. There were also lots of people snowmobiling out on the ice. A fisherman was looking for northern pike and not having much luck. He was using golden shiner for bait and fishing in about 9-16 feet of water. Other fishermen were targeting anything they could get. They caught a perch using minnows for bait and fishing in about 29 feet of water. At Stone Quarry fishing activity was busy throughout the whole week. Fishermen were targeting perch and whitefish with okay numbers for both species. Perch were being caught in about 32 feet of water using minnows and wax worms for bait. Whitefish were being caught on minnows and wax worms as well in about 70 feet of water. At Potawatomi State Park, fishing activity was slow this week. Fishermen were targeting Perch with having fairly good numbers. They were using wax worms for bait and fishing in about 25-30 feet of water. Along the lower east shore of the bay, Bayshore Park, Red River, Dyckesville, Sugar Creek and Rites Cove, fishing activity was high. - Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Green Lake County - Ice conditions on area lakes continue to be good. The panfish bite on Little Green Lakes continues to be excellent. Lake trout fishing on Big Green Lake has also been steady, with fish being caught in the 80-120 feet of water. Area snowmobile trails are open and groomed cross-country ski trails at the Green Lake Conference Center are also still open. - Nate Ackerman, conservation warden

Marguett County - Marquette County snowmobile trails are open and in good condition. With the up-coming warm weather and rain the trails will deteriorate quickly. Fishing activity is slow throughout the county, but ice fishermen are catching a few nice perch on Lawrence Lake. - Judi Nigbor, conservation warden, Wautoma

Waupaca County - Winter still has a tenacious grip on central WI. Most areas still have 12+ inches of snow on the ground. No open water and obviously, no open water fishing opportunity to be had. Very little ice fishing pressure right now despite 14-18 inches of ice on most area lakes. Most wildlife not moving much due to deep snow. Will spring ever arrive? - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area

Calumet County - Snow conditions remain favorable in the county and many snowmobilers are taking advantage of the open trails and good ice conditions along the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Coyote hunters are still out and about taking advantage of several fresh snowfalls with more snow predicted in the forecast. Ice fishing in still good on Lake Winnebago with continued catches of white bass and perch. Anglers and sturgeon spear fishermen are reminded to remove their shacks from the lake as the deadline for removal was March 3 on all waters south of Highway 64. It is anticipated that many area fishing clubs will be pulling their bridges from the lake in the coming days. A learn to hunt turkey program will be held the weekend of March 23 at Triple J Sporting Clays north of Brillion. It is anticipated that as many as 50 area youth will be participating in the program. - Michael Disher, conservation warden - Stockbridge

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Lapham Peak Unit - Lapham Peak received 6 inches of snow on March 5 and cross-country ski trails were groomed including a classical track being set Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The skate lanes were regroomed on Wednesday night. Colder temps on Wednesday night have set the snow up better although predicted warmer temperatures will impact conditions. The lighted trails are open on Monday through Saturday nights until 10 pm. - Paul Sandgren, property supervisor

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Pike Lake Unit - Cross-country ski trails received 5-6 inches of powder snow over the last couple of days. The trails were last groomed and tracked Friday March 1. All ski trails were in excellent condition. There was a delay in grooming due to mechanical problems with the only snowmobile. When trails are snow covered hikers, snowshoers, and dogs are not allowed on trails east of Powder Hill Road (groomed ski trails). Multi Use Trails: are all open and in good condition for hiking and snowshoeing. Pets are not allowed on the Black Forest Nature Trail and must be on a leash 8 feet or less at all times in other areas. The accessible trail pier has been removed for the season. - Drew Starch, ranger

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - The forest received about an inch or two of snow March 5. The skating lanes on all Zillmer cross-country ski trail loops were groomed. The track was left alone. The track is very good, a couple spots the snow drifted and covered the track. The skating lanes are very good and should be even better with cold temps tonight. Conditions change noticeably through the day with the freeze thaw conditions, that we are starting to get into. - Reagan Arndt, ranger

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit - The forest received 6 to 7 inches of Snow March 5. All cross-country ski trails were groomed and a classic track set on Tuesday night and Wednesday. On Thursday the groomers will re-groom the skate lanes. In general conditions are very good but will be affected by the above freezing temperatures that are predicted. - Paul Sandgren, property supervisor

Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee

Significant rainfall is in the forecast for Southeast Wisconsin this coming weekend, so fishing conditions will likely worsen. There is a chance for localized flooding, and expect ice conditions to deteriorate.

Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan anglers have been in the marina, however brown trout and steelhead fishing has been spotty. Ice conditions have been changing, so use extra caution or fish off of the docks. The Sheboygan River remains frozen over, with 10-12 inches of ice reported in Kiwanis Park and broken up ice floes near 8th Street. Steelhead have been caught by ice anglers in Kiwanis Park.

Ozaukee County - Fishing in Port Washington has been slow overall with only a few browns and rainbows being caught by shore anglers fishing near Rotary Park. The power plant discharge has given up a few small browns; spawn sacs have worked best.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee ice anglers have been fishing the harbor at McKinley Marina and the lagoon at Lakeshore State Park. Water clarity has improved, and success has been hit-or-miss for brown trout and steelhead. There is some fishable open water on the Milwaukee River in Kletzsch Park, and anglers floating spawn sacs have a chance at catching a brown trout or steelhead. On the lower Milwaukee River, conditions have been changing daily at Riverfront Ramp and under the Hoan bridge. That stretch currently has large ice floes moving through, but when boats can get out in the harbor, brown trout have been biting.

Racine County - In the Racine harbor there is still fishable ice, but use caution as conditions may change quickly. The water is relatively clear, and a few browns and rainbows have been caught on spawn sacs and shiners. The Root River has open water below the Horlick dam and into Quarry Lake Park, and stream flows remain at a fishable level.

Waukesha DNR Service Center area

Waukesha County - Ice conditions on Waukesha County lakes are extremely varied, with ice thickness ranging from 15 to 0 inches. Ice heaves are present on most lakes and provide a hazard to all motorized vehicles. Recent snowfall has created a snow\ slush mixture that may limit ATV and snowmobile access. - Doug Zeihen, conservation warden, Delafield

Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Sheboygan County - Sheboygan County snowmobile trails are well used and have a packed or frozen base in most areas. Ice fishing has been slow to fair with ice thickness ranging from 8 to 16 inches. Some open water was reported on the Sheboygan Marsh last week. - Michael Clutter, conservation warden, southern Sheboygan County

Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Two sandhill cranes and one bald eagle were seen around Theresa Marsh along with a few Canada geese starting to stake out nest sites. Waterfowl and other bird breeding activity should be picking up this week as temperatures warm up into the 40s. Turkeys and deer have been very visible in the area as they forage for food amid the snow cover. Northern pike are starting to stage for spawning at Theresa Marsh and other spawning sites. The Theresa Marsh dam bottom flow gate will be left open 10 inches over the next few weeks to allow for spawning. Some stop logs have also been removed from the dam so that water levels on the main flowage and other areas directly affected by the dam can be kept slightly below normal this spring to allow for prescribed burning on the marsh. One area to be burned will be an 80-acre cattail area north and east of the dam. On the Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area, work began this week by the West Shore Pipeline Company to prepare for repairing pipeline anomalies. 2,700 feet of swamp maps are being laid out west of the Hwy G parking lot (1/2 mile north of Hwy 60) to gain access to the pipeline west of the parking lot. Snowmobilers and other property users should use caution when entering and exiting the parking lot due to large trucks and other equipment using the parking lot and hwy G. Work continues on updating the property master plans for Allenton, Jackson and Theresa Marsh wildlife areas. Comments about the three properties can be directed to the Pike Lake Wildlife Biologist (262-670-3409).- Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford

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South Central Region

Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway just received several more inches of fresh snow this week. The trails should be in good condition for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. All of the trails are open to skiing, but are not groomed in any areas of the Riverway. Many birds associated with spring are beginning to arrive including robins, bluebirds, and redwing blackbirds being reported. Some cranes have been seen around the Spring Green area. Ice fishermen have reported mixed results. With all of the warm weather and sunshine recently, one should use extra caution when venturing on the ice. - Matthew W. Seguin, property manager

