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Outdoor Report for June 27, 2013
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
Heavy rains across much of the state in the last week have almost all major river systems and some lakes at very high levels. The southwestern portion of the state received the heaviest rain, with areas of Grant County reporting up to 15 inches of rain in the last week. The Mississippi, Lower Wisconsin, Trempealeau, Black, Pecatonica, Sugar, Rock and Crawfish rivers are all at or near flood stage levels. Finding a sandbar on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway to camp over the upcoming Fourth of July holiday week is going to be difficult. Slow-no-wake ordinances are in place on a number of southern lakes and rivers.
Most reservable campsites will be booked for the upcoming extended holiday weekend, but as a reminder people can check the new Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest campsite availability page to fine what non-reservable sites are available in the state’s largest forest.
To help protect the trees and forests on public lands from harmful pests and diseases that hitchhike on firewood, all firewood brought to a state property must be from within 25 miles of that property. Or campers can buy Wisconsin certified firewood, which has been processed to be free of harmful tree pests and diseases. More information is available by searching the DNR website for keyword “firewood.”
Also a reminder that most fireworks are prohibited on state park and forest properties, so people planning on camping in a Wisconsin state park or forest for the Fourth of July should enjoy fireworks displays in nearby communities. A citation for illegal fireworks in a state park or forest can cost up to $200.
High water levels have disrupted fishing on many southern lakes and rivers, but some very good panfish and musky action was reported in the north. The bluegill spawn is in full swing, with bluegills sitting on their beds on many lakes. Musky success has been very good at times in the last week, with some anglers reporting multiple catches in a 3 to 4 hour trip. The mayfly hatch has begun on many lakes and this will disrupt the regular walleye bite for the next few weeks. Bass action has been good, with some very nice catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass being made. Both largemouth and smallmouth are in their final stages of spawning on many lakes and look for action on larger fish to pick up in the next week or two.
Rough waters on Green Bay and Lake Michigan kept fishing pressure down this week, but when trollers have been getting out they have been catching a mixed bag of a few coho, rainbows, or chinook. There have been some limits of perch caught in the past week around Door County. On Lake Superior, smallmouth bass action has been great in Chequamegon Bay.
Bear sightings have also increased due to it being the peak of the bear breeding season. Dozens of nuisance complaints have come is as sows have chased off yearling bears who are now fending for themselves. Deer are also becoming more active now as fawns have begun to move around with does. Moose sightings have been reported east of Rhinelander.
Buttercup, birds-foot trefoil, daisy, orange hawkweed, and garden lupine are blooming in the north. Black and red raspberries are beginning to bear fruit in the south, while blueberries are still a couple of weeks off in the north.
And with all the water, mosquitos continue to be out in full force especially in central and northern areas, but actively feeding bats and recent hatches of dragonflies should begin to thin the mosquito population.
Superior DNR Service Center area
Blue flag iris.
