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Outdoor Report

Published October 26, 2017 by the Central Office

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View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).

For current statewide information on statewide fall color, log onto the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report (exit DNR).

Weather across the state went from mid 70s and calm last week to 30s and 40s and even some nighttime 20s in the north with a howling northwest winds this week. Small amounts of snow were reported in the far north, with more in the short-term forecast.

According to the Department of Tourism Fall Color Report (exit DNR) much of southern Wisconsin is now at or very near peak, while colors are beginning to fade in central Wisconsin and high winds in the last week caused a lot of the remaining leaves to fall. In the north, most of the leaves have fallen, and the woods have taken on the gray, brown and dark green, with the exception of the golden glow of tamaracks gracing northern swamps.

Whitetail deer are moving into the rut, or their mating season. Rutting activity will be nearing its peak now and into the early weeks of November. Buck scrapes are being found and deer movement has increased significantly so it is more important to be on the watch for deer crossing roads. If you see a deer cross, be prepared for more deer to be following.

On Green Bay, plenty of boats were out of the Bay Beach launch over the past week, but most were in search of ducks and geese. There were some out fishing walleye and yellow perch with a few walleyes per trip of average size. Along Door County, anglers targeting yellow perch at Sawyer Harbor came in with 10-20 total. Most bass action has been in northern Door County in Sister Bay and Gills Rock. The chinook run is slowing down but they were still found around the mouth of Strawberry Creek and other streams.

The Lake Michigan tributary chinook run is also winding down. Fishing upstream on the Kewaunee River has been consistent, with most anglers catching at least one fish and many catching four or more. Fishing had been good on the Ahnapee and on Stony Creek, with anglers that were fishing in groups and sharing a cooler finding the cooler hard to close at the end of the day. The West and East Twin and Sheboygan rivers and Sauk Creek were also targeted throughout the week, with many anglers were finding success. Water levels were up on the Root River and fishing was still very good with most anglers catching at least one fish and many catching limits of salmon.

The Besadny and Strawberry Creek fisheries facilities have been busy. Five salmon processing days at Besadny yielded over 275,000 eggs. And over six processing days at Strawberry Creek 420 female chinook were spawned and over 2 million eggs collected, meeting the facilities goals. The Wild Rose Fish Hatchery will hold a Fall Migration Open House from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 28, with a fall migration journey through a maze and sessions on fish casting and fly fishing; fish identification and more.

Many state campgrounds are being winterized for the season. Water systems are being shut down and modern bathrooms and shower facilities are closing. Many campgrounds remain open with pit toilets and water available at main buildings. Docks and fishing piers are also being removed. Contact properties directly to find details.

An October influx of common redpolls, as initially noted by birders this week, often means a good winter for viewing this periodic visitor from the north.
An October influx of common redpolls, as initially noted by birders this week, often means a good winter for viewing this periodic visitor from the north.
Photo Credit: Ryan Brady

Waterfowl migration is picking up at Horicon Marsh with each cold front and north wind. Reports of large numbers of Canada geese, sandhill cranes, pintail, gadwall and wigeon as well as a few greater white-fronted geese and swans. Crex Meadows is hosting 5,000-plus sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans are also numerous. The season's first two snowy owls were found in the north, along with an influx of winter finches, including both red and white-winged crossbills, common redpolls, and a few pine grosbeaks.

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Statewide Birding Report

Snowy owls, winter finches and other land birds

After a warm start to the week, the birding scene has taken on a distinctly late fall appearance now. The season's first two snowy owls were found in the north, along with an influx of winter finches there, including both red and white-winged crossbills, common redpolls, and a few pine grosbeaks. Other winter birds observed this week were pine siskins, northern shrikes, above-average numbers of rough-legged hawks, and snow buntings. The latter were joined by other ground-foraging, open-country migrants from the Arctic, namely horned larks, American pipits, and Lapland longspurs. Sparrow numbers are generally declining now, with exception of American tree sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. Of note this week were Harris's sparrows observed in Dane, Ozaukee, and Winnebago counties. A few eastern phoebes and gray catbirds continue to linger as well, especially in the south.