Dodgeville DNR Service Center area

Grant County - The 2013 Trout Early Catch and Release Season opened on Saturday, March 2, at 5 a.m. The early season only allows for artificial lures. Though the morning was brisk and entering streams challenging, trout fishermen reported moderate to excellent success. The wardens observed one trout fishermen catch a nice large brown trout. Sauger fishing was also good on the Mississippi below Lock & Dam 11 near Dubuque. Access is limited to launching boats off the northwest parking lot on the Wisconsin side. The Hawthorne Boat Landing, located on the Iowa side, was iced in with no access. - Richard S. DeWitte, conservation warden, Cassville and Tom Sturdivant, recreational safety warden, Dodgeville

River and stream fishing has been good. The ice is still at a safe thickness in most back water areas. However, one most always make sure the ice is safe in the area to be fished. Opening day of the catch and release of the trout season got off to a great start with clear water and sunny warmer weather. Fishing was very good on the Big Green Castle Rock Creeks. - Martin Stone, conservation warden

Blue Mound State Park - As of March 1, cross-country ski trails were open and in excellent condition. They were last groomed and tracked on March 1. For current up to date conditions, please call the park at 608-437-5711. - Kevin Swenson, park manager

Wyalusing State Park -Wyalusing State Park received approximately 10 inches of snow from what we hope is the last snowfall of the year. Ski trails will not be groomed because of the warm temperatures and rain expected within the next few days. Sightings at park office feeders include: juncos, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, goldfinches, cardinals, bluejays, red-bellied, downy and hairy woodpeckers, and purple finches. Eagles are often sighted from the park overlooks and Wisconsin Ridge Campground. The Washington Street Bridge, St. Feriole Island and the Regional Tourism Center (Hwy. 18 W) in Prairie du Chien are usually known for eagle sightings this time of year. We have had campers every weekend for the last three weeks. From this point forward we will most likely be having campers every weekend until December. The camping season is just around the corner. The number of phone calls about camping and reservations is increasing daily. Mississippi River level at Prairie du Chien was at 7.8 March 6. The boat landing is a popular place for ice anglers. Reminder: we do not monitor ice conditions. If there are any questions about the condition of the road to the boat landing due to snow or ice, please call the park office at 608-996-2261. The Friends of Wyalusing State Park will meet this Monday, March 11 at 6 p.m. in the park office. - Beverly Pozega, visitor services associate

Nelson Dewey State Park - The campground at Nelson Dewey State Park is closed for the season. We do not plow the roads at Nelson Dewey State Park in the winter. Eagle watching is a popular activity in the Cassville area. - Beverly Pozega, visitor services associate

Horicon DNR Service Center area

Dodge County - A few sandhill cranes have been in the area. Horned larks are being seen in good numbers along roadsides. Coyote, muskrat, otter, mink, raccoon sign has picked up on the marsh. The dam in Horicon was readjusted to normal winter levels following the January thaw.- Paul Samerdyke, wildlife biologist, Horicon

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Mirror Lake State Park -This week the park received approximately 3-4 inches of snow. Temperatures stayed above 30 degrees which have delayed grooming. Groomers were out on the cross-country ski trails March 1. Hastings, Fern Dell and Turtleville trails were groomed with new track set. - Becky Green, park manager

Lake Kegonsa State Park -Cross country ski trails are in good condition and were last groomed and tracked on Wednesday. Some areas are soft. Conditions are expected to deteriorate as the week progresses due to forecasted warm temperatures and rain. This will likely be the last time the trails will be groomed this season. - Sarah Bolser, park manager

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West Central Region

Baldwin DNR Service Center area

St. Croix County - With the recent 9-inch snowfall area snowmobile trails are in good condition. The groomers have been out so they should only get better. Fishing has been very slow on area lakes.-Bradley Peterson, conservation warden

The recent snows have added a good deal to the local snowmobile trails and ski trails which are in very good shape, but with warmer temps in the forecast it won't last long. Fishing has been slow on most area lakes and anglers are busy removing their ice shacks or getting ready to remove them north of Hwy 64. Angling for sauger and walleye on the Miss River at Hager City has been fair recently. Anglers are reminded that game fish season is now closed on inland waters.- David A. Hausman, warden supervisor, Baldwin

