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Outdoor Report

Published June 1, 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).

Intermittent rain and high winds covered many areas of the state this past week, but couldn't slow down the thousands of local and out-of-state visitors spending their Memorial Day weekend at Wisconsin's parks, campgrounds and piers. Those outdoor destinations were packed as families, groups and individuals got in sun-soaked fishing and paddling, cool weather hiking and running, and hopefully a story or two around the picnic table or the campfire. Opportunities for outdoor enjoyment are only on the rise as this weekend marks Free Fun Weekend. The first weekend in June offers a great time for people to enjoy the outdoors in Wisconsin. Admission stickers are waived for Wisconsin's state parks and forests, trail passes normally required for those 16 or older who bike, in-line skate or horseback ride on state trails are waived, and no fishing licenses are needed to fish state waters.

Water levels are still above average across the state, with common sense and caution emphasized to those spending their time on the water. Anglers across the state are seeing an uptick in bites and reports of bites and follows from musky anglers off the Fox River Metro Launch in Oconto and the Menominee River, though elsewhere in Marinette the bite remains slow. The walleye bite stayed spotty this week, but those looking for large and smallmouth bass were in luck, with dozens of catches reported across the water. Catfish are becoming more abundant on the Wolf River, where anglers are having luck with them and bluegill in shallow water. Those fishing Washington County saw success for bullheads, some pan fish and northern pike. Northern bite was also reported in Oconto, Eau Claire and Brown County. Salmon and trout were the big hit from counties near Lake Michigan, with reports from Kewaunee to Milwaukee of coho and kings pushing limits along with rainbows and brown trout mixed in.

Most trails are drying back out and should be in good condition. Keep your eyes peeled for ticks, as the population has increased dramatically this season. Mosquitos are also quite aggressive in the woods. While you're watching for insects, check out a few of the flowers blooming this time of year alongside the unfurling ferns, scrambling young maples and blankets of moss. Wild ginger, fringed polygala, nodding trilliums and forget-me-nots, along with blueberry bushes, apple trees and lilacs are all blooming or showing blossoms. The recent rain has cemented the leaf-out of the past several weeks and the woods on either side of the trails are often a wall of lush green. A huge variety of birds can be found depending on your location, keenness of ear and the time of day. Juncos, phoebes, wrens and woodpeckers are a common sight and sound, with great blue herons, osprey and bald eagles spending time on their nests. Numerous wildlife species have young this time of year and while you may be concerned for their well-being, please visit the "Keep Wildlife Wild" section of the DNR website to learn more before interacting with a fawn or other young animal.

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Statewide Birding Report

Migration may be ending but Wisconsin has many great breeding species, like this American Redstart. Go birding!
Migration may be ending but Wisconsin has many great breeding species, like this American Redstart. Go birding!
Photo Credit: Ryan Brady


Shift from migration to breeding season

June 1 is here, and with it the unofficial start of summer. Accordingly, bird migration - while definitely not over - is finally winding down across Wisconsin. A few migrant landbirds continue statewide, such as blackpoll, Wilson's and other warblers, olive-sided flycatchers, Philadelphia vireos, Swainson's and gray-cheeked thrushes, common nighthawks, white-crowned sparrow, and even rough-legged hawk, but in general numbers of migrants are low now. A great diversity of shorebirds were also on the move this week, highlighted by American avocet, hudsonian and marbled godwit, whimbrel, red knot, red-necked phalarope and more! You may have also noted flocks of Canada geese moving north as if it were early spring. This phenomenon, which occurs annually from mid-May to mid-June, is called "molt migration" and typically consists of nonbreeding or failed breeding individuals that are flying north to the Canadian tundra, where resources are plentiful and predators fewer, to molt (replace) their feathers.

Rarities

The list of unusual birds seen this week is a long one. Among them were western kingbirds in Ashland, Bayfield, and Door counties, Franklin's gulls in Bayfield and Manitowoc, white-winged dove in Winnebago, a snowy owl in Fond du Lac, western tanager in Outagamie, Mississippi kite in Brown, and king rail in dodge. Northern mockingbirds continue to abound this spring statewide, with too many reports this week to detail here.

The Atlas needs your sightings!