Sandhill cranes, tundra swans, & other waterbirds

A few tundra swans are trickling in, common loon migration is near peak, and persistent westerly winds have brought more greater white-fronted geese than is typical in fall, including more than 300 over Wyalusing State Park on Oct. 23. Various overlooks along the Mississippi River provide great waterfowl and eagle watching in the weeks ahead. Horicon Marsh is another hotspot this time of year, now featuring large numbers of northern pintails and other waterfowl, shorebirds such as long-billed dowitcher and dunlin, and roosting sandhill cranes. Likewise, Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is hosting 5,000-plus sandhill cranes, various waterfowl, and some of the landbirds mentioned above. Look for short-eared owls at dusk there, and at other state properties such as Bong, Killsnake and Buena Vista state wildlife areas.

Rarities & reporting

Rare birds spotted this week included another scissor-tailed flycatcher on the Oct. 20, this time in Ashland County, a Swainson's hawk in Door, and a flock of 18 Franklin's gulls in La Crosse. A friendly reminder that any hummingbirds spotted this time of year should be carefully scrutinized (and preferably photographed!) for proper identification. Although a very few ruby-throateds continue to linger in the far south, rufous and other rare species are more likely this late in the season. Report hummingbirds and all your bird sightings at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding. - Ryan Brady, NHC conservation biologist, Ashland

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Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties

Saturday October 28, 2017

For all events search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."
Find a park, forest trail or recreation property

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

October 28, 9 a.m.-noon: Sugar River Wetlands - Spray invasive brush and reed canary grass to make way for native plants. Some people may also collect seeds from native plants to scatter in areas where brush was cleared. This work will expand the quality wetland areas and continue the efforts started by the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association and Wisconsin DNR. No skills needed you will be trained onsite. Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - The weather has settled in to a more normal fall pattern now. Most of the leaves have fallen, and the woods have taken on the gray, brown and dark green of late autumn. Daytime highs have been in the 40s and nights are usually in the 20s. Small amounts of snow are in the short-term forecast and earlier this week we saw a rain/sleet/snow mix in the air. A sure sign of the fall season is the increase in deer activity and their unpredictable behavior as they move into the breeding season. The likelihood of deer-vehicle crashes increases with these shorter days and the deer behavior. Slow down and watch for deer-especially at night. The forest is busy with hunters, too. Deer archery hunters and bird hunters are in the woods and on the water in pursuit of their prey. There are about three weeks left until fishing on the Brule River north of Highway 2 closes on Nov. 15. The river is still busy with anglers out there trying their luck. The river flow remains somewhat higher than historical average according to the USGS Streamflow data. Forest staff has been busy in recent weeks getting ready for the upcoming cross-country ski season. They have been mowing and prepping the ski trails and getting the grooming equipment ready. Before you know it, the first big snow of the season will be here. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - The fall migration is in full swing. Sandhill cranes are still growing in numbers, but we are approaching peak rapidly. There are still a number of different species of duck around, Trumpeter swans are numerous, and there are many different species of hawk around. Some of the highlights of the last few days are: horned larks and Lapland longspurs. Look for sandhill cranes on Main Dike Road (the section that is South of the Refuge). This is where they will fly in to during the evening, and out of in the morning. There are a number of other species that can be seen in this same area, including: mallards, wood ducks, northern pintails, American wigeons, trumpeter swans, and more. Eastern meadowlarks were spotted in a number of different spots on Main Dike Road and Phantom Lake Road; many were sitting on clumps of dead grasses. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator

Governor Knowles State Forest - The campgrounds have been winterized for the season. Water is still available at the registration buildings. The campgrounds will remain open year-round; however, they are not plowed during the winter months. - Brandi Buchholz, superintendent

