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Outdoor Report for July 18, 2013
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
Hot sunny weather has dominated outdoor activities in the last week, with many areas of the state reporting heavy recreational boating activity. Conservation wardens have been finding anglers and boaters illegally transporting aquatic plants, live fish and water away from rivers, streams and lakes. Boaters should follow the invasive species postings at landings and the rules in the fishing and boating regulations. That includes removing all lake weeds from boats and trailers and draining all water from boats and other equipment before leaving a landing to protect our waters for future generations.
With minimal rain in the last week, water levels continue to drop. Most flowages and natural lakes in the Northwoods have near normal water levels for this time of year. The North Fork of the Flambeau has finally dropped to normal summer levels. The Rock River has dropped and slow-no-wake restrictions have been lifted. Water levels have dropped significantly on the lower Wisconsin River and many sandbars are again exposed. However, with the recent hot spell, a major algae bloom has hit Lake Wisconsin hard. The northeast shore of Lake Winnebago has also been plagued early this year with algae.
With the nice weather, fishing pressure has been up in the north. Bass continue to provide the best action, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass now well settled into their typical summer patterns. Musky activity has stayed pretty good in the last week and most anglers have been reporting some consistent action along weed edges and amongst the less dense weed beds. Walleye continue to be hard to find, and panfish activity has dropped in the last week.
Walleyes were biting fairly well on the upper Wisconsin Dells last weekend with some moderate success also reported on Lake Wisconsin. Anglers on the Rock River have been catching good numbers and good sized catfish on stink bait.
On Lake Michigan and Green Bay, the bank reef out of Sturgeon Bay has been one of the best places for finding salmon. Anglers were also having success with smallmouth bass and walleye along the Door peninsula side of the bay. Out on the lake some very good trout and salmon fishing was reported out of Kewaunee with many boats reporting 10 or more fish on their morning trip. Action was improving out of Manitowoc as well. Action was slower out of Sheboygan, Port Washington, and Milwaukee, but remained fair to good out of Racine and Kenosha.
White-tail buck antler growth is progressing rapidly and antlers are now quite visible. Bluebirds are hatching their second clutch of eggs. Hairy and downy woodpeckers have been observed bringing their newly fledged young to suet feeders
Dragonflies are out in great numbers with their voracious appetites to rally against the mosquitoes. Their aerobatic flights are exciting to see as they are looking for a meal on the wing, defend their territory, and mate. Also plentiful are the delicate looking damselflies.
Blueberries are ripe in some areas of the north and will be at peak over the next week or two. The blackcap raspberries have ripened in the south and black berries are beginning to ripen. Blooming wild and prairie flowers include pearly everlasting, yarrow, whorled loosestrife, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, pale purple coneflower, purple prairie clover, coreopsis, hoary Vervain and common milkweed.
Wildflowers at DNR Green Bay Service Center.
Annette Weissbach Photo
Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - The warm and steamy days of summer are here. Come cool off at the Brule River State Forest in the spring fed Bois Brule River or the on the beaches of Lake Superior. The only areas that require a vehicle admission sticker are the campgrounds and the picnic area by the Bois Brule Campground, otherwise there are multiple access points to the river and the lake that are available at no cost. Young gulls are fledging on Interstate Island. It is reported that the blueberries are ripening. The blueberries in southern Douglas County should be at their peak in the next few days and blueberries in northern Douglas County should be at peak sometime next week. Blackberries are progressing nicely and we are looking forward to some good blackberry picking in the near future. June berries are also ready to pick. Pin and Bur oak trees look to have an abundant supply of acorns this year as well. The dragonflies are out in great numbers (with their voracious appetites) to rally against the mosquitoes and many other nuisance insects. Their aerobatic flights are exciting to see as they are looking for a meal on the wing, defend their territory, and mate. Also plentiful are the delicate looking damselflies. Damselflies are similar to dragonflies but they hold their wings against their body at rest while dragonflies will hold their wings straight out at rest. Don't forget to bring insect repellant and to dress appropriately for the biting insects. Mosquitoes and deer flies are out in force. Deer are being driven to open fields and roadsides by the mosquitoes and biting flies to escape constant attack of the hungry insects. The Brule River State Forest is offering hay cutting permits to maintain grassland across the northern portions of the State Forest. The State Forest will receive bids on each parcel to be received at the BRSF office before 3 p.m. on July 24, 2013. For hay cutting locations, bid sheets, and more information contact Cathy at 715-372-5678. - Catherine Khalar, visitor services associate
