Published September 7, 2017 by the Central Office
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).
Leaves started dramatically turning colors in the Northwoods this week. There is still mostly green in the woods, but the change has begun with red colors becoming noticeable in tree canopies and sumac bushes. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism has begun its Fall Color Report (exit DNR).
Water levels are normal to a little higher for this time of year due to continued precipitation.
On Green Bay, perch anglers were having some success along with musky anglers fishing the west shore and lower Bay. Walleye anglers were coming back with four to six fish per trip.
Fishing pressure around the Door County peninsula was high this past week and fishing was good. Adult chinook salmon have been making their way into the Sturgeon Bay canal and a few big fish were caught. The smallmouth bass bite remains fairly good, with a bass tournament off Little Sturgeon Bay bringing out a lot of boats Saturday.
On Lake Michigan, salmon fishing has been slow at both Kewaunee and Algoma but was picking up in Manitowoc and Two Rivers. The chinook salmon are moving in and can be seen surfacing in the harbors. A few kings have been spotted upstream but not in any numbers yet. Some salmon have been caught up the Manitowoc but no upstream reports from the Twin Rivers yet.
Fishing pressure at southern Lake Michigan harbors was relatively low during the last week due to windy and stormy weather conditions. No fish have been caught yet on the Sheboygan or Pigeon rivers. Sauk Creek water levels were low and will need to rise for fish to come in. The Root River is extremely clear and very low with very few anglers fishing the river and no fish reported this week.
Dove, goose and teal seasons all opened on Sept. 1. Hunters reported seeing good numbers of doves, but geese and teal were a bit more sparse. Bear season opened Wednesday Sept. 6 with many hunters optimistic about the number of bears they have coming into baits.
Deer are feeding very heavily in morning and evening hours. Antler growth is complete or nearly complete with some deer starting to shed velvet. Bull elk are starting to bugle and the Flambeau River State Forest will host an RSVP "Singing Forest" program early in the morning Sept. 15 with an elk biologist checking for bugling elk.
With the coming of fall, animals are moving around all over to begin planning for winter. Coyotes, skunk and squirrels are all looking for food to fill up on. Coyotes have been very vocal enlivening the nights with their yips, barks, and howls. Family groups have established rendezvous sites, where they meet to socialize, and prepare for an upcoming hunt. Pups are especially vocal at this time and will readily respond when howled at by a human.
Groups of cranes are showing up in fields. The first flocks of northern Canada geese have been seen heading south in their classic "V" formations. Raptor migration is also underway, with early season flights dominated by broad-winged and sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrels, bald eagles and ospreys. On the ground, warbler watching was excellent at many locations statewide this week.
Snapping turtles are hatching and emerging from the ground. Watch carefully as baby turtles can look a lot like fallen leaves on the roadways.
Prairies are in bloom with showy goldenrod, purple cone flowers, white and blue asters, cup plants, common mullein, white snakeroot, marsh skullcap, lesser daisy fleabane, Joe Pye weed, pearly everlasting and spotted jewelweed. Acorns and hickories are dropping. Wild rice is plentiful in some locations but stands are thin and too short to harvest in most areas.
Ah, September, the month second only to May on most birders' calendars. Peak migration, birds coming, birds going. The month when every day lends promise of new birds, when every oriole you see may be the last, and you marvel at species you haven't seen since spring. This year's first week of September lived up to hype.
After common nighthawks staged what was perhaps their last good flight on September 3, northerly winds ushered in many migrants thereafter. Among them were the first flocks of northern Canada geese heading south in their classic "V" formations overhead. Birders reported some sandhill cranes taking advantage of the same winds to depart the state. Raptor migration is also underway. Early season flights are typically dominated by broad-winged and sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrels, bald eagles, ospreys, and a smattering of others.