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - The forest tree canopies are very sparse of leaves. Oaks and butternuts still have their leaves and the tamaracks are yellow and soon to drop their needles. Snakes are on the move, sunning themselves with the last of the warm sun. Acorns and hickories are dropping. The Flambeau River water levels are normal for this time of year. Docks will be removed from Lake of the Pines and Connors Lake early November. Musky activity continues to be on the upswing. The deer are just starting to get into the rut. Temperatures are dropping and early morning frost looks to be almost an everyday occurrence. Swans were seen on the area lakes. The young fox of the year and other young predators are dispersing from their parents. Have you ever gone fall camping? No bugs, cold nights, sitting around the campfire and drinking hot chocolate with lots of peace and quiet. Pack your long johns and visit Lake of the Pines, which is still open. Looking for a unique deer hunting experience? The Flambeau River State Forest allows "traditional deer camps" throughout the Forest in designated areas during the nine day gun deer season. For more information, give us a call at 715-332-5271 ext.111. Be sure to contact us before the Oct. 31 deadline. The weather forecast for the remainder of the week calls for rain likely Thursday and a high of 47 and low of 33. Friday, rain and snow with a high of 38 and a low of 26. Saturday, rain/snow showers likely before noon and rain after noon with a high near 39 and a low of 23. Sunday will be partly sunny with a high near 44 and a low of 27. Dig out those warm clothes and have a good week. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The golden glow of the tamarack and the bright red berries of winterberry is gracing area swamps this time of year. Most leaves are down now, but a tree here or there or a blackberry bush here or there throws a dash of color into the landscape, and of course the oak trees hang onto their leaves late into the winter. Juncos and a few snow buntings can be seen feeding along roadsides, as well as turkey and grouse. Buck scrapes are being found, so you know what that means for area hunters! Wet conditions will greet hunters and hikers, so wear appropriate footwear on your treks outside this time of the year! - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Marinette County - Perch, pike, and a few walleye are being caught in and around the mouth of the Peshtigo River using live bait and plastics fishing the holes, points, and structure. With the rain, water level are on the rise again. A few walleye are being caught by the Hattie Street Dam using plastics and jig heads tipped with minnow or crawlers. DNR shock boat tallies show there are some browns and steelhead along with a few king salmon in the Menominee River. The salmon run has been slow to develop this year which has kept catch rates down. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Bluegill and crappie are still being caught below the Stiles Dam on the Oconto River mainly using live bait. The lower Oconto River is producing a few smallmouth and the occasional pike and walleye. Fishing pressure has been low. Perch and other panfish are being caught at Oconto Park II using minnows and crawler pieces. No fishing reports were obtained from boat anglers this past week. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - During the beginning of the week the ramp was pretty slow, but fishing began to pick up a bit on Friday and Saturday with the nicer weather. Nearly all anglers were out for walleye this week with little luck. Anglers were lucky to come in with one or two fish and were mostly catching a handful of freshwater drum, white bass, white perch, and round gobies. The lot averaged about 15 trailers over the weekend. - Kara Winter, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Plenty of boats were out of the Bay Beach launch over the past week, but most were in search of the feathered variety for the freezer. There were some fishing for musky but anglers came back without catching fish. Few anglers were also out on shore in search of walleye or whatever would bite. The only fish that was caught was one white bass. Voyager Park averaged two to six anglers during the week. Those out fishing were in search of walleye and yellow perch. Anglers reported catching a few walleyes per trip of average size. Perch anglers caught a few small fish. Nothing notable was reported. A few anglers were out on the water at Suamico in search of either walleye or musky. Musky anglers came back with their heads hung low while walleye anglers reported catching two to four fish. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - Chaudoir's was very slow throughout the week averaging one or two trailers. One angler reported targeting yellow perch with hardly any luck. One yellow perch was caught along with a hand full of white perch and freshwater drum. Off Sawyer Harbor, anglers reported targeting yellow perch and came in with 10-20 total and few freshwater drum. - Kara Winter, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Despite the warm weather, wind and rain has kept most anglers home in the last week. Anglers willing to brave the elements have not had much success either. Stubborn bass fisherman have been targeting offshore structure in 15-30 feet of water with live suckers, plastics and crankbaits. Anglers have reported low catch rates of 10 fish or less per trip but some are averaging 4-5 pounds per fish. Most bass action has been in northern Door County in Sister Bay and Gills Rock. The Ellison Bay ramp is closed for construction. The walleye bite has been slow but a few fish have been caught at or after dark in the canal and at Stone Quarry. Perch fishing has been slow in the canal. The chinook run is slowing down but they can still be found around the mouth of Strawberry Creek, Baileys Harbor Marina and in other local streams. Look for coho and browns to move in soon. - Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Kewaunee has had some ups and downs in salmon fishing this week. Fishing upstream in the Kewaunee River has been the most consistent, with most anglers having caught at least one fish and many catching four or more. The low-light times have been the best, and anglers using flies or other artificial-egg lures have done the best fishing the pools around bends. Some anglers have also reported catching a few coho and brown trout. Fishing early in the week was the best, and things slowed drastically toward the end of the week but seemed to pick up again toward the end of the weekend. Anglers fishing in the harbor had a good start to the week also. Spawn was the best bait this week, and anglers caught chinooks, browns, and rainbows through the week, although fishing also slowed here toward the weekend. Fishing was best with east winds and waves crashing onto the shore. When the weather was calm, anglers reported maybe one or two fish for hours of fishing. Algoma has had both extremes for salmon fishing--fishing has been good all week upstream on the Ahnapee and on Stony Creek, but no fish were reported anywhere else. The Ahnapee River has had quite a week, as every angler caught at least one fish, and almost all anglers left with more than that. Many have even managed limits, and many anglers that have been fishing in groups and sharing a cooler at the end of the day have found that cooler hard to close. Most successful anglers were fishing in Forestville below the dam and down past the Highway J bridge. Anglers who fished on Stony Creek also caught fish, and fishing pressure was much lower than on the Ahnapee. Most anglers were fishing the pool at the mouth, and all the fish recorded from there were coho, which were very fresh and active according to anglers. Anglers reported that only coho were seen heading upstream, so that may mean the chinook are toward the end of their run up Stony Creek. One angler on the Ahnapee reported catching perch, but none that were much bigger than seven inches. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - Throughout the past week, there have been very few boats launched out of Manitowoc and Two Rivers harbors. Rough water has made it very difficult for fishing off of the piers and in the harbors. A couple of anglers stated that the warm water throughout the summer was the cause for poor fishing off of the Manitowoc piers. They also had no luck this week, but enjoyed the nice weather Wednesday morning. The Branch and Manitowoc rivers have had few anglers this week. The West and East Twin Rivers were targeted the most throughout the week. At Shoto Dam, many anglers were finding success and catching salmon. The biggest one recorded was 24 pounds and there was an average of about 16 pounds. There was also quite a few salmon being taken from the Mishicot Dam. - Mallary Schenian, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility - Five salmon processing days have occurred this fall on Oct. 7, 11, 18, 20, and 25. Numbers of chinook salmon processed each day respectively were 328, 201, 360, 341, and 181 (total 1,411). Numbers of new coho salmon handled each day (either for data and spawned, or kept in holding ponds for future data and egg collections) were 13, 23, 225, 247, and 425 (total 933). The first seasonal coho egg collection occurred on Wednesday Oct. 25, with 100 females spawned and over 275,00 eggs collected. Many coho including 195 females and 202 males were kept in holding ponds and will be processed for data and eggs on Wednesday Nov. 1.