Kevin Feind photo
Brule River State Forest - The roadsides are quite colorful with the variety of flowers blooming. Buttercup, birds-foot trefoil, daisy, orange hawkweed, and the garden variety lupine are the most obvious at this time. Blue and yellow flag iris are also visible in the wet areas. Also along the roadways, turtles are laying eggs on warm, sunny evenings. The month of June is their peak nesting month. Several turtles have been hit recently...drivers should be on the lookout when coming up on wetlands and rivers. If seen crossing the road, motorists are encouraged to move the turtle across the road in the direction that they were traveling (as long as the traffic conditions are safe). With the Fourth of July coming up the Brule River State Forest wishes to remind people that it is illegal to set off fireworks in Wisconsin State Parks and Forests. Sparklers are ok to use but anything that goes "boom", is self-propelled, or has flames coming out is considered illegal. This law is in effect to protect the fireworks users, other recreationists, and the natural resources. - Catherine Khalar, visitor services associate
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Ashland County - Weather continued to disrupt many outdoor activities with very heavy rains at the end of the week. Water levels are high and muddy now. Bugs are about as thick as they can be for this time of year. - Matt Mackenzie, conservation warden, Ashland
Bayfield County - Northern Bayfield County has been receiving more rain once again so the Lake Superior water height has come up. The problem is the runoff causing the water to be “muddy” looking near any of the tributaries. Fishermen have been doing so-so with luck, but the smallmouth bass action has been great in Chequamegon Bay. The berry progress has been coming along with blueberries being ready within a few weeks. The mosquitoes, tent caterpillars, ticks, and flies have been an issue so make sure you bring bug spray! The ATV trails have not been very dusty with the rain coming on and off. - Amie Egstad, conservation warden, Bayfield
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Burnett County - Panfishing on area lakes has been good but will slow down as the weather warms. The St. Croix River has high to very high water levels for up coming canoeing and fishing trips. Please use caution on any paddling events on the St. Croix River over the holiday weekend. Area horse trails and hiking trails are cleaned and clear. A word of caution associated with hiking trails and horse trails, the Grantsburg area currently has a robust insect population. Please think about removing bird feeders to avoid unwanted black bear encounters. - Christopher Spaight conservation warden, Grantsburg
Polk County - The bluegill spawn is in full swing, with bluegills sitting on their beds in northern Polk County lakes. Several people reported catching limits of nice bluegills on local lakes. Crappies are pretty much done spawning but can still be found on the weed edges. Walleye fishing has been slow but largemouth bass fishing has been picking up. There have been a dozen bear complaints throughout Polk and Burnett counties. Almost all of the complaints have had bird feeders or some other attractants out that have drawn the bears near the residence. Bear sightings have also increased due to it being the peak of the bear breeding season. People are reminded that if they have any nuisance bear complaints they should contact the nuisance hotline at 1-800-228-1368. - Jesse Ashton conservation warden, Luck
Panfish fishing has been slow with some being caught in shallow water near vegetation. - Shaun Tyznik conservation warden, Amery
Cumberland DNR Service Center area
Baron County - Water levels remain high on local streams and rivers due to recent storms over the weekend. The Spooner warden team participated in a group enforcement and education check this weekend in Barron, Polk and Sawyer Counties to remind boaters and fishermen to be aware of Aquatic Invasive species while using the area waters. The wardens handed out ice packs to fishermen to keep fish cold while transporting them from the lakes. - Phil Dorn, conservation warden, Cumberland
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - The Park Falls-Hayward area received upwards of 2 inches of rain in the last week. This brought stream and river levels up a bit but not nearly to flood stage yet. Water levels on flowages and drainage lakes have been just above average, and many seepage lakes have come up to near normal levels. The worst thing the wet weather has done is bring out hordes of mosquitoes, deer flies and horse flies, so outdoor enthusiasts should be prepared to do battle with high numbers of biting insects. The continuing erratic weather has made for some inconsistent fishing success over the past week, with some periods seeing very little activity and other times providing some very good action. Panfish and musky have been the highlights of the week - with some very good catches of bluegill, crappie and musky being reported. Water temperatures have finally pushed into the upper 60s to low 70s on many of the