On the ground, warbler watching was excellent at many locations statewide this week. Look for peak numbers and diversity in the week ahead. The same can be said for thrushes, especially Swainson's, our most common migrant. Oriole numbers have dropped, while hummingbird numbers are at or just past peak. Red-breasted nuthatches and purple finches are on the move, as are some pine siskins and red crossbills, especially across the north. Notable arrivals from the north include ruby-crowned kinglet, American pipit, Bonaparte's gulls and horned grebe. Also telling of the season are building numbers of palm warblers and sparrows, such as Lincoln's and white-throated. Shorebird migration is largely waning. Diversity remains good but numbers are down overall. Sanderlings, American golden-plovers, Baird's sandpiper, willets, short-billed dowitchers, and lesser yellowlegs were a few of the species found.
Rarities spotted this week include Nelson's sparrow, parasitic jaeger, and possible neotropic cormorant in Ozaukee County, red-necked phalarope in Dodge, possible red knot in Kenosha, and a yellow-crowned night-heron photographed in La Crosse. Help us track the migration and find out what others are seeing at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, Bureau of Wildlife Management research scientist, Ashland
Saturday, September 9
Sunday, September 10
Woodland Dunes SNA: Help us rid Woodland Dunes SNA of invasive trees and shrubs and replant and protect our native species. Practice your brush cutting skills, your digging skills, and your chicken wire cutting skills during our weekly Woodland Dunes SNA workdays every Wednesday from 10AM to 12 noon. No skills needed you will be trained onsite. Workdays are led by Woodland Dunes Nature Center.
Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Iron County - Goose hunting in the lower portion of Iron County was slow (I unfortunately know from experience). Rice is plentiful but too short to harvest in most areas. However, if you choose the right spot, you can come out with 10 pounds an hour in some areas. It's been wet and looks like it will continue onto tomorrow. Trails are saturated. Blackberries have been plentiful with more to harvest. Leaves started dramatically turning colors this weekend. There is still mostly green in the woods, but the change has begun! - Jenna Kosnicki, wildlife biologist, Mercer
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Governor Knowles State Forest - Signs of fall have started to show at Governor Knowles State Forest. The Raspberry and Benson Hiking Trails are great places to view the fall colors as the season progresses, as well as the Brandt Pines Recreational Trail System. Campground reservations at the Trade River Equestrian Campground have been filling up most weekends; however, there are still 20 additional sites that are "first-come, first-serve." Visitors may encounter trail construction on the Riverview Horse Trail. Staff has been removing hazard trees, fixing eroded areas along the trail, and improving access for emergency vehicles. You may also encounter trail construction on the Riverview Trail at the Brandt Pines Recreational Trail System. Staff will be hauling gravel to improve wet spots along the trail. Governor Knowles State Forest Staff thanks you for your patience while these projects are completed. - Brandi Buchholz, superintendent
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - Fishermen have been fishing the Flambeau River for musky, walleye, northern pike and bass. Water levels are normal to a little higher for this time of year due to the precipitation we have been receiving. Red colors are becoming noticeable in the tree canopies and sumac bushes. The under laying brush in the forest is becoming less prominent. Acorns and hickories are dropping. Cow and calf groups are being approached by bulls for the start of the mating season. Elk calves are weaned though they nurse from time to time if mom allows. Young bulls have rubbed off their velvet and are polishing and the older bulls have begun to rub off velvet. Bulls are starting to bugle. The biggest bull elk in the area is currently with cows. Bears are visiting bear baits placed by hunters for the bear hunting season that began Sept. 6. Connors Lake Campground is closed for the season. Lake of the Pines Campground is open. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for Friday to be sunny with a high of 67 and low of 53, Saturday has a chance of showers with a high of 71 and low of 51, and Sunday, mostly sunny with a high of 75 and a low of 53 and finally Monday, will be mostly sunny with a high of 71 and low of 47. The Singing Forest, 2017 Elk Bugling: Get up early on Sept. 15 and accompany the DNR assistant elk biologist, Josh Spiegel, as he checks for bugling bull elk in the forest. Maybe, we will see or hear one! Learn about WI Elk Management. Join us at 6 a.m. at the FRSF Headquarters. To RSVP and more information call the FRSF office at 715-332-5271 ext. 101 or 111. Be sure to RSVP. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, the forest is starting to show more of the season that is coming. More maples are showing their red colors and more grasses and understory are turning yellow and brown especially in low lying areas. Joe-pye weed is still blooming in wet areas and milkweed leaves are starting to turn yellow from the bottom up. Cattails are nice and brown and the many types of goldenrods and asters are giving us a fall show of yellow, lavender and white. Mushrooms are popping up after all the rain. Hunters, fishers and gatherers will be enjoying a colorful weekend. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
This report is for the week of August 27-Sept. 2. Light to moderate fishing pressure was observed during the week. Rain wind and cool temperatures persisted, with waters being a bit muddy.
