Published August 16, 2018 by the Central Office
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
It was a relatively dry week across most of the state with warm temperatures making outdoor recreation pleasant.
Water levels remain at seasonal norms on most rivers and canoers and kayakers have been out in force. Central Wisconsin trout streams are getting pretty low right now and could use some rain.
Work continues at Pattison and Amnicon state parks to repair damage from the June flood event. Crews are adding rock and gravel to washout areas, as well as replacing bridges and almost 300 cubic yards of sand was added to the Little Falls Lake beach to replace what was lost from the flood, but the beach remains closed while the lake is drawn down to repair the dam.
Walleye fishing also continues to be good on the west and east shores of Green Bay with parking lots filled at Geano Beach and Suamico over the weekend and anglers averaging two to seven fish with a few boats catching their limit. Many reported catching numerous freshwater drum, catfish and an occasional northern pike. Yellow perch fishing is slowly starting to pick up with a few anglers catching 10 perch for a few hours out.
Smallmouth action has been good along Door County, with all the piers and harbors from the Sturgeon Bay hipping canal north to Gills Rock producing good numbers of bass. Consistent success on large yellow perch as well was had in the shipping canal. Out past the canal folks were coming back with chinook in 150-200 feet of water.
On Lake Michigan, fishing pressure was heavy for the majority of the week out of Kewaunee and was picking up at Manitowoc. Anglers were catching rainbow trout and king salmon along with lake trout and brown trout. There was heavy fishing pressure this weekend at Algoma due to a weekend festival and folks were coming back with large rainbows and kings along with a few lake and brown trout. Good numbers of lake trout were caught out of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha with the occasional rainbow, brown, and chinook.
Canada Geese are now starting to fly around and are frequenting the harvested grain fields. Wild Turkey poults are being seen frequently along the road edges and fields. Fall bonus wild turkey harvest authorizations will go on sale August 18 beginning at 10 a.m. Check for turkey permit availability on the DNR website.
Prairie flowers are in full bloom. Keep your eyes open for prairie blazing star, stiff goldenrod, rattlesnake master, and many more.
Ready or not the fall bird migration is here! Shorebird migration is near peak with Horicon Marsh a hotspot. Warbler migration has also really picked up, especially across the north, with good numbers of warblers and at least a dozen species. Other favorites like rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, and indigo buntings have also begun to head south.
The Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery will host a seminar this Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. with presentations on lake sturgeon and on how the hatchery is helping return this ancient species to its home waters. And if you're heading up to the Lake Superior this weekend grab your shovels, buckets and creativity and visit Madeline Island for a fun-filled day Saturday for Big Bay State Park's 24th Annual Sand Castle Day. Contest registration is free and prizes will be awarded for the best sand structures. For all events search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."
Ready or not migration is here! While many shorebirds have been on the move since late June and some landbirds since late July, mid-August means that migration is underway in earnest for many species. Warbler migration has really picked up, especially across the north, with good numbers of Nashville and Tennessee warblers, yellow warblers and American redstarts, the first bay-breasted warblers and at least a dozen other species. Other favorites like rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, and indigo buntings have also begun to head south, particularly the showy adult males who depart first. Likewise, although hummingbird numbers have burgeoned with fledged young of the year, the highly-territorial adult males will vacate our northern climes any time now. Other migrants now include various flycatchers, bobolinks, and the first common nighthawks of the fall. Swallows and chimney swifts may be seen gathering in large groups across the south, a good number having already departed the far north. Learn more about many of these declining aerial insectivores and how you can help at an upcoming conference in Waukesha, Sept 6-8 https://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/article/?id=4342.
Shorebird migration is near its seasonal peak where appropriate habitat exists. Without question Horicon National Wildlife Refuge off Highway 49 has been the hotspot, featuring hundreds of birds of many species, including uncommon finds such as black-necked stilt, American avocet, white-rumped sandpiper, and American golden-plovers. None were rarer, however, than the sharp-tailed sandpiper found there on August 8 and continuing through at least the 15th, marking the first known observation of this eastern Asian species in Wisconsin.