Willow River State Park - Trout anglers are reminded that there is still a ski season in progress and that walking on a ski trail is prohibited. All of Willow's ski trails are clearly marked as "Skiers Only." Trout anglers will need to walk completely off the trail to access the river below the dam until ski season ends and the signs come down. They will need to use the trail to cross the culvert on the Trout Brook Trail. The original trail on the south side of the falls is multiple-use from the big hill bottom to the falls. The trail along the river below the falls on the north side is a ski trail-no other foot traffic is allowed. The river level (where it is open) is excellent as the catch and release season opens. The river above the falls is still ice. It's really difficult to write an accurate ski trail report in March since conditions vary with the time of day. The short story is that we have big snow in the forecast and the volunteers will groom one more time since this snow is due to arrive from the north. A warm up follows the snow so this could be it for ski season in the next week or so. I'll address slush skiing in a future report. Ice fishing continues mostly off the beach area. The park road is mostly shaded so there is still full snow cover over it in most places. - Jeffrey L. Bolte, visitor services associate

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

La Crosse County - Snowmobile trails in La Crosse County are open with the recent snowfall. The weather is predicted to warm up this weekend, so check future snowmobile trail conditions by calling the La Crosse County Snowmobile Trail Report at (608) 782-4500. Some of the backwater areas of the Mississippi River still have about 20 inches of ice. Panfishing on Lake Onalaska has been slow, but some fishermen are catching a few perch, bluegills and crappies. Bass are hitting tip-ups rigged with shiners.- Dale Hochhausen, conservation warden, La Crosse

Wildcat Mountain State Park - Cross-country ski trails were groomed and tracked on, March 1. Conditions were excellent, the best they have been this winter! Hikers, snowshoers, and dogs are not allowed on groomed ski trails. - Joseph K Fieweger, park manager

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area

Black River State Forest - Eight inches of snow fell on Tuesday. Winter is around for a little longer in the Black River Area. Come out and enjoy the trails while you can. Trails close on March 15 for the season and will re-open on May 15. Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department grooms and maintains all winter snowmobile and ATV trails in the state forest. Cross-country ski trails were groomed Tuesday and should be in good shape for at least a few days. Day time highs are expected to be in the upper 30s though for the next several days. Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the forest, other than groomed trails. A new 1.5-mile snowshoe trail is available at the Smrekar trailhead. Additional trails for snowshoeing include the two mile Castle Mound trail and the five mile trail from Pigeon Creek to Smrekar Road.- Peter Bakken, superintendent

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area - Ski trails were groomed after the recent snowstorm and are in good condition. With the warm weather and possibility of rain this weekend the snow may not last long and trail conditions will change quickly. Many of the trails are one-way so please follow the signs. - Calvin Kunkel, ranger

Red Cedar State Trail - The cross country ski trail was packed after the recent snowstorm and volunteer groomers are continuing to work on the trail. The trail is in good condition for skate skiers, but tracks have not been set yet for striders. Trail conditions will change dramatically this weekend with warmer temperatures and the possibility of rain. Snowmobiling is allowed on the Red Cedar State Trail from Highway Y south to the Chippewa River State Trail. For current snowmobile trail conditions, please contact Dunn County, (715) 664-7669; Eau Claire County, (715) 839-4738; Pepin County, (715) 672-7669. - Calvin Kunkel, ranger

Wausau DNR Service Center area

Marathon County - No appreciable snow fell in northwest Marathon County with the last storm at the start of the week. Snowmobile trails remain in generally good condition, though bare patches are forming with trail use and as snow melts during the day. Operators are reminded that UTVs are not allowed on Marathon County snowmobile trails and ATVs are only allowed when air temperatures are 28 degrees or below. - Michael J. Rader, conservation warden, Wausau

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Adams County - Snowmobile trails in Adams County were open as of Tuesday. Much of the county received about 5 inches of snow this week. Call 608-339-4230 for trail updates. - Wade Romberg, conservation warden, Friendship

Buckhorn State Park - Visitors over the weekend were skiing and snowshoeing. Six inches of snow fell Tuesday and cross country ski trails were groomed Thursday. When there is at least 6 inches of snow, the office has adult sized snowshoes to check out to use in the park. We do not have child size snowshoes yet. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate and campground are closed. Parking is in the winter lot and park stickers are still required. Visitors have been snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the park. We are not grooming trails at this time.- Heather Wolf, park manager

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Last Revised: Thursday, March 07, 2013