lakes. This has gotten the bluegill into their spawning period and many nice fish have been observed on the beds. Crappie are well finished up spawning and are now being found along the shallow weed edges, with the best fishing has been in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Musky success has been very good at times in the last week, with some anglers reporting multiple catches in a 3 to 4 hour trip. However most of the fish have been on the small side (28 to 36 inches), though a few in the 40 to 46 inches size have also been reported. Small to medium-sized baits seem to have been the key, with yellow/black bucktails, jerk baits, and soft plastics being the most productive. An especially productive water has been Day Lake Flowage in Ashland County (28-inch minimum length) where many anglers have reported multiple catches. Most of the musky have been in the 26 to 32-inch size but some fast action can be had by throwing bass-sized baits along weed lines and bog edges. Walleye success has gotten real inconsistent in the last week. The mayfly hatch has begun on many lakes and this will disrupt the regular walleye bite for the next few weeks. The mayflies provided a big source of natural food and the walleye seem to key on them when the hatches begin. This usually signals the end of the bite on jig and minnow combinations and the start of leeches and crawlers as the more productive baits. Bass action has been good, with some very nice catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass being made. Soft plastics and finesse baits have been the most productive and most largemouth have been found in the newly developing weed and lily pad beds. Both largemouth and smallmouth are in their final stages of spawning on many lakes and look for action on larger fish to pick up in the next week or two. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Flambeau River State Forest – The forest received 3-plus-inches of rain over the past week and both the South and North Forks of the Flambeau River are up, but by no means at flood stage. Paddlers are reporting shorter time frames for their trips with the faster current. Flowers that began blooming are common buttercup, bird's-foot trefoil, figwort, yarrow, blackberries, orange hawkweed, Canadian anemone, vetch, white clover, bush-honeysuckle, cow-parsnip, mountain maple, and maple-leaved viburnum. Fly honeysuckle and wild strawberries are fruiting. In the world of fungi, the colorful and fascinating Reishi (Ganoderma tsugae) are fruiting abundantly on hemlock stumps. Deer and elk are done giving birth. There are about 23 elk calves; 13 female and 10 male. In the air, horseflies, deerflies and mosquitoes are abundant, while swallows and bluebirds have hatchlings to feed. A Family Fun Day! - Early 4th of July Celebration will be held June 29. All types of fun activities for the kids. Sidewalk chalk drawings, games for the whole family, coloring and water-coloring contests. - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate
Rhinelander DNR Service Center area
Oneida County - Mayflies are beginning to hatch on Oneida County lakes which typically make fishing more difficult as the hatch progresses. Bear sightings are on the increase as yearling bear get kicked out and the breeding season starts. Moose sightings east of Rhinelander continue to come into the local DNR office. Two Moose have been struck by vehicles in this same area in the past five years. Water Temps are increasing and after the heavy rainfalls that we have been had will increase the likelihood of swimmers itch on area lakes. This is a flatworm that cycles through waterfowl and snails and are picked up by swimmers in shallow water as they are free floating attempting to attach themselves to a new host. Feeding waterfowl is not recommended for this reason. - James Jung, conservation warden, Rhinelander
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Fishing pressure was low this past week on the Menominee River, Peshtigo River, and Oconto River. With the hot and humid weather many people traded in their fish poles for inflatable rafts, tubes, and coolers, floating the rivers and staying cool. - Kevin King - creel clerk
Marinette County - Salmon and trout fishermen are reporting seeing bait fish with no action by game fish. Perch fishermen are also reporting slow action. Walleye are being caught in the Menominee River by shore fishermen and boaters alike using stick baits or live bait trolled or fished dead stick. Sheep head, smallmouth, rock bass, and drum are also being caught. - Kevin King, creel clerk
Oconto County - Fishermen at the Stiles Dam down river to Holtwood Park were targeting small mouth bass using tube jigs, crank baits, and crawlers fished along current seams with some large fish being reported. Bay fishermen have been targeting walleye from the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II, with catch rates being low for most boaters. Crawler/harness and stick baits be trolled in 12 to 20 feet of water are catching some walleye and drum. - Kevin King, creel clerk