Marinette County - Fishing seems to have slacked off some on the Peshtigo and Menominee rivers with few if any fish being caught. No reports of salmon being caught yet. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Bluegill and some smallmouth were still being caught below the dam at Stiles on the Oconto River although the catch rates have dropped this past week. Fishing the mouth of the Oconto River was still producing some smallmouth, catfish, and drum mainly on live bait. Fishing Young's Reef this past week was producing very good success with most anglers rip-jigging. Trolling crawler/harness and bottom bouncers was also working well. Perch anglers were having some success from the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II fishing in 6 to 14 feet of water using minnows and crawler chunks. The most productive time to fish has been early morning. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
There were plenty of anglers fishing out of Geano Beach over the past week. Most were musky anglers with a few walleye anglers sprinkled in. Walleye anglers were catching at least a couple of fish. Musky anglers found success as well with most the boats catching one musky along with the occasional large northern pike. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Brown County - At Bayshore Park, early in the week not many anglers were out, but those who were had pretty consistent results. Toward the end of the week more anglers were observed out, most going after walleye and found themselves coming back with 4-6 fish per trip. Anglers also reported catching freshwater drum and white bass. - Kara Winter, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Over the past week there was a nice diversity of anglers and non-anglers using metro launch. Only a few boat anglers were out and primarily targeting musky with consistent success. All groups either had one in the boat or had one on and lost it. Shore anglers were out to catch whatever was biting or a good time. They found themselves catching freshwater drum and white bass. Duck hunters were also observed out on the water. Fox Point Launch had a few anglers out on shore and via boat. One boat in search of catfish caught multiple large catfish as well as a few smaller ones. At the Fairgrounds shore anglers didn't have much luck and came up empty. At Voyager Park, there were varying amounts of anglers out over the past week fishing from shore. During the week only a couple people were out trying their luck but during the weekend almost 20 anglers were counted fishing from shore. Most were out to catch whatever would bite or they just trying to enjoy some time outside. The ones that did find a few bites found themselves catching freshwater drum and white bass. At Duck Creek not many people were out fishing over the past week but the ones that did had some luck. Anglers were primarily targeting yellow perch and were so successful that a few groups limited out. Fish measured were in the 8-9 inch range. On the water at Suamico there were a decent amount of anglers out over the past week. About half were fishing for walleye and the other half was fishing for musky. Walleye anglers found some success putting 2-4 fish in the cooler, while those on the hunt for musky averaged one catch per boat. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - Fishing pressure was high this past week and fishing was good around the peninsula. Anglers trolling for salmon were sparse north of Sturgeon Bay, but most boats were coming in with at least a few fish. Adult chinook salmon have been making their way into the Sturgeon Bay canal and a few big fish were being caught from the piers and inside of the canal. Most anglers were having their best luck on spoons and deep diving crank baits. The perch bite this past week was tough and most anglers were reporting catching mainly small fish. The smallmouth bass bite remains fairly good throughout Door County both from shore and from a boat. A variety of baits and lures have been working. Most anglers fishing from shore that have had success this past week were using night crawlers under a bobber. At Chaudoir's Dock most boats were after walleye with fairly consistent success bringing in 3-5 fish per trip. Anglers also caught freshwater drum, white perch, and catfish. Off Little Sturgeon Bay over the weekend there was a bass tournament going on Saturday. Most other boats were out for walleye catching 3-6 fish per trip. Anglers also caught freshwater drum, round goby, and white bass. Some bass anglers had better luck than others, varying from 4 to 10 fish for the hours they were out. Sawyer Harbor anglers were targeting mostly walleye. - Kara Winter fisheries technician, Green Bay