As true migration wanes, attention shifts to Wisconsin's wonderful assemblage of breeding species, so it's never a bad time to visit your favorite grassland, wetland, woodland, or even urban habitat. Along the way consider participating in the volunteer-based Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas by submitting your observations of nesting behavior or volunteering to survey a priority area. Learn more at https://wsobirds.org/atlas-quick-Start.

Good birding!
Ryan Brady
Conservation biologist for the Natural Heritage Conservation Program

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

Ridgeway Pine Relict, June 9, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Ridgeway is known for its scenic pine relicts that have northern plant species. Help care for this site by removing invasive plants and planting native plants at our second Friday workdays. Activities vary based on season but include brush cutting, piling, burning, garlic mustard pulling, seed collection, invasive removal, and others. 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

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - Memorial Day weekend was a mixed bag weather-wise this year. We had sunshine and warm weather for part of the time, some heavy rain and thunder storms rolled through, and there were also periods of cold drizzle. But at least there wasn't any snow! The campgrounds and the Brule River were busy with people enjoying the outdoors. It is full-blown spring flower season in the forest! Wild ginger, Jack-in-the pulpit, forget-me-nots, fringed polygala, starflowers, wood betony, a variety of violets, and large flowered and nodding trilliums are all in bloom! Blueberry bushes, apple trees and lilacs are also showing their blossoms. We are at our peak of fawning. Keep in mind that fawns are rarely ever orphaned and their main protection is to be left alone in grassy open areas, such as yards and field edges and are visited infrequently by the doe to feed them as little as once every 10-12 hours. Some of these does can be defensive of the area around her fawn and commonly will chase dogs that enter the vicinity of their hidden fawns. Ruffed grouse and woodcock are hatching. First nest of 13 grouse eggs was observed on 5/31/17. Geese have begun their molt migration. These are immature birds and unsuccessful breeders are moving to larger water bodies where they will be safer when they become flightless for a few weeks during the feather molting which occurs in late June and early July. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - ATV/UTV trails are open for use. Hiking Trails are open throughout the Forest. When hiking Lake of the Pines, you can enter this trail at Lake of the Pines Landing or across from the registration station for the campground. This trail runs along the bluffs on the west bank of Lake of the Pines and into some rolling hills containing some large white pines and hemlocks. The trail takes you past an ephemeral pond that is filled with croaking and peeping of frogs. This pond is about 1/10th of an acre in size and is located at DM Lat. 45 47.188855; DM Long. of -90 42.421156. Well worth exploring. This is a very interesting trail and you can see the succession of trees and forestry practices. The Flambeau River and the surrounding lakes in the State Forest such as: Connors, Lake of the Pines, (walleye, bass, musky, northerns and panfish) Bass Lake (largemouth bass, panfish), Swamp, Pelican, Mason and Evergreen Lakes, are great places to fish, paddle and explore. Anglers have been fishing the Flambeau River in hopes of catching musky, walleye and smallmouth bass, and there has been some success. Water levels are still above normal and moving fast on the Flambeau River. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Wind and rain this past week has kept water levels high and some waters cloudy. Anglers report big fluctuation in water temperatures on a daily basis. Fishing pressure has been low till the Holiday weekend and a drop in rain should bring improvements in clarity.