Geano Beach had moderate fishing activity for the week with anglers targeting Walleye. The main baits used were spinners with worms, crawler harnesses (green and gold), and crank baits. Fishermen were fishing in about 20 to 25 feet of water with not having very high numbers. Average ranges were from about 17 inches to 25 inches. Sheepshead were also caught, but all were released. - Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Brown County - The weather was nice for most of the week with warm temperatures. Warm temperatures brought good water temperatures. Water temperatures were around 69 to low 70 degrees in the Bay and same with Suamico River and up to Geano Beach. Fishing pressure has been moderate for the week and weekend, but there were many pleasure boaters out over the weekend. The Suamico River seemed to have the most fishing activity all week. Fishermen were targeting walleye with the numbers not being very high. Some fishermen were catching their limits but overall the numbers were low. Fishermen were using several different kinds of baits night crawlers, crawler harnesses (chartreuse, yellow, purple, white) and crank baits (purple, gold), with natural baits seeming to be more popular than artificial. Fishing depths ranged from boat to boat during the week. Some were fishing shallow, 5-8 feet then some ranged from 15-20 feet during the week then by the weekend most were fishing in about 20 plus feet of water. Other fish caught were Sheepshead, Catfish, and White Bass. Long Tail had no fishing activity reported due to these ramps having very low water and fishermen need to access them at their own risk. Duck Creek fishing activity is low, but more people are coming out to shore fish. There are also a few boats being put in at both Duck Creek launches, one was bow fishing. Fishermen were targeting perch using night crawlers having now luck. At the Fox River Metro Ramp, there were many pleasure boaters over the weekend, but fishing activity was good for the week. Fishermen were targeting walleye using chicken gizzards, night crawlers, and crank baits (silver). Walleye numbers were not very good for the week. Fishermen were fishing in about 2 feet to 18 feet of water. Fox Point and Brown County fishing activity was low for the week with fishermen looking for Catfish and White Bass with low numbers. Crank baits were the most used in about 8 feet of water. Sheepshead were also caught and released. Bayshore Park fishing pressure ranged from moderate to high in response to this week's weather patterns of rain and high winds. Anglers mainly targeted Walleye with a good rate of success. Some anglers were also targeting yellow perch. Walleye in the area were caught in an average depth of 18 feet of water with a variety of baits: night crawlers, crawler harnesses (green, black, gold), crankbait (purple), and stick bait (purple). Anglers that found success in catching yellow perch did so in a depth of 16-18 feet of water with the use of night crawlers and minnows. Water temperatures ranged this week from 68-71 degrees Fahrenheit. - Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Manitowoc County - Fishing has continued to be inconsistent for boats out of Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Surface temperatures are in the mid 50 degree range. Divers coming back from the S.C. Baldwin wreck of 1908 reported water temperatures on the bottom in 70 feet of water at 42 degrees. There have been decent catches of rainbows, with some chinook, coho, and lake trout mixed in. Most of the rainbows are being caught with a variety of spoons using Dipsy Divers or off of lead core lines behind planer boards. A majority of rainbows have been caught in the upper 50 feet of water reportedly. Anglers at area fish cleaning stations have reported that rainbows have been eating flies, ladybugs, and other insects as well as alewives. There have been some large chinook caught including a 24 pound fish brought in by a young man off a charter boat out of Manitowoc. Chinook catch rates continue to be low and boats have had a hard time dialing in because fish seem to be very spread out. Flies with flashers or dodgers have been producing the most kings with the standbys of blue and green working decently. The best location over the last few weeks has been southeast of Manitowoc. Boats out of Manitowoc have been making trips up to seven miles out. Anglers have been fishing from 80 to 220 feet of water with most boats targeting 120 to 180 feet of water. Fishing pressure has been moderate to low. Pier, Harbor, Shore, and Rivers: The high alewife numbers inshore are making shore fishing tough. Some diehards are catching a brown trout at peak fishing times. The successful anglers are using casting spoons. Smallmouths have been hitting on the Manitowoc , West Twin, and East Twin Rivers near dams, falls, and current breaks. Bullheads can be caught in high numbers on the West Twin River. Fishing pressure is low. - Thomas Gerbyshak, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Salmon fishing hasn’t changed much in the last week for the Kewaunee-Door county area. The kings are biting at first and last light with fly and dodger combos working the best, but a few have started smacking on spoons. When the sun is up high, rainbows are biting well on brightly colored spoons. All the salmon and trout have large amounts of bait fish in their stomachs, which could account for the slow bite and large size. People have been out bowfishing for carp in Kewaunee and Door counties, both off boats and piers (with permission). 