Kewaunee County - Salmon fishing has been slow in both Kewaunee and Algoma in the last week. The chinook salmon are moving in and can be seen surfacing in the harbors but bites are far and few between. This is likely do to warm water temps in the harbors and lake holding around 64 degrees. Pier fishermen have been able to get a few bites by casting champs at first light. A few kings have been spotted farther upstream but no fishermen have moved upstream yet. Boat fishermen have had very limited success. Some have been trolling around the pier heads looking for staging kings while others are heading out to 200-400 feet of water and catching the occasional rainbow and 2-3 year old king. - Benjamin Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - Salmon fishing looks to be picking up in Manitowoc and Two Rivers. Both locations have had some chinook gathering around the piers, as anglers in boats and on the piers have been able to get some fish. Fishing hasn't been fast, but opportunities to catch some are present for those that put the time in. Spoons have been taking the salmon in boats, but not enough fish have come in yet to determine if any color pattern is more effective. Anglers from shore have caught salmon on casting spoons, spawn, and even night crawlers, but most anglers have reported that they have seen many fish jumping without getting many bites. Some salmon have been caught up the river in Manitowoc, but not farther than the 10th Street bridge, although they have been seen jumping as far up as Manitou Park. No upstream reports from the Twin Rivers have come in yet. A couple rainbows have also been caught in Manitowoc, either off the piers or in the marina area, as well as some northern pike on the harbor-side of the piers. Water surface temperatures are falling to the mid-60s or lower, and with west winds, rain, and cooler temperatures toward the end of the weekend, anglers are looking for fishing to improve and a good salmon run in the coming weeks. Also, the mouth of Silver Creek in Manitowoc appears to have some significant blockage that may inhibit fish from moving upstream easily, so anyone considering fishing there should keep an eye out for the creek to clear first. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Marinette County - Daytime highs in the low 60s and nighttime lows hovering around 40-it definitely feels like fall. Dove, goose and teal seasons all opened on Sept. 1. Hunters reported seeing good numbers of doves, but geese and teal were a bit more sparse. Bear season opened Wednesday Sept. 6 with many hunters optimistic about the number of bears they have coming into their baits. Roadside trees are turning colors now with quite a few yellow aspen and red maple leaves to brighten up the drive north. Blackberries are still available for the picking. Some obvious bird migration has occurred over the last week or so. Groups of cranes are showing up in fields and large flocks of night hawks have been seen swirling overhead while feasting on insects as they head south. Deer sightings are on the rise in many areas of the county. Antler growth appears to be nearly complete with some deer about ready to shed their velvet. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee
Governor Thompson State Park - Fall is fast approaching and the leaves are starting to turn to bright colors and the trails are lined with asters, goldenrod, blackberries and hazel brush. We are seeing turkeys and deer with velvet antlers on the trails. The Visitor Center's prairie is in bloom. The current stars showy cone flower, goldenrod, purple cone flowers, white asters, blue asters, cup plants and rosinweed. The snapping turtles are hatching! Please be careful driving through the state park. Baby turtles look a lot like fallen leaves on the roadways. - Maggie Kailhofer, park manager
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Cold front has slowed if not stopped area fish from biting. Slowly warming weather for the weekend should rectify this. Area streams look great with stable water levels. Deer are feeding very heavily in morning and evening hours. Not many doves around, our wheat fields in central Wisconsin get harvested about three weeks too early and they end up sprouting before the season starts. Cool weather has been a nice relief. Have no reports on waterfowl hunting success. Blackberries dwindling fast. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Fishing on the Wolf River has been good for panfish. Anglers have been catching bluegills and crappies in log jams and brush piles baited with a worm. Northern pike and bass have also been biting. Angles are reminded that all northern pike on the Winnebago System must a minimum of 26 inches in length to be kept. Hunters have been busy placing stands and preparing for the upcoming archery deer season. Teal hunters have had some success on the public lands near Shiocton. Scouting and finding the birds is important before hunting. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