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - With the warm and mostly pleasant weather of the past week, both recreational activity and fishing pressure showed big increases on local waters. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been the main species of interest lately and action could be termed very good. The largemouth are getting well settled into their typical summer pattern, with most having taken up shop near mid-depth cover such as logs, stumps or bog edges, and fewer fish being found cruising the shallow weed beds. As such, top-water baits have become less successful, with jigs and soft plastics getting most of the action. All of the main bass waters in the area have been producing some great action and a few of the better ones have been the Chippewa Flowage and Nelson Lake. Smallmouth have also gotten into their regular summer pattern and have been relating very close to mid-depth woody structure. The best action has been on the larger flowages and deep lakes, with small finesse plastics and spinner baits catching most of the fish. Musky activity has also stayed pretty good in the last week and most anglers have been reporting some consistent action along weed edges and amongst the less dense weed beds. Medium-size buck tails and top-water baits have been the favorite lures of late. Walleye action seems to have slowed considerably, with very little success being reported. A few smaller fish have been caught along the weed edges but many walleye anglers have been kept occupied with smallmouth and rock bass. Panfish action has started to get erratic with the warmer water temperatures - some anglers have been able to find some crappie suspended near mid-depth cover, and quality-size bluegill have been getting tough to find. With the low amount of rain in the last week, river and stream levels have dropped and are now approaching their summer lows. Most flowages and natural lakes have near normal water levels, and weed densities continue to be generally light for this time of year. And the regular warning for this summer season - watch out for the bugs, as there continues to be high numbers of mosquitos, deer flies, and "ankle-biters." - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls
Flambeau River State Forest - The warm, warm summer days we are experiencing have made the Connors Lake Picnic area a great place to visit and cool off. The North Fork of the Flambeau River is at a normal flow for this time of year. Blooming right now are pearly everlasting, yarrow, bittersweet nightshade, whorled loosestrife, milkweed, black-eyed Susan, daisies and the sweet aroma of the basswood blossoms is in the air. Bolete mushrooms are up as well. We are seeing broods of turkeys. July 20 there will be an annual wolf Howl Trek and Presentation - 9:45 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy this night time activity with our special trek leaders, Laine and Diane Stowell. They will lead you on a car trek stopping at several areas to call the lonely call of the wolf, waiting for an awe inspiring answer call. This event will be cancelled should it rain. Meet at the Flambeau R.S. Forest Headquarters at 9:45 p.m. - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fishing report - compiled by David Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
The 31st annual Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament starts this week. Held July 20-28, anglers can buy tickets for the entire week, or for just one day, at many area retailers. There will be a total of $40,000 in cash and prizes awarded this year. Information can be found at www.kdsalmon.com. Some other tournaments near the Kewaunee-Door area, the AIM Pro Walleye Tournament (www.aimfishing.com) will be in Oconto July 18-20 and the 35th Two Rivers Kiwanis Club Fish Derby is July 19-21. The 8th annual Kewaunee Trout Festival Offshore Challenge was July 13. The winning chinook was just over 23 pounds. and the winning five-fish bag was around 76 pounds. Results for the 39th annual Northeastern Wisconsin Great Lakes Sport Fishermen Salmon Derby, held in Manitowoc July 12-14 follow: biggest fish (pounds); chinook (28.05), coho (7.61), brown (11.98), rainbow (12.35), lake trout (17.62), five-fish bag (91.45), kayak tournament-king salmon (20.72).
Marinette County - Anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo River reported catching some nice 4 to 8 pound catfish and sheepshead using live bait and fishing on the bottom. Fishermen on the Menominee River have been catching some walleye mainly in the evenings using either a crawler harness or stick bait. Shore fishermen on the Menominee River have been catching a few walleye and sheepshead using live bait fished on bottom. No reports of any salmon or walleye being harvested.
Oconto County - Rock bass, bluegills and a few smallmouth bass were being caught from the Stiles Dam down past the Highway 141 bridge on live bait and slip bobbers. At the mouth of the Oconto River some catfish and drum were being caught on crawlers fished on bottom. Walleye and perch fishermen from Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II were reporting very low catch rates.