10 to 20 pound carp are the norm and the fish can be dropped off at a local fish fertilizing company to be processed. Bowfishing gear can be purchased from many local tackle shops and can provide a fun alternative to line fishing and a great way to get some of the carp out of the water. - David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Door County - Salmon action from Sturgeon Bay north to Baileys Harbor is fair, and there have been a few reported as far up as Gills Rock. Many of the catches are coming right at first light out at 100 to 150 feet of water. Off the bank reef, 130 to 160 feet with bait down 30 to 80 feet is recommended. Green, aqua and frog pattern flies behind chrome or white dodgers, or glow-in-the dark spoons are good baits to try. During the day, many anglers are catching rainbow trout in the top 30 feet at 200 to 400 feet of water on spoons. Bass action is still going good all over the county. The flats, George K. Pinney (formerly Stone Quarry), Ephraim on the bay side, and Rowley’s Bay on the lake side are some good places to try. Setting live bait about 1 foot off the bottom, casting and retrieving plastics, or top water baits on a calm day are all working well in 3 to 6 feet of water. Bass are right at their peak spawn, so it is highly recommended that they all be released at this time, but smaller males in the 3-pound range make the best keepers because they are the best for eating. Walleye action is still going pretty good in southern Door from Chaudoir’s Dock south, and picking up in the north, from the north-south reef up to Henderson’s Point; just south of Egg Harbor; the islands off of Sister Bay; and a few up in Washington Island. Trolling in 15 to 30 feet of water (or even deeper on calm days) with flicker shads, smash shads, reef runners, deep husky jerks, deep diving rouges or crawler harnesses are good bait to try. The color purple still being highly recommended with the blue/silver combo as a second choice. There have been some limits of perch caught in the past week, with action coming on the flats, in the shipping canal, the deeper waters from Henderson’s Point down to Chaudoir’s Dock, and off the docks at George K. Pinney and Egg Harbor. Fathead Minnows are reportedly working best, but crawler pieces and leaf worms are fine choices. Rock Bass are a nice alternative to catching Perch. They can be found all over near shore, are easy to catch with crawler pieces, there is no minimum size or limit, and many anglers swear they are just as good to eat as perch. Muskie action has been pretty good over in Little Sturgeon, and there are rumors of a real monster caught in Rileys Bay. Reportedly, there are some that can be found along the weed beds in the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal. Inland, there should be some nice Muskies down in Khron’s Lake and East Alaska Lake, between Algoma and Kewaunee to the south. - David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Chaudoir's dock fishing pressure was low this week, due in part to high wind producing whitecaps. Anglers in the region mainly targeted walleye a few seeking yellow perch. Rate of catch was also low this week, though some were able to catch Walleye using a variety of bait: night crawlers, crawler harnesses, and crankbait. Walleye were caught in an average depth of 20 feet of water. Anglers were able to catch just a few yellow perch in a reported depth of 26 feet of water with the use of night crawlers and crankbait. Other species caught were quite a few freshwater drum (sheephead), gobies, and catfish. Water temperature hovered at 68 degrees this week. Low levels of water in the Bay continue to make theSugar Creek launch ramp difficult to access. Fishing pressure in the Little Sturgeon Bay area was light this week, due in part to inconsistent weather patterns that brought rain and wind. Both pier and boat anglers targeted smallmouth bass with limited success. Those that did catch smallmouth bass caught them in average depth of 6 feet of water using a variety of baits: crankbait, jigs, and night crawlers. Other species caught were Rock Bass, a Largemouth Bass, and Gobies. Water temperature in the area was reported as 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Sawyer's Harbor fishing pressure was light this week with a few anglers mainly targeting smallmouth and rock bass. Anglers had great success catching Rock Bass this week, averaging 45 caught. Rock Bass were caught using night crawlers and jigs (green) in a depth of 3 feet. Water temperature in the area ranged this week from 64-69 degrees. - Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Peninsula State Park - Bladder campion, Baltic rush, pineapple weed, blue flag iris, swamp thistle, and beach pea have begun blooming in the last week. – Kathleen Harris, natural resources educator.