Milwaukee County - With the coming of fall, animals are moving around all over to begin planning for winter temperatures. Coyotes, skunk, squirrels, and ducks are all looking for food to fill up on. A variety of migrating shorebirds have been spotted in Milwaukee County and along Lake Michigan, including some rarities! The fall migrating songbirds and raptors are also beginning their move south, so keep your eyes open for them. Hunting season is gearing up. Dove and early goose seasons are open. Archery, grouse (Zone A), fall turkey, squirrel, and northern rabbit openers are on Saturday, Sept. 16, as well as most goose season openers. Visit a nearby wildlife property such as Big Muskego, Turtle Valley, or Vernon Wildlife Areas, or visit Kettle Moraine State Forest for hunting opportunities nearby. Search for "web mapping" on the DNR webpage to find more places to hunt near you, such as our FFLIGHT map, "Private Forest Lands Open to Public Recreation," or "Public Access Lands." You can also search for "VPA" to learn more about our Voluntary Public Access program, providing additional hunting lands to the public. If you are not a hunter, migratory songbirds are traveling through Wisconsin, and a variety of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl have been spotted along Lake Michigan. Get outside for the crisp weather and enjoy these beautiful fall days! - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Waukesha
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County - Fishing pressure was relatively low during the week due to windy and stormy weather conditions. There was a noticeable increase in boaters and anglers over the weekend as conditions improved. As in previous weeks, boaters still reported most of the success, with anglers reporting little to no success off the piers or on the rivers. No fish were caught on the Sheboygan River or the Pigeon River. Most anglers on the Sheboygan River were at the base of the south pier and were using spoons, minnows, and spawn sacs. There was only one chinook salmon caught off of the south pier this week. The chinook salmon weighed 19 pounds and was caught on a spoon. The surface temperature of the water cooled to 63 degrees by the weekend. Success off of boats was limited this week due to some poor weather; however, there were still several rainbow trout and chinook salmon caught. There were also reports of a couple of brown trout and lake trout, along with two coho salmon. Weights of the rainbow trout ranged from about 3-12 pounds, while the chinook salmon had a larger weight range of 1.5-22 pounds. Fish were caught in water depths ranging anywhere from 20-270 feet on spoons, flasher flies, and j-plugs.
Ozaukee County - Fishing pressure remained low throughout the week due to poor weather conditions. A music festival took place at the Coal Dock Park along the south pier over the weekend, so only a couple of fishermen were observed on the north pier. Most of the success was reported from boaters as success off of the piers and harbor area remains rare. Sauk Creek water levels were low and will need to rise for fish to come in farther. No catches were reported off the piers or shoreline this week; however, three chinook salmon, three brown trout, one rainbow trout, and one coho salmon were caught off the utility area on Sunday, Sept. 3. Two of the three chinook salmon were small and thrown back, but the one that was kept weighed about five pounds. The brown trout weighed on average 9 pounds. All catches were made on spawn sacs, and most other anglers were using spoons. The surface temperature of the water was 63 degrees. Success off the boats was hit or miss with some boaters catching a couple of fish and others returning to the ramp with none. Mainly chinook salmon were caught, along with some rainbow trout, two coho salmon, one brown trout, and one lake trout. Catches were reportedly made in water depths ranging from 135-280 feet mainly on spoons, although some were also made on flasher flies and dipsy divers.
Racine County - Two king salmon and one steelhead were reported caught from the pier this week. The two kings were caught in the early morning and a 3/4 ounce white and blue glow wobbler spoon. The steelhead was reported caught on a blue and chrome 1/2 ounce spoon. The water temperature was 66 degrees. One brown trout was reported caught from the shore this week. The angler caught the trout on a blue/chrome cleo spoon. The water temperature was 68 degrees. The Root River is currently flowing at 16.9 cfs. The water is extremely clear and very low. No fish were reported caught this week and very few anglers fished the river this week. Upstream of the steelhead facility only two anglers were fishing above the facility this week. They did not report catching any fish.
Kenosha County - An angler casting in the harbor reported catching one steelhead on a white tube jig. One king salmon was reported caught from the pier this week. The angler caught the king salmon on a blue tiger crank bait at night. The water temperature was 65 degrees. Two brown trout and three king salmon were reported caught from the shore this week. The brown trout were caught on a white tube jig under a bobber. The three king salmon were caught on a 1/2 ounce glow spoon, a 3/4 ounce blue/chrome wobbler spoon, and a 1/2 ounce green/chrome spoon.