Brown County - Fishing activity in the Suamico River was low and boat fishermen were targeting walleye with very little success. Purple, red, gold or copper colored crawler harnesses along with various crank baits fished down about 12 feet in 14-27 feet of water was most popular. Sizes of the walleyes that were kept were 17 and 24 inches. Other species caught were sheepshead, catfish, and a white sucker. Suamico River shore fishing activity was moderate with fishermen targeting walleye, perch, bluegill and assorted panfish. Perch fishermen had the best luck of any species but most were released because they were small. Fishermen were using night crawlers or leeches for bait. Fox River and metro boat launch fishing activity was very low with a few fishermen targeting walleye and reportedly only caught one on a yellow and red crawler harness in 4-8 feet of water. Other species caught were sheepshead and catfish.
Door County - The bank reef out of Sturgeon Bay has been one of the best places for finding salmon. Fly and dodger combos fished in the top 60 of 100 to 180 feet of water has been the most popular bait, with spoons taking some fish as well. Many boats reported double digit catches over the past week and there was at least one 30-pound fish caught. In the Baileys Harbor area fishing the top 70 of 80 to 120 feet of water has produced salmon. Gills Rock to Washington Island has been slow, but many think it will pick up just in time for the K-D salmon tournament this week. In Sturgeon Bay, smallmouth bass and trout have been seen around the piers with some perch being caught. Perch fishing has been best in the early hours with catches coming from the newly formed weeds in the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal, Riley's Bay, Little Sturgeon and Egg Harbor. From shore, Harmony Park, Potawatomi State Park, the shipping canal and the docks in Egg Harbor are some nice places to try. Fishing in the weeds in 8 to 18 feet of water in the harbors, 15 to 25 feet along the shore lines or as deep as 40 feet in the mud with fathead minnows, crawler pieces, flatworms and leaf worms has been producing perch. Some of the best places to try for bass in Door County are Sand Bay, Anderson's Dock in Ephraim, the flats in Sturgeon Bay, Adventure Island, the Sister Shoals out of Sister Bay, and all over Washington Island. Minnow colored twister tails have been working well in the shallows, while dark colored tubes and grubs work better in deeper water. Walleyes have been biting in the areas of Sugar Creek and Chaudoir's Dock and the islands near Sister Bay. Trolling or casting purple or blue crank baits in 15 to 20 feet of water is a top choice, but flicker shads, smash shads, reef runners, deep husky jerks, deep diving rouges or crawler harnesses are also good bait to try.
Kewaunee County - Many boats reported 10 or more fish on their morning trip and 5 to 10 fish on the afternoon or evening trips last week. Fishing 2.5 to 4 miles off shore with bait down 80 to 180 feet for salmon, or in the top 60 feet for rainbows and coho has been the most popular, but some anglers have also been fishing closer to shore with success. Salmon have been biting best on the fly and dodger combo, but some spoons have produced. Rainbows have been caught on fly and dodger combos and brightly colored spoons. On Sunday alone, a 9-pound coho in Algoma and a 16-pound rainbow in Kewaunee were caught and both would have won a fishing tournament the week before, so there are some big fish showing up! Fishing on the piers in Kewaunee County continues to be slow, but brown trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass and huge carp can be seen cruising the shallows.
Manitowoc County - Trout and salmon fishing continues to improve but has been streaky but on some days near limits have been caught. There has been more rainbow trout caught this week than any other species. Most have been caught fishing straight out of Manitowoc and to the South. These rainbows have been hitting spoons as well as flies and dodgers combos in water deeper than expected. Fishing 40 to 70 feet down in 200 feet of water has been the most productive depth for both salmon and rainbows as of late, though fish are still somewhat scattered. Fishing to the north of Manitowoc has also been hit or miss. There seems to be just as many king salmon to the north, but fewer rainbows have been reported. Most boats are trolling at 2.5 to 3.5mph and running lures off a combination of weighted line with boards, dipsy divers, and downriggers. Except to the north of Two Rivers, most boats have been marking clouds of baitfish on their electronics at many depths. Pier and shore fishing continues to be slow, most likely because of the large numbers of alewives that are near shore. Some browns have reportedly been caught. Smallmouth bass are becoming more active in the rivers and harbors, but are also targeting on alewives so they are difficult to catch.