Strawberry Creek Chinook Facility - The final chinook salmon egg collection for this season occurred on Oct. 19. This was the sixth fish processing day this fall, including Oct. 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, and 19. Numbers of chinook salmon processed each day respectively were 51, 632, 793, 1,285, 702, and 431 (total 3,894). Overall, 420 female chinook were spawned and over 2 million eggs collected. This was a successful spawning season, with decent numbers of chinooks salmon and egg collection goals met.

Potawatomi State Park - All trails are open. The trees are changing color with a lot of yellows and oranges, and the tower is very popular in the fall to view the trees. Several deer and turkey have been spotted closer to dusk. The shower building, all other water systems, including the fish cleaning station and dump station are closed for the season. Drinking water is available year-round near the campground shelter. The fish cleaning station is closed for the season. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - We have gone from mid 70s and calm last Friday, to 43 with a howling NW wind Tuesday. This big change in the weather should bring woodcock and migrant ducks down in much larger numbers. To date neither group of migratory birds have been around in anywhere near peak numbers. Colors are past peak but there are still plenty of leaves on making grouse and woodcock hunting very sporty. The cooler weather combined with the onset of the rut should really get the bucks moving. Lots of geese and turkeys out and about feeding in ag. fields. With acorn drop long since done, deer will be feeding in farm fields. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Hunters have reported seeing more bucks on the move. It would be a great time to hunt in the next week or so. Anglers on the Wolf River have been successful catching walleye and panfish. The panfish are being caught in log piles with a worm and hook. The walleyes are being caught with a jig and minnow. Fall colors are a little past peak, but it is still worth a hike or drive. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

Wild Rose Fish Hatchery Education Center - A Fall Migration Open House will be held 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Be a fish on fall migration journey through a maze; build a spinner; fish casting; fish identification; learn to fly fish; mystery fish anatomy; Gyotaku fish printing ($3 fee for supplies) and other fish activities. The center is located a quarter mile north of Village of Wild Rose on State Hwy. 22. For groups of 8 or more, please Email: joan.voigt@wisconsin.gov 920-622-3527.