Kewaunee County - Most of the success for salmon has come right at first light, 3 to 5 miles off shore in 40 to 80 feet of water. The few salmon caught later in the day are coming in 70 feet of water or deeper. Farther out, 5 to 10 miles, larger fish are being marked deep in the water, which could be a good place to try. While anglers are not catching their limits of chinook, there is some real trophy potential in the fish being caught as some of them are approaching 30 pounds! Flasher flies, large spoons and cut bait have all worked, but the fly and dodger combo seems to be the best right now. Fishing the top 50 feet out in 250 to 400 feet of water with brightly colored spoons is where anglers are catching some nice, bright Rainbows with weights in the mid-teens. There are also been some 10-pound coho and chinook mixed in with the Bows at this depth. Some nice Lake Trout are being picked up by keeping bait tight to the bottom. There has not been much success off the piers in Algoma or Kewaunee yet. A few anglers have caught some catfish and bullheads from the shore in the Kewaunee Harbor, which has lots of places to set up with fold out chairs to put a line in. - David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Marguett County - Area lakes and rivers have high water levels but no flooding has occurred. The fishing activity has slowed down throughout the county, but anglers are picking up a few catfish on the Fox River. Folks are reminded to not disturb turtles during the nesting season. - Judi Nigbor, conservation warden, Wautoma
Waupaca County - Bugs are bad – deerflies are now out and mosquitos are very bad in wet areas. Walleyes have been biting well on Winnebago system. No decent reports on panfish biting yet. Water levels up on area trout streams, but very fishable. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Fond du Lac County - The fishing reports on the southern end of Lake Winnebago have been mixed this week depending on who you talk to walleyes and some perch are being caught. The warm temperatures and humid conditions have caused storms to pop up several times in the last few days but a weather change is being forecasted for the weekend which should make it more enjoyable to be out fishing weather by boat or from shore. - Alan D. Erickson, conservation warden, Fond du Lac
Outagamie County - Wolf River anglers are having spotty success with the recent rainy weather. Anglers running set line and bank poles have been doing quite well with many channel cats and a few nice flat head catfish being caught. Anglers and boater braving the damp weather will have the river virtually to themselves. - Mike Young, conservation warden, Shiocton
Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan trolling has been relatively slow, with boats returning with a few coho, rainbows, or chinook. Most fish have been taken on spoons in 120 to 150 feet of water, and they have been low in the water column at approximately 100 feet down. There has been a fairly constant wind out of the southeast the past few days, starting off calm in the morning and picking up speed later in the day. The 8th Street boat ramp remains closed. Fishing pressure on shore in Sheboygan has been low. Water clarity has increased along the north pier, while south pier has experienced more wave action and a decrease in water clarity.
Ozaukee County - Trollers fishing out of Port Washington have been catching a mixed bag of a few coho, rainbows, or chinook. Most fish were caught in about 100 feet of water on flashers and flies, but catches ranged from as shallow as 80 feet to as deep as 150 feet. Catch rates remain relatively low for the trollers but should improve with a more typical summer weather pattern. Few anglers have been fishing the pier in Port, and fishing has been slow for both perch anglers and trout and salmon anglers. Water clarity in the marina continues to improve. More anglers have been working near the power plant, but with limited success. The path to Fisherman’s Park is still closed for construction. Anglers can reach the park by walking down Wisconsin Street (north of Sauk Creek) and following the Harborwalk along the West Slip.
Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee rough weather continued throughout the weekend causing minimal fishing effort on Saturday, and most boats ended their trips early on Sunday with only a few fish. The best success was in 80 to 120 feet of water with baits 25 to 50 feet down. The bite has been primarily pre-dawn with only a few fish caught after about 6 a.m. Fisherman have begun to switch over to targeting chinook and lake trout with the coho slowing in recent days. Only a few chinook were caught with green spoons producing the best. Anglers along the Milwaukee shoreline and on McKinley pier reported no trout or salmon caught over the weekend. Perch fishing was slow as well, with only a few small perch caught off of the rocks on McKinley pier on jigs in the early morning.
Racine County - Racine trollers saw catches drop throughout the weekend. Limits of coho were still being caught on Thursday and Friday, but by the end of the weekend fish were more scattered and difficult to target. The best catches had been in 90 to 100 feet of water outside of the three mile reef marker. A couple of coho and browns have been pulled in by shore anglers fishing off the piers. Alewives fished off the bottom have been effective off the south pier, and spoons in blue and silver or green and silver have taken a few browns off the north pier. Shore anglers in Racine have taken a few perch from the wooden pier in Pershing Park, but most have been on the smaller side, in the 8 to 10 inch range. The new entrance to the end of south pier was finished this past week. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 60F on Sunday.
