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Outdoor Report

Published August 30, 2018 by the Central Office

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

For the second week in a row Wisconsin was slammed with torrential rainfall again leading to massive flooding, this time primarily in southwestern and southcentral parts of the state. The floods again washed out many roads, leading the governor to declare a statewide emergency.

The flooding this week at Wildcat Mountain State Park. The park remains closed until further notic. - Photo credit: DNR
The flooding this week at Wildcat Mountain State Park. The park remains closed until further notic.Photo credit: DNR

The flooding caused the closure of Wildcat Mountain State Park and the 400, Elroy-Sparta, Hillsboro and Saunders state trails just before the Labor Day holiday weekend. A confirmed tornado in Fond du Lac County lead to the closure of about half the campsites in the Long Lake Campground of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Northern Unit. For details search the DNR website for "current conditions."

All four Madison area lakes remain under slow-no-wake ordinance as does much of the Rock River south of Lake Koshkonong and this week Columbia County instituted slow-no-wake on the Lower Wisconsin River from Portage to Lake Wisconsin.

Going into the holiday weekend, most other state parks, forests and trails are open and in good condition for outdoor recreation. Those looking for last-minute camping options should check the state park reservation site for opening or cancellations. Most available sites are in the northern state forests.

Northern Wisconsin didn't receive as much but still had some significant rainfall of 4 to 8 inches in some areas. Both the Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers are running high for the holiday weekend and could provide excellent conditions for experienced paddlers.

From high winds to thunderstorms, the weather over the past week has made it difficult for anglers to have much success. Central Wisconsin received 4-10 inches of rain and most trout streams flooded and were unfishable. Wolf River anglers have been doing well catching bass. Crappie were starting to bite on inland lakes.

Despite the weather, anglers had some success catching walleye and perch along the Oconto River along with some smallmouth bass. Suamico and Geano Beach remained the heaviest fished spots on lower Green Bay's west shore, but walleye anglers had mixed success. The muskellunge effort is increasing, with many reporting success, including one angler who caught a 54-inch monster. Walleye are also continuing to bite at Bayshore. Large catches of white perch were also reported, along with anglers catching catfish and freshwater drum.

Fishing pressure along Door County was low over the past week. The few walleye anglers did bring in fish, while the perch anglers had mixed luck, with nearly everyone seeming to bring in white perch. Smallmouth action from the piers remained good along the northern peninsula.

Thunderstorms kept many anglers off Lake Michigan this week. - Photo credit: Reni Rydlewicz, DNR fisheries technician
Thunderstorms kept many anglers off Lake Michigan this week.Photo credit: Reni Rydlewicz, DNR fisheries technician

Poor weekend weather with high winds, large swells on Lake Michigan, and thunderstorms limited anglers from heading out on the water. Those who made it out reported a mixed bag of coho, rainbow and lake trout are being reported with an occasional chinook.

Saturday is the opening of the early goose and teal seasons, along with opening of mourning dove. Not many farmers have cut corn yet so geese have mainly stuck to alfalfa fields. Spots on fawns now fading out, bucks are still in velvet but that will change very soon. Walnuts and acorns have started to fall and the apples on the trees are looking great. Looks like an excellent white oak acorn crop, early archery deer and turkey hunters should duly note. Many black ash and red maple trees are beginning to change colors.

The bulk of common nighthawks were found across central Wisconsin, including over 3,000 counted in Dunn County on August 25, but the peak is likely past now for all but southernmost counties. Flocks of blue-winged teal, our earliest migrating duck species, were reported from Horicon and a few other locations.