Despite all the migration buzz, nesting season isn't quite over yet! Family groups can still be seen for a variety of summer breeders, like American redstart, red-eyed vireo, barn swallow, song sparrow, eastern phoebe, wood duck, wild turkey, and others. Notoriously late nesters such as American goldfinch, cedar waxwing, mourning dove, and northern cardinal may also be in the earlier stages of first or second nesting attempts. Nesting or not, now is a great time to get those suet, seed, and hummingbird feeders going again if you let them lapse a bit over summer, and to offer a water source for bathing and drinking birds. As always, find out what others are seeing and report your observations at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Sunday, August 19, 2018
For all events search Get Outdoors
August 18, 10 a.m-1 p.m. Chiwaukee Prairie Workday: Removing invasives - The prairie is blooming, come restore Chiwaukee Prairie SNA. Help Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund volunteers during our third Saturday workdays and enjoy the beauty of this rich prairie in the process. We will pull a variety of invasives (queen anne's lace, sweet clovers, swallow-wort, loosestrife) which threaten to displace native plants
August 23, 9 a.m.-noon., Bluff Creek State Natural Area- Enjoy the late season blooms and help collect seed at Bluff Creek SNA. Come see what's blooming and help volunteers during our Southern Kettle Moraine SNA workdays. Enjoy a short hike to a wet prairie and identify native plants to collect their seeds. We will plant these seeds in restored areas to promote native plants in woodland and wetland plant communities.
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
Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - It has been another dry week in the State Forest. Only a sprinkle of rain came our way early Tuesday morning. Maybe more substantial rain will make its way to us on Sunday, we could use it. River flow is normal for this time of year, in the 130 cfs range. Fishermen, kayakers and canoers have been enjoying the cool water during the recent hot and humid days. The wildlife, too, occasionally takes the opportunity to get their hoofs or paws wet and cool off! This doe and her fawn were crossing the river this morning, and having a little fun along the way. Campground use has been steady, but the campgrounds are seldom full. Reserve a campsite at ReserveAmerica.com (at least 48 hours ahead of time) or claim a first-come-first-served site when you get here. Bois Brule campground has a total of 22 campsites, 11 sites are first-come-first-served. Five of these are hike-in sites, the other 6 are drive-in sites. The Copper Range campground has a total of 15 campsites, 6 sites are first-come-first-served. One of these is a hike-in site, the other 5 are drive-in sites. On Saturday, August 18 there will be a North Country Trail Group Hike from Gaylord Nelson Portal to Highland Town Hall in the Brule River State Forest through Mott's Ravine State Natural Area. The hike distance is 5.5 miles. The group will meet at 9 a.m. at Twin Gables in Brule to set up the shuttle, and travel together to the trailhead. The hike leaders are John and JoAnn Pearson, trail volunteers with the NCTA Brule-St. Croix Chapter. For more details, visit https://northcountrytrail.org/volunteers/local-contacts/brule-st-croix-chapter/ - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate
Pattison State Park - As summer starts to wind down, work continues at the park to repair damage from the June flood event. Almost 300 cubic yards of sand was added to the beach to replace what was lost from the flood. Pattison park staff as well as staff from Hayward DNR have been currently working on the Big Manitou hiking trail, adding rock and gravel to washout areas, as well as replacing bridges on the trail. We are improving two access trails that will allow heavy equipment to reach our Beaver and Little Manitou Falls hiking trails, which sustained heavy flood damage. This has included park staff cutting trees to widen the access trail, laying fabric down over the trail, and having rock and gravel placed and then spread by a heavy equipment operator from the Brule River State Forest. Currently, the beach is still closed as well as the Beaver and Little Manitou Falls hiking trails. - Gervase Thompson, ranger
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Big Bay State Park - Big Bay's 24th Annual Sand Castle Day will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 18. Grab your shovels, buckets and creativity for a fun-filled day along our beautiful Barrier Beach. Groups or individuals of all ages are welcome to participate (registration is free)! Contest Registration begins at 9 a.m. Judging begins at noon. Prizes will be awarded following judging. Even if you don't participate, join us for other activities and stroll along the lake to watch the sand creations unfold. Other activities during the day include a State Natural Area guided hike on the boardwalk, nature stations and craft table and naturalist programs. At night there will also be a Universe in the Park program held by UW-Madison's Astronomy Dept. Big Bay is located on Madeline Island and is reached by a ferry. - Dan Yankowiak, property supervisor