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Oconto County - The heat continues to frustrate fishermen and fishing has been slow on inland waters in the southern half of the county. Look for the panfish to be suspended over deeper water. As far as tackle to use go light. The ATV trails are in good shape but the heat is keeping riders in the water instead of on the trails. Some young waterfowl have been seen testing their wings. The wild berry crops look good so far and with continued precipitation should stay that way. - Mike Stahl, conservation warden, Oconto Falls
Shawano County - Water activity has really picked up with the warmer weather. Boating and fishing have been very active in the Shawano area. Fishing has been active with panfish still being found in a little deeper water. Bass fishing along with musky fishing have been good in the area. Lots of small animals can be seen in and around the lakes and rivers. - Jim Horne, conservation warden, Shawano
Governor Thompson State Park - The 16-mile hiking trail system is open. The wildflowers are blooming on the trails and roadsides in the park. Blueberries are now ripe and being picked by the wildlife and the campers. The Woods Lake beach is now open. The beach has a 150-foot sand area, a grassy sunning area and a vault toilet with changing rooms. The new beach has already seen its first swimmers of the year. - Maggie Kailhofer, park manager
Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Brown County - Wildflowers currently in bloom at the DNR office in Green Bay include: butterfly weed, pale purple coneflower, purple prairie clover, coreopsis, hoary Vervain, common milkweed, prairie sage. Annette Weissbach, land recycling coordinator, Green Bay
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Blackcaps now ripe, blackberries a week or two away. Deerflies terrible, ticks almost done (for now), a few mosquitos but not too bad. Lots of swimming and boat traffic on area lakes with the hot weather. Deer very active in mornings with the little ones coming along. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Due the warm temperatures, anglers have been fishing in the early morning and late evening with little success. Bass have been found in waters that are 10-18 feet deep and panfish in waters that are 15-20 feet down. Prairie flowers are just getting started in the Waupaca area. The next week or two is when prairie flowers should be in full bloom. Boaters have been very active in the Waupaca area. Hunters have reported seeing deer in alfalfa fields during the late evenings. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery - On Saturday, July 27, celebrate "Wild Rose Days Party on the Pond" with games and activities at Roberts Park. Kids can learn to cast with Fish Hatchery crew at the Wild Rose Millpond. After learning to cast, kids will receive a coupon for a FREE fishing lure, redeemable at the Wild Rose Hatchery Education Center. Special times for guided tours will be at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Education Center. Fish activities scheduled during the day include fish printing t-shirts, make-and-take fish kites, and backyard bass casting. Special Visitor Hours at the Education Center for this Event will be: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Buses will provide shuttle service around the Village of Wild Rose and to the Fish Hatchery from 12:30 to 5 p.m. For questions or to schedule Group Tours for 10 or more, Email or call: firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-622-3527, Ext. 209. Summer Visitor Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Wild Rose Hatchery Visitor Center is located ¼ mile north of the Village of Wild Rose on the West side of the highway at N5871 State Road 22.
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
High Cliff State Park - The park has still been busy with early morning walkers trying to beat the heat and enjoying fawn and wild turkey sightings on the trails. Ticks are not as prevalent as northern and western parts of the state. The northeast shore of Lake Winnebago has been plagued early this year with algae turning the lake pea soup green. Water quality warnings have fluctuated between caution and a temporary closure. Pleasure boating and fishing has been consistent on the weekends. It is not uncommon to view 50-60 turkey vultures soaring above the lakeshore and the escarpment edges as the young take wing. With four newly active cell tower nests nearby, osprey sightings have been numerous near the marina in the park. - Cynthia Mueller, naturalist
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Havenwoods State Forest - This is the season for butterflies and flowers! Black-eyed Susan, bergamot, purple coneflowers, white false indigo, butterfly weed, and Indian hemp are some of the flowers you will see on a walk through Havenwoods' grasslands. Of the 32 species of butterflies recorded at Havenwoods, 13 are in flight right now, including buckeyes, American ladies, and eastern tiger swallowtails. Butterfly sightings seem to be down after last year's drought. Please report your sightings to staff. Join naturalist, Beth Mittermaier, on July 27 from 10 am to noon for Havenwoods' annual butterfly count. We'll spend a short time learning how to identify butterflies, and then head outside for the count. - Beth Mittermaier, natural resources educator
Lakeshore State Park - Fishing has been generally slow in southeast Lake Michigan, although there has been some success along the river channel and dock walls at the park behind the Marcus Amphitheater. The marina is open for the season. Reservations for can be made up to 11 months in advance by calling 414-274-4281. Lakeshore has over a mile of concrete-paved trails. The eastern and western loops are open. The Summerfest loop is closed and will remain so until the festival season ends. The abundant rains have made the prairies lush this year. The bright orange butterfly weed is in full bloom, complemented by the purple prairie clovers. The prairies should be near their mid-summer blooming peak over the next two weeks. The grey and red foxes are still regular visitors. The park is now filled with barn swallows, cliff swallows, tree swallows and red-winged blackbirds. - Thomas Kroeger, parks and recreation specialist, Milwaukee
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan catch rates remain generally low for trollers. In the past few days most anglers have reported success around 110 feet of water, but catches ranged from 90 to 160 feet. Most success has come from spoons; and a few trollers have reported that green is working well, but white and purple spoons are also producing fish. Despite low numbers caught, quite a few nice rainbows have been taken, along with some coho, lake trout, and chinook between 15 and 20 pounds. The 8th Street ramp remains closed. The Sheboygan piers have seen an increase in fishing pressure, however, fishing remains slow. The schools of alewives on the lakeside of North Pier have thinned out considerably. Water clarity on both piers remains good on the lake side.