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Temporary closures due to recent rain storms: The following properties are closed or have closed areas due to recent storms:
Flood waters washed out sections of Wisconsin's iconic first state trail, the Elroy-Sparta, which remains closed until furthern notice. - Photo credit: DNR
Flood waters washed out sections of Wisconsin's iconic first state trail, the Elroy-Sparta, which remains closed until further notice.Photo credit: DNR

In addition the beaches at Lake Kegonsa and Yellowstone Lake state parks are closed due to elevated bacteria levels. For beach conditions, please see the Wisconsin Beach Health website [exit DNR]

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Statewide Birding Report

This week brought a mixed bag of migrants around the state. The bulk of common nighthawks were found across central Wisconsin, including over 3,000 counted in Dunn County on August 25, but the peak is likely past now for all but southernmost counties. Flocks of blue-winged teal, our earliest migrating duck species, were reported from Horicon and a few other locations. Overhead, some raptors have also begun to trickle south, particularly the first ospreys, broad-winged hawks, and immature bald eagles. While shorebird abundance is generally waning, diversity was good this week at places like Horicon, Big Eau Pleine Reservoir, and Lake Michigan beaches. Lesser yellowlegs, semipalmated sandpipers, sanderlings, and semipalmated plovers were among the species reported. Rarer finds included Hudsonian godwit, willet, buff-breasted sandpiper, and piping plover. Look for more black-bellied plovers and American golden-plovers in the weeks ahead at sod farms, beaches, and mudflats where shorebirds are typically found. Songbird migration continues to ramp up, including some good warbler flights all the way through southern Wisconsin, where up to 12 species have been found in a day. Boreal forest breeders like blackpoll, Wilson's, bay-breasted, and palm warblers have also arrived, as have building numbers of Swainson's thrushes, whose peeper-like calls are often heard overhead as they migrate at night. Cedar waxwing migration is underway across the north as mixed flocks of adult and juvenile birds head south, occasionally descending to devour fruits like mountain ash, cherries, invasive buckthorn, and others. Meanwhile, nesting season carries on for some species. American goldfinches are prominently fledging young now. Song sparrows, common yellowthroats, eastern bluebirds, mourning doves, northern cardinals, barn swallows, and a few other species were also seen with recently-fledged young this week. The week's biggest rarities were a swallow-tailed kite in Marquette county, Wisconsin's 12th record of this gulf coast species, and western kingbirds in Sauk. Help us track the migration and find out what others are seeing at http://www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland

The week's best find was Wisconsin's 12th swallow-tailed kite discovered in Marquette County on August 23 and continuing as of today, August 30.  - Photo credit: Sunil Gopalan.
The week's best find was Wisconsin's 12th swallow-tailed kite discovered in Marquette County on August 23 and continuing as of today, August 30. Photo credit: Sunil Gopalan.

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Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties

Friday, August 31, 2018

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Saturday and Sunday, September 1-2, 2018

For all events search Get Outdoors

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - Our wish for rain came true over the last few days--but maybe we wished a little too hard! We received nearly 7.5 inches of rain since last Friday. The river level is up and the flow is fast at just under 350 cfs. Normal flow for this time of year is around 130 cfs. More rain is on the way for tonight and Friday night, but the holiday weekend looks like it will be beautiful with sunny skies and high temperatures in the 70s. It definitely feels like the end of summer has arrived. Ferns are starting to brown up and the recent rain made the mushrooms pop. Hazel nuts, wild plums, apples, and blackberries are ripe and abundant. The humming birds feeders have been noticeably more active than normal as they get their fill of nectar in preparation for the upcoming migration. We've had some morning temperatures in the low to mid 40s. It won't be long before we see that first frost of the season. The campgrounds have been full the last few weekends, and Labor Day weekend looks like it will be busy as well. Autumn is a spectacular time to go camping. Reservations are available through November 15 at ReserveAmerica.com or 1-888-947-2757. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Amnicon State Park - Summer-time low water levels had left portions of the Amnicon River with more rock features than water; Now and Then Falls were not to be found. Things have changed considerably following more than 4 inches of rainfall this week. The river is full from bank to bank and the channel that feeds Now and Then Falls is running again. Come out and see for yourself this Labor Day Weekend! - Dave Lindsley, ranger