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Wildlife sightings seem to be picking up in the Grantsburg Area. We are seeing a few early shorebirds coming through, lots of does with fawns, and warblers are coming back around. Look for trumpeter swans with cygnets on Dike 4 and Dike 5, Upper North Fork Flowage, and Reisinger Lake. If you spend a lot of time in Crex Meadows, you will notice low water levels on a few of the flowages, including Phantom Lake, Erickson Flowage, and Refuge Extension Flowage. These draw-downs can provide some interesting, and unique, wildlife viewing opportunities- including shorebird viewing, so be sure to stop by and check it out! - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - This week anglers were having the most luck catching walleye using nightcrawlers at depths of 10-15 feet. The water temperatures on the Menominee averaged about 72-74 degrees over this past week. Fishing pressure at Boom Landing remained decent over the past week. Some anglers were having success catching rock bass, walleye, and smallmouth bass. Good numbers of anglers were out at Ann Arbor this past week. Some anglers were having some success catching brown trout this week. Menekaunee Harbor anglers reported having success catching brown trout, northern pike and walleye this week. Good fishing pressure was observed at the little River Ramp this week. Some perch were being caught along the shore using nightcrawlers. Brown trout were being caught trolling using spoon rigs at water depths between 50-60 feet. Overall, low fishing pressure was observed on the Peshtigo River this past week. The water temperatures ranged from 75-78 degrees over the weekend. Fishing pressure is low along at the Peshtigo dam area. Some anglers were having luck catching rock bass using nightcrawlers up by the dam. Decent fishing pressure was observed at the Peshtigo river mouth ramp over the last week. Anglers were having success catching catfish, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and walleye this week. Fishing pressure remained steady at Klingsborn's Ramp over the past week. Anglers were having success catching northern pike and walleye using nightcrawlers this week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - A lot of anglers were out this weekend on the lower Oconto River. Anglers had decent success catching walleye. Anglers were having the most luck catching walleye using plastic nightcrawlers at depths of 10-15 feet. Over the past weekend, the water temperature for the Oconto river ranged from 73-81 degrees. Fishing pressure increased at the Oconto Park II area this week. Anglers were reporting success catching some perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye over the weekend. Anglers were having success catching perch using nightcrawlers at water depths between 5-10 feet. Anglers were having success catching walleye using nightcrawlers water depths between 10-15 feet. The Oconto Breakwater Harbor had high fishing pressure. Anglers on the pier were having some success catching catfish, northern pike, perch, and smallmouth bass. Anglers using the boat launch were reporting success catching channel catfish, northern pike, perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Good fishing pressure was observed at the Oconto Municipal boat ramp this week. High fishing pressure was observed at the Pensaukee river boat ramp this week. Anglers were reporting success catching catfish, northern pike, perch, and walleye. Fishing pressure has remained low over the past week at the Stiles Dam and Iron Bridge Area. Fishing success had decreased over the past couple of weeks. Anglers were having occasional success catching rock bass or bluegill this week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Very high numbers of boaters filled the Geano Beach launch this week, over 80 trailers Saturday morning, with most after walleyes. Most anglers experienced high catch rates of walleyes, two to four per person, although it's been a little slower than it has been in previous weeks. Many reported catching numerous freshwater drum, catfish and an occasional northern pike. Musky anglers reported only boating 1one musky with only a couple follow ups after being out for several hours. - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Brown County - The walleye bite continues to be very strong at Bayshore with many nice fish being caught. Only a few boats didn't harvest any fish for half a day out on the water. The average haul was 3-7 fish with harvest around 4-5. Sizes of fish harvested ranged from 16 to the mid 20s. Baits still vary a bit but most boats were trolling with either crank baits or crawler harnesses. Despite the popularity of trolling some boats tried jigging with minnows and found decent success. Yellow perch fishing is slowly starting to pick up with a few anglers catching 10 perch for a few hours out. The fish that were measured had lengths that ranged from 6-10 inches. So numbers weren't amazing but they were far better than previous weeks. The most popular bait seemed to be the jig head and minnow. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Those who were fishing out of the Metro boat launch reported slow fishing with only a few walleyes being caught and a couple harvested per person. Low number of anglers were out of Voyager this week. A few boaters were out at Duck Creek with only a few yellow perch being harvested and a couple catfish. High numbers of boaters continued to be out of Suamico this week filling the extra boat launch parking area. The walleye bite was reported to be slow with most anglers harvesting only one to two per person. Anglers reported using flicker shad green in color and motored north near Geano Beach. Most anglers reported catching numerous freshwater drum and large catfish. - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - There was low fishing pressure at the Sturgeon Bay Shore this week. Anglers were out with a few reports of smallmouth bass and perch. Good luck was had using nightcrawlers and leeches. Many folks came back to the Sturgeon Bay ramp with smallmouth bass and walleye. Consistent success on large yellow perch as well was had in the canal for anglers with water temperature reported to be 78-80 degrees on the surface. Out past the canal folks were coming back with chinook in 150-200 feet of water. The water temperature was reported to be 68 degrees in 200 feet of water and 42 degrees 50 feet down. A few anglers were out for smallmouth bass this week at Bay View Park though luck was limited. Fishing pressure was low. Many large smallmouth bass were being caught out of Stone Quarry along with loads of freshwater drum. Angler were also catching some 12-13-inch perch. Water was reported to be around 75 degrees at the surface near the ramp. Good luck was had using jerk bait for smallies along with tubes and live minnows. There was a moderate amount of smallmouth bass catches along with an increase in yellow perch and rockbass along the Stone Quarry breakwall. Good luck was had using soft plastics and worms.Folks were coming back to Sunset Park with some yellow perch this week. Fishing pressure was relatively low. Water temperature was reported to be 75-78 degrees at the surface. or perch. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Smallmouth action has been good. All the piers and harbors from Murphy park north to Gills Rock have been producing good numbers of bass for those fishing with crawlers, leeches and plastics. The majority of fish are small but bigger fish can be caught by fishing early in the morning and just before dark. Boat anglers are also doing well finding groups of fish off shore. Walleye anglers are not having any success. Perch fishing has been very inconsistent. Bass fishing off the pier at Rowleys Bay has been similar to that on the Green Bay piers. Salmon fishermen out of Gills Rock have not had much luck. The best action in the county has been out of Baileys Harbor. Fishing the upper 50 feet of the water column has been productive for both kings and rainbows. Anglers are reporting numbers of baitfish and feeding fish. Catches range from 3-7 fish being a mix of kings and rainbows.- Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Walleye anglers continue to find consistent catches out of Chaudoir's dock. Catches ranged from 2 to 25 fish with a few boats catching their limit. Fish that were measured had lengths from 15 to 21 inches. While trolling for walleyes a couple boats also caught a few bonus yellow perch for the cooler. Only a few yellow perch anglers were out over the past week but those that put in some time found decent success. The average catch was 10 fish for a few hours out on the water. While out anglers also caught plenty of freshwater drum, a few catfish, some white perch, and a couple of round gobies. At its busiest time there were 17 trailers in the parking lot. Little Sturgeon/Sawyer Harbor fishing pressure was low over the past week but a few walleye anglers did land some nice fish. The fish that made it to the measuring board had lengths that ranged from 18-27 inches. There were also a few yellow perch anglers out that found a few fish for the cooler. Catches ranged from 6-12 fish for a few hours out on the water. While out anglers also caught freshwater drum, white bass, white perch, catfish, and round goby. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Kewaunee County - Fishing pressure was heavy for the majority of the week and into the weekend. Anglers were catching rainbow trout and king salmon along with lake trout and brown trout. The catch rate remained low. Chinook was reported to be out in 110-180 feet of water and down 40 feet with water temperature at the surface staying around 70 degrees. Folks were getting brown trout closer to 50 feet of water with the surface temperature reported at 67 degrees. Good luck was had with kings using red and white spoons. There was light fishing pressure at the Kewaunee Shoreline this week. Most of the catches were freshwater drum though an occasional brown trout was caught. There was heavy fishing pressure at the pier this week. Smallmouth bass and brown trout were spotted along the southside of the pier. Water temperature increased from around 62 degrees early in the weekend to 69 degrees. There was heavy fishing pressure this weekend at Algoma due to Shanty Days and folks were coming back with large rainbows and kings along with a few lake trout and some brown trout. Water temperature was reported to be 70 degrees in 100-150 feet of water and the thermocline held at 42 degrees 50 feet down. It was 66 degrees near the ramp. Wind conditions remained fairly stagnant throughout the weekend. Anglers out at Olson park were catching small largemouth bass on nightcrawlers while reports of yellow perch have increased as well.- Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - The west winds that were forecasted for last week happened and the water temps have cooled down. Surface temps are still in the lower 70s; however, once you get 40 feet down the water temp is in the mid 50s. There were multiple reports of water temps in the upper 40s 75 feet down. Overall the fishing has picked up compared to last week. Boats are still coming in with two to three fish on a trip, but the number of boats that have fish increased compared to the recent weeks. Flasher flies seemed to work best for producing chinooks throughout the week. Covering a wide range in the water column was the best way to produce fish as they are still scattered throughout. The anglers that fish the pier daily were finally rewarded this weekend with three chinooks and a rainbow being caught in one morning. Water temps cooled down for a couple hours Saturday morning and the fish moved in with some being caught. However, as the day progressed the cool water was replaced by warm water and there hasn't been any salmon or trout caught as of late. Anglers fishing in the harbor had success fishing for northern pike casting spoons. Smallmouth bass were active as well. Anglers going out on Lake Michigan out of Two Rivers were finally able to find fish on a regular basis, although the average catch was still three fish per boat. There were more boats coming in with fish compared to the last few weeks. There is no pattern to the fishing right now as the water temp is still in the 70s on the surface and in the 50s once you get down 40 feet or so. Fish were caught anywhere from 75 feet down on downriggers to high lines. Flasher flies seemed to be the ticket yet with some hits on spoons. Chinook were coming to the cleaning station the most often followed by rainbows. Most of the fish that came in were under 15 pounds, but occasionally there would be a 25-pounder mixed in. The anglers fishing on the Two Rivers pier weren't as lucky as the anglers in Manitowoc this week as there were no salmon or trout caught this week. Carp are still being caught while casting for salmon and trout. Also, smallmouth bass are caught occasionally. Bullheads are still being caught in the harbor. The size of the bullheads is still on the smaller size as they average six inches. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Potawatomi State Park - This is a great time of year to hike in the park as everything is lush and green in the woods. Milkweed is in bloom along the roadside attracting monarch butterflies. Please remember picking flowers is not allowed. If unsure of a plant or flower, please take a photo and ask park staff. Several fawns have been spotted near the office along with large families of turkeys. Please remember to leave wildlife alone and view from a distance. Lots of people have been having successfully catching perch and smallmouth bass. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Weather has been hotter than the devil lately. Trout streams are getting pretty low right now and could use some rain. Insect populations are as follows: Ticks - currently none! Deer flies - are now pretty scarce, Mosquitos - nasty in a few spots but mostly have died down and are very tolerable. Still do not have an acorn forecast for you. Do not have an inland lake fishing report for you except for this - given the hot weather, most folks are recreating in the water vs. on top of it. Fawns are now the size of a Labrador retriever and lightning fast on their feet. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
River levels in Central Wisconsin are low and fishing pressure has been slow as well. Anglers have reported little success but are hoping the cool nights will get the fish more active and the fall bite will start. There are blackberries everywhere. Get out a pick some soon as they no longer be edible. Wild Turkey poults are being seen frequently along the road edges and fields. Canada Geese are now starting to fly around and are frequenting the harvested grain fields. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden team supervisor, Wautoma
Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery - Want to see how the hatchery is helping return an ancient species to its home waters? Join us Saturday, Aug. 18, for the first in a series of Saturday presentations on lake sturgeon and check out our new sturgeon display. The presentation runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery Education Center, N5871 State Road 22, in Wild Rose, Wis. The Wisconsin Humanities Council is providing funding for the public lecture series. See the schedule of presentations and learn more about what you can see and do at the hatchery: https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/hatcheries/wildrose.html
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Milwaukee County - Our late prairie flowers are in full bloom. Keep your eyes open for prairie blazing star, stiff goldenrod, rattlesnake master, and many more. Birding for fall migrants is also starting to pick up, with a strong shorebird migration right now, and fall warblers starting to move through. Early season dove, teal and goose hunting will begin September 1. The beginning of bear and archery seasons are around the corner, as well as turkey, rabbit, squirrel, grouse (Zone A), and crow. Search for "FFLIGHT" on the DNR webpage to find dove fields, pheasant stocking sites, and grouse and woodcock habitat. Make sure to check our hunting regulations for any changes. Leftover fall turkey permits and antlerless deer tags are available in many parts of the state. Visit our Go Wild licensing site for more information. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Milwaukee