Ozaukee County - Port Washington trollers have been averaging two fish for a few hours of effort, and reports of no fish caught were common. Despite low catch rates, catches have been an evenly mixed bag between coho, chinook, rainbows, and lake trout. The larger chinook were being caught on spoons, although fish have been hitting a mixture of spoons and flies. Most groups had success in about 120 feet of water, but catches ranged from 65 to 150 feet. Fishing pressure has increased on the Port Washington pier. A few nice perch were caught on jigs near the end of the pier late last week, but they disappeared over the weekend. Small perch can be seen on the lake side of the pier near the base. A couple of nice brown trout were caught over the weekend on spoons and alewives on the bottom, but overall numbers are low. The surface temperature is quite warm and has been between 60 and 65 degrees. Large schools of alewives have been observed on the lake side of the pier, mainly around the barrels. Fishing in the Port harbor has been slow.
Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee fishing reports remained rather slow over the weekend. Most trollers have been focusing in 100 to 175 feet of water at no particular depth in the water column. Chinook and lake trout made up most of the catch, with spoons in blue and green producing the best. A few coho and rainbows were also caught on blue and white flies with orange flashers. A few larger boats, including some charters, have reported better numbers of chinook caught out in 250 to 300 feet of water. Anglers fishing McKinley pier caught a few brown trout both from the pier and fishing into the gap on green spoons and white plastics. Perch fishing was slow from shore with only a few small perch caught off of the rocks near McKinley using jigs or live bait under a bobber, and a few keepers were taken off the pier in South Shore Park. A few perch anglers launched boats from Bender Park to fish the boils. Some reported very few fish while others brought back limits. A variety of baits proved more effective, including small jigs, presentations tipped with minnows, and casting small spoons. Nearly all of the perch action has been during the first few hours of sunlight, otherwise the bite has been extremely slow.
Racine County - In Racine trollers have been catching decent numbers of fish in 180 to 250 feet of water. Catches have been a mixed bag of chinook, coho, rainbow and lake trout. Brown trout have also been taken nearshore in 25 to 40 feet of water on small spoons. Most of the boat anglers fishing for perch came in empty handed over the weekend. One angler reported that he saw schools of perch on the lake side of the south breakwall, but they just weren't biting. Others tried fishing the Racine bubbler with no reports of perch taken. Fishing pressure was heavy on Racine's South Pier over the past few days, but success was minimal. The repair work continues on South Pier. Shore anglers fishing near the DeKoven Center were catching a few perch, but they're working hard to get them. Plastics have been taking most of the fish, and they have been running on the small side with the average size being 8-10 inches. Anglers on the wooden pier in the Pershing Park boat harbor have been landing bluegills, rock bass, and sheepshead. Largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught in Reefpoint Marina near the fish cleaning station. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 70 degrees on Sunday.
Kenosha County - Kenosha trollers have been coming in with a mixed bag in their coolers including coho, chinook, rainbow, and lake trout. One angler reported the most action fishing south of Kenosha over the past few days. Another boat went 12 miles out and came back with its limit of trout and salmon. A group of anglers trolled the harbor with crank baits and came in with 6 nice size brown trout in less than two hours. Fishing pressure remains heavy on the piers and in the harbor as large schools of brown trout are in the area. Brown trout ranging from 5 to 11 pounds have been reported. Green and white glow in the dark spoons, gold spoons, fire tiger spinners, and green tube jigs have all taken fish. Early morning and late evening hours have been best. Perch fishing in Kenosha has been slow.