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Milwaukee County - There are still antlerless deer carcass tags available for purchase across the state, including in Milwaukee County. Deer rutting activity will be nearing its peak now and into the early weeks of November. Now is the time to take advantage of our bow deer hunting season, either on private or public lands in the County. You can visit MMSD Greenseams or the DNR Public Land Map to find public lands in the area. However, all Milwaukee County Park land is NOT open to deer hunting. Hunting season is in full swing, with pheasant, rabbit, squirrel and raccoon seasons open, to name a few. Keep your eyes open for other urban wildlife, such as coyotes, fox, and songbirds, as the leaves drop all over the County. Join DNR wildlife staff on November 1 for a hike at Vernon Marsh Wildlife Area in Waukesha County to enjoy the fall colors. Contact Dianne Robinson at Dianne.Robinson@wisconsin.gov (262-424-9827) for more details. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Milwaukee

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

Sheboygan County - Fishing pressure was low throughout the week, at times due to windy and rainy weather conditions. Anglers fishing on the Sheboygan River reported most of the success. Several chinook salmon and coho salmon, some rainbow trout, and a couple of brown trout were caught on the Sheboygan River on skein and flies. The water temperature remained at 54 degrees throughout the week. Pigeon River water temperature was 51 degrees over the weekend. The water levels of both rivers remain a little high from the rain. The piers were often closed this week due to windy weather conditions. The surface temperature of the water was 44 degrees over the weekend.

Ozaukee County - Fishing pressure was low during the week. More anglers were present over the weekend with limited success. Some chinook salmon and coho salmon were caught on flies and skein. The water level remains higher due to the rain, and the water temperature cooled from 53 degrees during the week to 51 degrees over the weekend. Several chinook salmon, some coho salmon and brown trout, and two rainbow trout were caught off the utility area. The brown trout weighed on average about 7 pounds, while the coho salmon were larger and weighed anywhere from 10-14 pounds. All anglers were fishing with spawn sacs. While the surface temperature of the water by the utility area was likely warmer, the water temperature off the piers was 46 degrees

Racine County - As of Oct. 23, the Root River was flowing at 61cfs and climbing with more rain expected on Tuesday. The water level is generally low and water clarity is moderate. Fishing is still very good with most anglers catching at least one fish and many catching limits of salmon. Anglers are catching mostly king salmon, however, a good number of coho salmon have made their way up the river as well. Most anglers fishing upstream are concentrating their efforts at the Horlick Dam and at Quarry Lake Park. Anglers caught coho and king salmon on yarn egg flies, wooly buggers, egg sucking leeches, and nymphs. The water temperature was 54 degrees. More anglers fished downstream of the facility this week and concentrated their efforts at Lincoln Park. Anglers caught mostly king salmon, but a few coho salmon and brown trout were caught as well. The fish were caught on yarn eggs flies, wooly buggers, egg sucking leeches, and nymphs. The water temperature was 55 degrees.

Kenosha County - Only a couple of fish were from shore caught this week. The fish caught were brown trout and steelhead. The fish were caught out of the harbor on skein and tube jigs. The water temperature was 55 degrees. No anglers reported catching any fish this week on the Pike River. The mouth is currently barred by sand. - Dominic Cavalieri, fisheries technician, Sturtevant