Kenosha County - In Kenosha trolling for salmon and trout has been slow in recent days, but boats working the breakwall just outside the harbor have been catching decent numbers of perch. Limits can be taken, but anglers have to work for it since they have been catching many more perch that are less than keeper size. Most have been caught on small plastics or jigs tipped with a minnow. Kenosha shore anglers have been catching perch off of the rocks east of Southport Marina and off the piers, with the highest effort off of the south pier. Plastics have been effective, but tipping them with a spike or wax worm has increased success. Perch anglers fishing with minnows have also taken an occasional rainbow or brown trout.
Waukesha DNR Service Center area
Waukesha County - Water levels are high in Waukesha County, but no flooding has been reported yet. After the severe drought of 2012, the soils in the area have up to now been able to absorb the excess rainfall that June has provided. - Doug Zeihen, conservation warden, Delafield
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Washington County - The recent rains have caused flooding in the area, causing some lakes to post emergency slow no wake restrictions. The recent warm weather has warmed the lake temperatures. Bass and pan fish action has been good. Several reports of spawning carp have had the bow fishermen out in force. - Robert Lee, conservation warden, Hartford
South Central Region
Glacial Drumlin State Trail – Sections of the trail remain closed as bridge repairs continue. The bridge over Koshkonong Creek bridge near the town of London is currently closed but work will tentatively be completed and the bridge open by July 3. From July 1-5, the bridge between Highway 18 and Pioneer Drive, near Sullivan, will be closed. The bridge will be available for the July 6-7 weekend. From July 22 through August 2, the bridge between Indian Point Road and Gramling Road will be closed (west of Dousman).
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - We received several strong storms lately and there is damage throughout the Riverway. Many of the county highway departments are working on repairing the roadways and clearing debris. Some of the gravel roads leading to canoe launches have washout ruts, so please drive safely. All of the trails at Blackhawk Ridge have been mowed and cleared of fallen trees and should be in good condition. The water levels on June 27, at the Prairie Du Sac dam was 23,241 CFS. This is very high water levels and finding a sandbar to camp is going to be difficult. Please call 1-800-242-1077 for current river flow at the Prairie Du Sac Dam. Fishing reports have been mixed due to the high water. There has been some success at the Prairie Du Sac Dam catching sauger and white bass. Panfish have also been biting at Bakken’s pond. - Matt Seguin, property manager
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Grant County - Due to the recent heavy rainfalls, all the rivers and streams in the area are at or above flood stage. The Mississippi River is on the rise at Cassville in excess of 15 feet with a normal level of 9 feet. Due to the recent heavy rainfalls boaters are advised to avoid the rivers due to the high levels, high volume river flows, and floating debris. Mississippi River level predictions call for the water levels to remain relatively steady at these levels for the next week. On a more positive note, the black and red raspberries are beginning to bear fruit. - Richard S. DeWitte, conservation warden, Cassville
Wyalusing State Park -The Wyalusing State Park boat landing is closed until further notice due to washouts on the road leading to the boat landing and high water. The Mississippi River is at flood stage in Prairie du Chien and is expected to crest on Friday, June 28. - Beverly Pozega, visitor services associate
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Come enjoy an educational and leisurely paddle at Horicon Marsh during the annual Paddle Horicon Marsh Event on Saturday, June 29. Visit www.horiconmarsh.org for more information. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Smallmouth bass and walleyes are picking up now that water is dropping slightly on the Wisconsin River below the dells . Panfish are decent on Mirror Lake and Lake Delton. - Michael Green, conservation warden, Poynette
West Central Region
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Pepin County - Both the Chippewa and Mississippi rivers remain high. The Mississippi has risen about 2 feet in the last week due to recent rains. With rising waters on the river boaters need to be on the lookout for floating debris. Some of the debris are large trees which may be hard to see in rough water and could cause a lot of damage to boats. - Bill Wrasse, conservation warden, Durand