Marinette County - Small mouth are being caught below the Dam in Peshtigo in and around the Silver bridge using crank baits and tubes. Walleye are still being caught in the lower Peshtigo River in the deeper holes using jigs and minnows and plastics fished just off bottom. The musky opener according to interviews was a bit disappointing with some follow ups but not many fish brought to hand. Fishing out of Little River has difficult due to changing water temperatures and high winds. The musky bite on the Menominee River according to anglers has been fair to good with a 54 inch fish being caught and released. The Menominee River is still running high and cloudy. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Fishing pressure this week at Geano Beach varied due to weather and the holiday weekend. Anglers targeting walleye found a very inconsistent bite. Anglers reported catching one to two fish on average per boat, but many found it hard to find even one fish. Reports of water being a few degrees colder on the west shore than the east shore of Green Bay. Other than walleyes, anglers were catching northern pike, and freshwater drum. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Anglers fishing below the Dam at Stiles on the Oconto River are catching a few panfish and small mouth using crank baits and worms. The water is high and dirty and not many anglers have been observed. The lower Oconto River is producing some small mouth, pike, and the occasional walleye using a variety of baits. The best walleye bite is still out of the Mouth of the Pensaukee River in four to seven feet of water trolling crawler/harness or stick baits. Small mouth are also being caught along the shoreline between Oconto Park II and the Oconto Breakwater Park with tubes working the best. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - The report from the Suamico River is very similar to Geano Beach. Walleye anglers found it hard to find a consistent bite but most of the boats came in with a few fish. As with the Geano's report, anglers are catching quite a few northern pike and freshwater drum. Shore anglers at the boat launch found some bluegills and perch while a few other anglers were casting for bass with no success. No reports were taken but musky anglers were seen casting the shorelines. At Long Tail Point a few trailers seen all of which belonged to bow-fisherman. While trailers and anglers were observed at the Duck Creek launches. Most of the boats seen were bow-fishing boats with no interviews being obtained from other boats. Shore anglers were targeting "anything that bites" with bottom baits with a few others throwing baits for bass. Fishing pressure at the Fox River Metro Launch pressure was very high this week due to the holiday weekend and the opening of muskellunge. Anglers targeting muskies found that fish were pretty active, with most boats getting a follow or two and one in five boats interviewed having caught at least one. The biggest musky reported being caught was 49 inches with numerous others in the mid to high 40s. Walleye anglers found a good bite in and around University Bay. Anglers reported catching quite a few fish short of the length limit but also found good numbers of fish in the 16-18 inch range. Most anglers interviewed were trolling flicker shads with a multitude of colors producing fish. On the Fox River fishing pressure was very high this week with many anglers targeting walleyes and muskellunge. Muskie anglers found a good number of active fish with many boats getting at least one fish. The boats that didn't land any fish had follows, meaning fish were in a feeding mood. All the anglers interviewed were casting various baits none were trolling. Walleye anglers in the Fox River found a very good bite with more than one boat getting a limit while staying in the river. Anglers were trolling, jigging, and casting with all three producing fish. Shore anglers found a very good bite for freshwater drum with some anglers reporting catching 20 fish in just a couple hours of fishing. Along with freshwater drum anglers were catching whitebass, common carp, channel catfish, and smallmouth bass. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - Great weather on Friday and Saturday made for a busy holiday weekend in Door County. Smallmouth have been the main target for most anglers. Anglers have seen numbers of fish on beds where they can find warm water in protected bays. These are mostly males and smaller fish that are making their beds in preparation for the spawn. The females seem to be holding in deeper water while they wait for the water to warm up. Look for deeper water adjacent to nesting areas. With generally cool water temps slowing many of the fish, fish can be found in various stages of the spawn. Water temps near Sturgeon Bay are in the mid 50's and slowly decrease as you head north. The bait of choice varies by condition. Anglers have had success with a variety of baits ranging from hair jigs to stick baits. Shore anglers have had the most success in Ephraim. Rowleys bay has been consistently producing over the last month. Bass have been caught anywhere from six inches to 15 feet of water and where they are holding changes daily with the weather. The water warms quickly from the Mink River but changes quickly when wind blows in cool water from the lake. There has been no salmon, walleye or perch action to report. - Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Most boats harvested one to two fish for half a days' worth of fishing. There has been a decrease in the number of white bass and freshwater drum caught compared to earlier weeks. Those fishing Chaudoirs dock reported inconsistent success throughout the entire week with some boats harvesting more than four fish while others did not get a bite. There has also been a decrease in the number of white bass and freshwater drum being caught while out fishing. Most anglers interviewed were using flicker shads or leaches while out fishing for walleye. Off Little Sturgeon Bay light rain and cooler temps kept some anglers home earlier in the week. Others that made it out had mixed success while fishing for smallmouth bass. Some anglers only caught a few fish while others came up empty. Later on in the week a mixed variety of anglers came out over the weekend. Night fishing for walleye has been consistent with all anglers going out bringing back at least three fish per boat. Bass Fisherman were having more consistent success with most boats catching at least five fish for a half days trip. Sawyer Harbor saw similar results as Little Surgeon Bay. Poor weather earlier in the week led to inconsistent fishing across species. It had got better over the weekend with most bass anglers bringing in at least three fish for a couple hours' worth of fishing. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