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South Central Region

Horicon DNR Service Center area

Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Waterfowl migration is picking up with each cold front and north wind. Reports of large numbers of pintail, gadwall and wigeon as well as a few reports of greater white-fronted geese and swans. Canada geese and sandhill cranes are being seen in large numbers in the surrounding farm fields. South Point Road, Ledge Road and areas off Hwy. 49 are holding large amounts of birds. The best time to see large flocks of ducks, geese, swans and cranes is the hour before sunset as they fly back to the marsh to roost. Hwy. 49 on the north end of Horicon Marsh has been exceptional over the last week. Juncos, pine siskin, white-crowned and white-throated sparrows have all been picking up in numbers as well as tree sparrows. It's a wonderful time to come to Horicon Marsh. Be sure to save time to visit the new Explorium at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center located on Hwy. 28. On November 6, from 6-8:30 a.m. join UW-Madison professor, Jeff Sindelar, for a wild game sausage making demo. Samples will be provided. Spaces are filling up fast. There is a $20 registration fee and a limit of 50 participants. Please contact Liz Herzmann at 920-387-7893 or elizabeth.herzmann@wisconsin.gov to register for this program. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Lake Kegonsa State Park -The boat landing and fishing piers will be removed for the season on Monday, Oct. 30. The last night of camping for this season is Tuesday, Oct. 31. The shower/flush toilet building will close for the season as Oct. 30. The dump station will close for the season on October 31. - Sarah Bolser, park manager

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West Central Region

Baldwin DNR Service Center area

Kinnickinnic State Park - The forests are draped with the technicolor splendor that proceeds the muted tones of winter. And while many ash have already dropped their leaves and some oaks have been refusing to relinquish the green of summer, it is the week to be out enjoying what will be peak color for the season. Kayakers are enjoying the last warm days of the season and can find quiet solitude on the river. The St. Croix River is a beautiful path to enjoy the fall colors. In general recreational traffic is much lower than during the summer months. However, warm fall weekends and the colorful scenery can bring out late season boaters. Changing autumn weather and frequent precipitation can effect water level. It is advised to monitor river levels. Once the river reaches 683 feet above mean sea level it becomes slow no wake. Authorities have pulled most of the regulatory buoys for the season. This does not allow boaters to disregard slow no wake zones. The St. Croix is a federal waterway and regulations are enforced year round. The hill from the St. Croix parking lot to the beach is closed to vehicle traffic. It is still accessible to foot travel and is the most convenient access to the St. Croix River. - Eric Klumb, ranger

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Perrot State Park - Most of the migrating songbirds have moved through the area but with warmer temperatures the egrets, herons, and pelicans are still in the area. Many of the migrating ducks have yet to move down river and we have not had any reports of trumpeter or tundra swans. Some maples are still holding onto their color and the oaks are just beginning to turn on Trempealeau Mountain. Strong winds have knocked down many of the leaves but you are able to see great views of the bluffs and the Mississippi River from Brady's Bluff and Perrot Ridge trails. The shower buildings are closed for the season. The flush toilet building will be open until Monday, Oct. 30 unless temperatures fall drastically. Vault toilets are open in the campground. You are able to use the dump station but there is no water at that location. Water is available at the maintenance shop. Recent rains have raised the water level in Trempealeau Bay. The dock is still in the water. Waterfowl hunting is allowed in Trempealeau Bay but there is a 100 yard no shooting zone from the main shoreline into the bay. Please pick up a map at the park headquarters for more information. - Lois Larson, park manager

Wildcat Mountain State Park - The water systems are shut down for the season. Winter drinking water will be available at the maintenance shop, and vault toilets will still be available for use throughout the winter.- Andrew Haffele, park manager

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area

Black River State Forest - Fall colors are beginning to fade now that we are past peak color for the year. High winds this week caused a lot of the remaining leaves to fall. After a week of above average temperatures we are back to the cooler weather that is normal for October. All hiking and biking trails are open. We recommend that all hikers and bikers wear brighter colored clothing during the hunting season. Temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the high 30s to low 40s with a chance of rain/snow both Saturday and Sunday. ATV and UTV trails are now Closed for the season. Trails will reopen for the winter riding season on Dec. 15, weather permitting. The shower/flush toilet building and dump station are closed for the season. All campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. - Emily Alf, visitor services associate

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - Bow hunting is happening in the park and wildlife areas. State Park areas open up for other hunting Nov. 15. Small game, waterfowl and trapping are allowed right now in the Buckhorn Wildlife Area. The Yellow River Wildlife area is open for all hunting, including turkey. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate and camping are now closed. Parking is in the winter/prairie lot on Czech Ave and park stickers are required. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, October 26, 2017

Contact information

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