Vernon County - Many homeowners are experiencing mole problems in their lawns this summer. Prairie or eastern moles are found throughout western and southwestern WI counties, and it is the most widely distributed mole in North America. Mole tunneling is particularly pronounced after soaking rains, which have occurred frequently this spring and summer and can be a nuisance in lawns, gardens, golf courses, cemeteries, and cultivated fields. Prairie moles can dig at an astounding rate of 15-18 feet per hour and can maintain this pace for hours. Their diet is made up of primarily worms, insects, insect larvae, and a small amount of plant material. A variety of methods are available to control moles, but tolerance of the tunneling activity of these fascinating mammals should be attempted first. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - Rain, rain, and more rain has returned to the Black River area. The long range forecast is for drier weather starting this weekend, which is much needed. All-terrain vehicle and UTV trails are closed due to the constant heavy rainfalls we have received. Several parts of the trail system are impassable. We will open again once we dry out. It has been a poor season for ATV use this year. - Peter Bakken, superintendent
Trempealeau County - The Mississippi, Trempealeau, and Black rivers are all near flood stage levels in Southern Trempealeau County. The Trempealeau Lakes State Fisheries Area access road is still dry and travelable by car as of 11 a.m. July 27. The road will be under water if the river levels continue to rise another 6-8 inches. Fishing success on three rivers has slowed down dramatically due to the large amount of rain received in the last seven days. - Christopher Shea, conservation warden, Trempealeau
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Chippewa County - Rainfall continues to keep the rivers and flowages at above average levels. Walleye anglers are still faring well on the Chippewa River, especially those using leaches and jig heads. Try drifting a Lindy-rig with a yellow jig head tipped with a leech or worm. Smallmouth will also hit this presentation hard. Lake Wissota fishing has slowed some, and there is an increase in waterskiing and tubing on sunny days. Otter Lake, Marshmiller Lake, Popple Lake and Bass Lakes are producing consistent bluegills and bass. Panfish action may slow down with insect hatches on the rise, however try using a micro jig with a worm or waxie in shallow water. Long Lake is producing giant smallmouths in the 20-plus-inch range. Try a slow presentation of tube jigs in watermelon or pumpkinseed color. Channel catfish and flatheads are beginning to take worms and chicken livers in shallow water in Chippewa Falls. The local warden has been finding an increase in rough fish being unlawfully disposed of on the shorelines. Be sure to either release the fish or remove it from the area to prevent unnecessary smells near public fishing areas. Mosquitos and ticks are out in full force, deer ticks are seemingly more abundant this year. Check for ticks when you return home and follow proper precautions to monitor for tick-borne diseases. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has a user-friendly website with information on tick-borne diseases in this region at www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/tickborne/Index.htm. The violation hotline continues to be a great way to report violations that you encounter in the field. Help protect your resources by providing information on violations to your local warden. Be safe out there! Shaun Deeney - Conservation Warden Chippewa County. - Shaun Deeney, conservation warden, Chippewa Falls
Eau Claire County -Shoreline anglers have been catching a lot of small to medium sized bluegills along the shorelines of Half Moon Lake – Carson Park – in the City of Eau Claire. Panfish action has improved in the shallows of McFalls Bay at the east end of Lake Altoona. High water levels and swift currents on the Chippewa River makes for dangerous boating conditions – please use caution. - Scott Thiede, conservation warden, Eau Claire
Red Cedar State Trail - The trail is in good condition. The Chippewa River has flooded much of the Dunnville Wildlife Area including the sand bar near the trail. Swimming is not advised at this time. - Calvin Kunkel, ranger
Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area - Trails are in good condition. Biking is not allowed on the trails and dogs are not allowed in the park. A variety of prairie flowers are blooming in the recreation area including prairie smoke, wild lupine, and white false indigo. - Calvin Kunkel, ranger
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - Visitors over the weekend were hiking, geocaching, fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Mosquitoes are here – remember to bring bug spray and thermocells. Water levels on the Castle Rock Flowage remain normal and great for boating and fishing. Join us on Sat. June 29th at 10am for an Outdoor Photography program.
- Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - Carter creek is high, but has not overflowed its banks. Mosquitoes are here – remember to bring bug spray and thermocells.
- Heather Wolf, park manager