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Milwaukee County - Early morning boaters targeting salmon continue to launch between 5 and 6 a.m. are back to shore by noon while afternoon boaters have been returning by sunset or shortly thereafter, all very hit or miss, landing with close to their limits or surprisingly no fish at all. A mix bag of salmon and trout continue to be landed. This weekend large numbers of lake trout were caught with the occasional rainbow, brown, and chinook. Fish averaged 17-20 pounds for kings, 4-8 pounds for rainbows and lakers across the board from a couple pounds to 20-plus pounds There was no specific fishing depth for success this weekend. Anglers fished in depths ranging from 80-130 feet to deeper waters out 280 - 350 feet. A variety of spoons or flasher/flies found the most success. Anglers reported thermoclines beginning down about 50 feet of water and many marked larger bait balls and plenty of fish on their sounders. Anglers targeting salmon, trout, bass, walleye or perch observed by the Summerfest grounds and near the lighthouse, Lakeshore State Park, Veterans Park, and McKinley Shore, saw little to no action using crank baits, spoons, artificial lures, minnows, or leeches. However, a few rock bass were landed using plastics or worms, in the Summerfest lagoon, before the Dragon Boat races on Saturday. Low fishing pressure occurred throughout the weekend from Jones Island, Cupertino Park,and through South Shore. Anglers targeting salmon, trout, or perch saw very little action. Those anglers targeting rock bass did find success catching near Cupertino using worms and plastics. Boaters heading on the water from the South Shore ramp landed mostly lake trout with the occasional chinook using flasher/flies or spoons in 90-130 feet of water. Bender Park anglers trying their luck for salmon and trout found success landing chinook and occasional lake trout in 70-90 feet of water using J-plugs. Most anglers reported fish hitting lines near the bottom. Low fishing pressure continues at the Oak Creek Power Plant. Those few morning and afternoon anglers trying their luck were targeting salmon trout, or walleyes, using a variety of artificial lures and live bait. Temperatures at the end of the pier are 69-72 degrees. - Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Racine County - Most boaters were heading out to 300 feet of water with their main catch consisting of lake trout. Fish being caught on spoons and flasher flies. A few reports of small bait fish schools in 200 feet of water. Pier anglers were trying spoons and jigs for perch with no luck. Water surface temp in the harbor is 73 on the surface and 68 on the bottom. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Kenosha County - Most boaters having luck out from 250-350 feet of water. Anglers catching most fish on spoons with some on flies. Most catches consist typically of lake trout with a couple rainbow, king and coho mixed in. Very few fish were caught from shore. Water surface temp was taken at 75 degrees with the bottom temp at 69 degrees. Most anglers casting spoons and using tube jugs with little action. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Shorebirds continue their fall migration and Horicon Marsh has been a great location to view a number of species. Highlights include a state first documented Sharp-tailed Sandpiper on the south side of Highway 49 along with 19 other shorebird species. Drawn down areas are drying out quickly and could use a bit of water but it could provide great habitat for buff-breasted sandpipers as well. Lone American avocet along highway 49 have also been spotted. The Bachhuber Impoundment to the west of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center on Highway 28 is also a great location for shorebirds. Blackbirds and swallows are beginning to flock up. Duck banding operations are finishing up in Dodge County as well. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - Visitors have been hiking, boating, and fishing. Canoes, kayaks and bikes are available to rent. Only a few mosquitoes at times with the hotter weather. Beaches are open in the park. There is starting to be some algae in the lake at times but it does move around because of the rivers so if a beach is green at one time of day it will clear out later. There is a dog beach on Water St, west of the Buckhorn bridge. Park visitors will see and hear increased aircraft activity through August 24 as the Northern Lightning exercise is underway at nearby Volk Field in Camp Douglas. Air activity mainly will be between 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - Visitors have been hiking, checking out the petroglyphs and seeing turkey vultures circling the mound. Adams County may have increased airspace activity between 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through August 24 due to the Northern Lightning exercise underway at Volk Field in Camp Douglas. - Heather Wolf, park manager