A majority of anglers in Sturgeon Bay over the past week were targeting smallmouth bass, and throughout the week success fluctuated. Early in the week anglers were reporting between 10-25 bass per trip, but after the northeast/east winds that tally fell to typically two to three per trip. Anglers were first reporting fish on beds in moderate depths of water as of Sunday, with water temps climbing to around 57 degrees Fahrenheit. Anglers also reported groups of smallmouth staging off points in the shipping canal, with most fish caught in the two to three pound range. The preferred bait of many anglers was a jerkbait or other crank or plastics. A few anglers also targeted northern pike, and most folks fishing from boats only had a fish or two to show for it. No anglers reported walleye fishing on the Sturgeon Bay side of Green Bay. A couple anglers also attempted to find perch in the bay with no success. Shore anglers had a rough week due largely in part to weather and strong winds, but a few anglers up near Stone Quarry picked up a passing walleye, smallmouth, or northern on either a crankbait, jig, or live bait. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Salmon fishing has picked up this past week in both Kewaunee and Algoma. Early in the week anglers brought in mixed bags of rainbows, chinooks, and cohos. Flasher/fly combos in green or similar colors worked well for chinook, flashy spoons fished in the top 30 feet worked best for rainbows, and some anglers had success with red/orange dodgers and small flies for cohos. Anglers reported catches from 70-350 feet of water, with 120-180 feet producing the most fish. The northeast/east winds during the week made conditions tough and also slowed fishing towards Friday and Saturday, but things seem to be back on the upswing now. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - With very nice weather, fishing has increased significantly during the holiday weekend. There were many boats using the ramps in both Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Most boaters were able to catch five or more fish within a couple hours. Some boaters even caught 10 within a few hours. The majority of the catches consisted of mostly steelhead and king salmon. Most of the fish examined had no fin clips, which implies they were natural and not planted. The steelhead averaged about nine pounds and also had few fin clips. - Mallary Schenian, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Oconto County - Oconto County ATV trails are open and in good condition, a little dusty though. Fishing on Machickanee Flowage individuals are catching panfish. Kelly Lake, the crappie are starting to bite in deeper water. Every lake staff have been on the largemouth bass are biting. Mosquitos are aggressive in the woods so wear bug spray. Also be careful of deer movement as many fawns are being born. - Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - The white bass fishing on the Wolf River is starting to slow down with the warmer temperatures. But the catfish fishing is starting to pick up - anglers have been doing well using minnows and night crawlers with a "Wolf River rig." Bluegills are starting to spawn and anglers are having good success finding them in the shallow waters. Most have been doing well with a fly rod and a bobber/worm combination. Some prairie flowers are starting to bloom - especially lupine. Wild baby animals are being born now. It is almost always best to give them space. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

Waushara County - The water is warming up and the fishing is improving throughout the county. More birds have fledged and second round of nesting is taking place so be on the look-out. Fawns have really started dropping as well so remember again to keep wildlife wild! Get out enjoy! - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Milwaukee County - Anglers have been catching limits of coho salmon on Lake Michigan out of Milwaukee. Most of the fish are being caught on flasher/fly combinations in 180-220 feet of water. Some chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and lake trout are also mixed in. - Matt Groppi, conservation warden, Milwaukee

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

Sheboygan County - Sheboygan Harbor/Shoreline: A few anglers tried their luck on North and South piers this weekend with some limited success. A few whitefish are still being caught with the occasional brown trout or coho salmon. Most anglers are using live alewives on bottom rigs. Water temperature has been around 48 degrees Fahrenheit. Sheboygan Boat Fishing: A few more boats had gone out this holiday weekend and a few have been doing quite well on coho salmon and a few rainbow trout. Boats have fished from 60 to 250 feet of water, with most boats doing well in 150 to 220 feet of water, with most fish coming in the top 20 feet of the water column. The bite here hasn't been that good right out from Sheboygan, but a ways to the south, between the power plant and Oostburg. Coho flasher/fly combos ran high with inline weights behind planer boards have been the best. Water temperature here has been around 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit near the surface.