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - A few hunters have been taking advantage of the early teal, early goose and mourning dove hunting seasons, which opened Sept. 1, on Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area and other local properties including Allenton Marsh and Jackson Marsh. The water level above the Theresa Marsh dam was brought up a few inches during the past two weeks and is now at the level it will be maintained at during the next two months, barring any huge rain events. The marsh water level is intentionally being kept slightly lower than the usual fall level with the hope that floating cattail bogs (which sometimes float into the dam and/or block the river channels) will remain in place on the marsh bottom. Currently, access into Theresa marsh for canoes and skiffs is good at all the usual access points and all the usual river channels are open to boat passage. Wildlife viewing conditions for waterfowl, egrets, great blue herons, sandhill cranes, cormorants, and other birds is excellent right now along Highway 28 west of Interstate Highway 41. Other than on Theresa Marsh, water levels are at normal to high throughout the region due to unseasonably high precipitation. Flowers are now "past peak bloom" in prairie fields, and the trees are just starting to turn colors. Last week, County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) meetings were held in Washington and Ozaukee counties, and preliminary three-year deer population goals were set for each county, with Washington County's goal to "maintain" and Ozaukee County's goal to "decrease" the deer population. Also, the CDAC meetings produced preliminary recommendations to expand the metro subunit to include all of Ozaukee County, and to keep the Washington County metro subunit boundary "as is." Public comments about these recommendations are welcomed, and can be submitted on the CDAC website from Sept. 11-22. The public comments will be reviewed during the October CDAC meetings. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - A few maple trees are beginning to turn. Goldenrod and New England aster are blooming and the monarchs are migrating. Join DNR staff on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m.-noon for a monarch tagging program at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Sandhill cranes have been seen kittling and growing in numbers. The first of migrant Canada geese should be arriving in the next week or so. Purple martins, osprey, many swallows and shorebirds have migrated through and small numbers of nighthawks have been seen passing overhead at dusk. Be sure to visit the Horicon Marsh Explorium located at N7725 Hwy. 28, Horicon, for an interactive experience about the story of the marsh. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Vernon County - Coyotes have been very vocal over the last several weeks, enlivening the nights with their yips, barks, and howls. Family groups have established rendezvous sites, which are typically open areas including old log landings, abandoned quarries or grassy hillsides, where family groups meet to socialize, and prepare for an upcoming hunt. Pups are especially vocal at this time and will readily respond when howled at by a human. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds seen or heard include: ravens, rose-breasted grosbeaks, loons, a variety of wrens, phoebes, turkey vultures, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, osprey, bald eagles, Canada geese and belted kingfishers. Wintergreen, common mullein, white snakeroot, marsh skullcap, lesser daisy fleabane, Joe Pye weed, pearly everlasting, the pale and spotted jewelweed, rabbits foot clover, marsh hedge nettle, the water lilies, some of the aster varieties, and wooly yarrow are flowering. The open water game fish action has been good after the recent rains. Bass action on spinner baits and float baits has been productive; walleye action has been good with live baits. Panfish have been fairly active in mornings and evenings near weed beds. Hikers have many great opportunities within the park. Whether it's using the island's trail system, exploring the wilder areas of the park, or a brisk walk on the park road, you're sure to enjoy these beautiful woodlands. - Dave Hladilek, park manager
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - The colors are starting to change as you drive north on Highway 58 toward the park. The photo contest ends Sept. 30. Time to send in photos, or take photos for the contest. Hunting has started in the Buckhorn and Yellow River Wildlife areas. Hunting maps are available online or at the park office. Bow hunting starts Sept. 16 in the park and wildlife areas. Small game starts Sept. 16 in the wildlife areas only. - Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - The photo contest ends Sept. 30. Time to send in photos, or take photos for the contest. Hunting and trapping in the state park do not start until Nov. 15. Maps of areas open and closed are available online or at the park office. - Heather Wolf, park manager