South Central Region
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - There has been a lot of canoeist and sunbathers on the Riverway taking advantage of the warm weather lately. The water levels have dropped significantly and many of the sandbars are again exposed, providing ample places to camp along the Riverway. Please remember that camping is restricted to no more than three days on State owned islands and sandbars. Camping at these locations is restricted to persons and their equipment arrived by watercraft only. A camping permit is not required. The water levels on July 17, at the Prairie Du Sac dam was 6,172 cfs. Please call 1-800-242-1077 for current river flow at the Prairie Du Sac Dam. With the lower water levels and warmer weather, the fish have returned to their summer patterns. The blackcap raspberries have ripened and there are plenty ready for the picking. - Matt Seguin, property manager
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Grant County - The Wisconsin River has finally returned to normal levels for this time of year, at just below 6,000 cfs. The water is its normal brown stained color, but not too green from algae blooms yet. Some nice big sandbars have popped up in slightly different locations than last year. The river channel is always changing, so use caution when boating or wading. Black-capped raspberries are ripe and plentiful on many of the LWSR properties. Butterfly weed, bergamot, coneflowers, goldenrod, cup plant and big bluestem are all blooming in the prairies. Bucks are growing their antlers. This year's raccoon kits keep finding ingenious ways to get into our chicken food. - Daniel Goltz, wildlife biologist, Boscobel
Green County - Fishing has picked up along the Sugar River. Anglers have reported catching numerous catfish, as well as bass. Tubing conditions have improved with lower water levels, and wardens remind everyone to take a life preserver along with them while tubing or canoeing the Sugar River. Trout fishing has been steady, with anglers reportedly catching decent numbers of trout. The Cheese Country Trail is packed with ATVs and UTVs. People under 18 years of age need to wear a helmet on the trail, and everyone, regardless of age needs to wear a seatbelt while on a UTV.
Wyalusing State Park -The boat landing at Wyalusing State Park is open. Mississippi River level at Prairie du Chien is 10.5. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent at the concession stand. - Beverly Pozega, visitor services associate
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Water levels have come down. The slow no wake on Swan Lake has been lifted. Sandbars are reappearing on the Wisconsin River. However, with the recent hot spell, major algae bloom has hit Lake Wisconsin hard. Walleyes were biting fairly well on the upper Wisconsin Dells this last weekend. - Paul Nadolski, conservation warden, Portage
Fishing success has been moderate on Lake Wisconsin with some reports of walleyes being caught in Weigand's Bay. With the hot weather, Lake Wisconsin is experiencing an algae bloom. Water levels on the Wisconsin River above Lake Wisconsin have continued to drop exposing sandbars that were under water just two weeks prior. Boaters are urged to use caution when navigating on the river. - Ryan Volenberg, conservation warden, Poynette
Mirror Lake State Park -Emerald ash borer has been found at Mirror Lake State Park. Remember: to slow the spread of this pest, the only firewood allowed on state properties is Wisconsin certified firewood or firewood from within 25 miles. Left over firewood will not be allowed to leave Mirror Lake State Park or Sauk County, which is now quarantined. - Colleen B. Robinson Klug, forest health educator
Janesville DNR Service Center area
Rock County - Water levels on the Rock River are getting back to normal levels and the slow no wake restrictions on the river in Rock County in the Newville Section and South of the Rock-Beloit Townline Bridge have been lifted. Anglers on the Rock River have been catching good numbers and good sized catfish on stink bait. Wardens in Rock county have also been finding anglers and boaters illegally transporting aquatic plants, live fish and water away from rivers, streams and lakes. Outdoor users are reminded to follow the invasive species signs and postings at the landings and also the guidance and rules in the fishing and boating regulations. That includes draining all water from fishing equipment (including buckets) and boats and other equipment to protect our waters for future generations. Bluebirds are hatching their second clutch of eggs if they had a second nest. Young animals are getting bigger and the public is reminded to leave wild baby animals in the wild even if the parents are not in the immediate area because they are better raised by their own parents than people. - Mike J Dieckhoff, conservation warden, Janesville
West Central Region
Wausau DNR Service Center area
Marathon County - Wild raspberries are starting to ripen. Robins and woodpeckers have had their first broods. Hairy and downy woodpeckers have been observed bringing their newly fledged young to suet feeders. - Michael J. Rader, conservation warden, Wausau
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - There is some green algae floating around the lake and at times it is near our shores. We have two beach areas so chances are if one is green the other will not be and if it is green in the early morning, it has been blowing back out by lunch time. Saturday, July 24 at 2 p.m. Meet at the amphitheater and go "Batty about Bats" Lean about these great friends of the park.
Roche-A-Cri State Park - A few lingering mosquitoes so bring bug spray. Saturday, July 24 at 9 a.m. Meet at the kiosk shelter and go "Batty about Bats" Lean about these great friends of the park. - Heather Wolf, park manager