Ozaukee County - Port Washington Harbor/Shoreline: Fishing from shore has been fairly slow, but a few coho and even a lake trout have been caught from the South Pier. Alewives on the bottom or casting spoons in a variety of colors have been the baits of choice. North Pier is still currently closed due to construction of the new entrance to the pier. Water temperature here has been around 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit near the surface. Port Washington Boat Fishing: The boat launch at Port Washington was a bit crowded this weekend with it being the holiday and fishing being fantastic! Many limits of coho were reported along with a few rainbow trout and the occasional chinook salmon. Anglers reported catches of fish from 80 to 250 feet of water with the best action being from 150 feet of water to 220 feet of water. Most anglers have been catching the coho on typical coho flies ran behind an orange dodger with an inline weight behind a planer board. The chinook have come on some trolling spoons or flasher/fly combos down 50 to 100 feet on down riggers. Surface temperature has been right around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Milwaukee County - Large numbers of coho salmon, a few chinook, and large rainbows were landed on the Milwaukee lakefront but nearly all of them were caught a couple of miles offshore by boaters. Large schools of alewives were in the breakwall gaps according to boaters and shoreline anglers. The number of spawning alewives in the Milwaukee and Menomonee Rivers is tapering off. Seagulls were diving on baitfish from the mouth of the Milwaukee River to the Water Street Bridge. The catch rate for coho and kings on McKinley Pier has been low since May 18 when a cold front with heavy rain, strong northeast winds, and five to seven foot waves hit the lakefront. Most of the baitfish disappeared after the storm with the trout and salmon following close behind. The water along the pier was cloudy/turbid most of the week. Nearly every boat interviewed at the McKinley ramp on Saturday caught limits of fish (mostly coho along with a few kings and large rainbows). The fishing pressure and catch rate on the shoreline has been low over the past two to three weeks. The majority of the alewives were still offshore along with most of the trout and salmon. The fishing area under the Hoan Bridge by Jones Island is still closed due to overhead construction work and painting. The area under the bridge will reopen to anglers by early August of 2017. A few alewives and small carp were seen along the South Metro fishing pier on Saturday (May 27). Three to four anglers on average were seen on the Oak Creek Power Plant fishing pier during the week and a few more on Memorial Day weekend. Anglers landed brown trout (up to 10 pounds) and a few small coho in the current on the lake side of the pier. Nice size kings (up to 14 to15 pounds) were landed with spoons in 40-60 feet of water early Saturday morning. Some of the boats landed coho while targeting kings with magnum spoons. Construction work at the South Shore ramp should be finished in time for the South Shore Water Frolics (July 14-16).

Racine County - Anglers caught an average of seven fish per boat this past week. Most of the fish caught were coho salmon, with a few lake trout and steelhead mixed in. Most of the fish were caught in 130ft-210ft, and a couple of lake trout and one coho was reported caught in 50ft. Most of the anglers trolled their lures from 30ft down up to near the surface. The fish were caught on dodger/peanut fly, crankbaits, and spoons. The dodger/peanut fly combo was reported to have caught the most fish. The morning bite was reported to be the best. Only one fish was reported caught from the Pier this week. The angler reported catching a brown trout on a silver and green spoon. The water temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kenosha County - Anglers off the Ramp reported catching an average of ten fish. A majority of the fish caught were coho salmon, with a few lake trout, steelhead and brown trout mixed in. Anglers reported catching most of their fish on a dodger/peanut fly combo, but also catching a few fish on spoons and crankbaits. Most anglers fished between 170-250ft and fished their lures from 35ft down up to near the surface. A few boats decided to fish in closer to the shore. Two of the boats fished in 50 feet of water. One caught a three person limit of mostly coho salmon, and the other caught two coho salmon. The third boat that fished in close stayed in 25-35ft and caught 3 coho salmon. Anglers reported catching more fish in the morning hours. Two steelhead and one coho salmon were reported caught from the pier this week. One of the steelhead and the coho salmon were reported caught on an alewife on the bottom. The other steelhead was reported caught on an orange and gold spoon. The water temperature was 53 degrees Fahrenheit. Only one fish was reported caught from the shore this week. The angler caught a steelhead in the harbor on a live alewife under a bobber. The water temperature was 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Washington County - DNR staff along with some volunteers are getting ready to band local Canada geese in late June. Aluminum leg bands are placed on the geese, which are flightless during that time period and are captured on the ground by crews using net panels. The goose banding quota for the combined Washington/Ozaukee/Sheboygan County area is 450 geese, part of the statewide quota of 4,100 geese. The banding data is used in a variety of ways including to estimate harvest rates and goose distribution and movements throughout the U.S. and Canada. We're getting a lot of calls about newly born deer fawns showing up in odd places. In most cases, the fawn should be left where it is because the mother deer is probably nearby and will return to nurse the fawn every few hours. People are urged to visit the "Keep Wildlife Wild" section of the DNR website to learn more about what to do with deer fawns and other baby animals. Local tick populations may be on the increase, based on anecdotal reports. This week we officially ended our spring season of prescribed burning. Only about half of the grassland burns we had planned to do this year on Allenton, Theresa and Jackson Wildlife Area and other local state properties were completed, due to frequent rains and less than ideal burning conditions. There are good opportunities for wildlife viewing along the State Hwy 28 right-of-way at the north end of Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area just west of Hwy 41. Broods of Canada geese, blue-winged teal, wood ducks, coots and other birds can be seen, along with nesting black terns (a state endangered species) and sandhill cranes. Fishing opportunities are available for northern pike, bullheads and pan fish upstream and downstream of the Theresa Marsh dam, located east of N. Pole Rd. on the west side of the marsh. The spring turkey hunting season ended on May 30th. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford

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South Central Region

Horicon DNR Service Center area

Glacial Habitat Restoration Areas - A half-dozen American white pelicans could be seen feeding at one of the wetland restoration sites, working together to herd fish, just off Marshview Road west of Waupun. Yellow-headed blackbirds, common yellowthroat, great egrets, and waterfowl broods could all also be observed from the parking lot. - James Christopoulos, wildlife biologist, Horicon

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West Central Region

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Vernon County - Killdeer chicks are hatching. When newly hatched, these little fuzz balls possess a full coat of buffy down feathers and a single black breast band. They can walk out of the nest as soon as their feathers dry. How is this possible? Recent studies have shown that birds hatched in this advanced stage of development have larger brains at hatching than birds, like robins, that continue development in a nest after hatching and require greater parental care. A larger brain at birth translates into greater sensory and motor skills which enable chicks to begin exploring their environment and feeding themselves as soon as they emerge from their egg. Young birds exhibiting this type of advanced natal development are known as precocial. Birds that are immobile and very dependent on parental care while continuing development are known as altricial. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Eau Claire County -Water levels on area lakes and rivers are returning to normal. Boaters are cautioned that recent flooding has washed trees and debris into the waterways - be aware of floating debris, and obstructions to navigation. Anglers have been catching a lot of 15 to 18 inch smallmouth bass from the Eau Claire River south shoreline upriver of the Highway 53 Bridge - parking provided under the bridge. Anglers on that portion of the Eau Claire River also catch perch, walleye and northern pike. The Chippewa River below the Dells Hydro Dam offers a variety of fish catching fun. A bit further downriver at the city shops is an easy access shoreline that provides some great fishing opportunities - park in the gravel lot at the south side of the bus garage. Half Moon Lake in Carson Park has two fishing docks - fun for the whole family. The new dock is south of Lake Street at the 9th Avenue skate board park in the City of Eau Claire. Bluegills are biting in the shallows along the west shoreline of Half Moon Lake - foot access from Rod and Gun Park. - Scott Thiede, conservation warden, Eau Claire

Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds we have been seeing or hearing include: rose-breasted grosbeaks, loons, robins, red polls, a variety of wrens, phoebes, Canada geese, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, and belted kingfishers. The great blue herons, green herons, barred owls, ravens, osprey and bald eagles are on their nests. The cherry species are in bloom. The ferns are in the process of unfurling. Miterwort, spring beauty, common and wood strawberry, dog violet, marsh marigolds, trillium, wild columbine, bellworts, and the false rue anemones are in bloom. Area open water game fish and pan fish action has been fast with warm temperatures or very quiet during cooler days in the sheltered bays and lagoons. The small mouth bass have been hitting below the dams.- Dave Hladilek, park manager

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - There are still campsites open during the week and on the weekend, however, reservations have started so please check at the office to see what is available. We have six non-reservable, 1st come/1st served sites when all others are reserved. There are many campsites open for June 2-4th weekend in the campground. Ticks are out so check after hiking and camping. There were some mosquitoes out on the holiday weekend with warmer weather but became cooler and breezy so they are not bad at this time! - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - Join us at the petroglyph viewing area on Saturday, June 3rd at 1pm for a rock art presentation and signing of the book Hidden Thunder. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, June 01, 2017

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