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Shorebird migration is picking up rapidly here in the Grantsburg Area. We have had many interesting sightings over the last few days, and many of them at the Phantom Lake. For those of you that have not been to Crex this summer, you may not know that Phantom Lake is in complete draw-down at the moment, creating a large mudflat area. This creates a good habitat for migrating shorebirds, and has been a prime viewing already this August. Bird highlights of the week include: Baird's sandpiper, lesser yellowlegs, pectoral sandpiper, sanderling, semipalmated plover, and solitary sandpiper. Around the area we are still seeing sows with cubs, does with fawns, and swans with cygnets (which are just about the size of the adults). There have been several sightings of each in different places on Crex Meadows and around Grantsburg. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - The Flambeau River water levels are higher than normal due to the precipitation received the last couple days and is moving faster, though will make a swift ride and lots of fun. September is upon us and with it comes the fall changes. Colors begin to turn, raptors migrate, monarch butterflies migrate, cranberries ripen and ferns turn brown. Some of the hummingbirds have migrated. Most of the ruby throated hummingbirds winter in southern Mexico or northern Panama. Their circannual rhythms are synchronized and tuned to the changing day length. The peak of migration is late August to early September. The heavy apple trees are dropping fruit and many households are making applesauce and apple pies. Gardens are winding down and tomatoes are ripening fast. Colors in the tree canopies are turning and soon the sumac bushes. The under laying brush in the forest is becoming less prominent. Acorns and hickories will soon be dropping as the temperature cools. The deer and elk have been busy grazing. Filling up for the winter months. 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. Most of the bulls have rubbed off their velvet and are polishing their antlers. Bulls will soon be bugling. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms Friday with a high of 71 and low of 61. Saturday, will be mostly sunny with a high of 76 and a low of 52. Sunday, will be sunny with a high of 78 and a low of 57. Labor Day, Monday, will be a chance of showers and thunderstorms early then partly sunny, with a high of 77 and a low of 58. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

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 River dropped from 77 to 64 degrees over this past week. Good numbers of Ann Arbor ramp anglers were out this past week. Some anglers were having some success catching brown trout this week. Heavy fishing pressure remains at the Menekaunee boat ramp as Anglers continue to report success catching brown trout 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. Overall, low fishing pressure was observed on the Peshtigo River this past week. The water temperatures ranged from 70-77 degrees over the weekend. Fishing pressure is low along at the Peshtigo dam area. Some anglers were having luck catching rock bass, crappie, and bluegill using nightcrawlers up by the dam. Boat anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo River continue to have limited success on walleye with crank baits, catching more drum than targeted species. The area is also a destination for owners of water loving dogs. Some catches of yellow perch by shore anglers fishing nightcrawlers on the bottom near submergent vegetation. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - From high winds to thunderstorms, the weather over the past week has made it difficult for anglers to have much success. Despite the weather, anglers had some success catching walleye and perch along the Oconto River this week. Over the past week, the water temperature for the Oconto river ranged from 68-80 degrees. Anglers were reporting success at the Oconto Park II Area catching some perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye over the weekend. Anglers were having success catching perch using nightcrawlers at water depths between 5 and 10 feet. Anglers were having success catching walleye using nightcrawlers water depths between 10 and 15 feet. Anglers on the Oconto pier were having some success catching catfish, northern pike, perch, and smallmouth bass this week. The Oconto Breakwater Harbor had high fishing pressure by anglers using the boat launch Anglers using the boat launch were reporting success catching channel catfish, northern pike, perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye. 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 was good by the Stiles Dam this week. Anglers were having occasional success catching rock bass or bluegill this week. The areas close proximity to Green Bay, coupled with public access, makes it a favorite for casual angling. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - Suamico and Geano beach remain the heaviest fished spots on the lower bay west shore. Boaters fishing for walleye had mixed luck, with some bringing in a handful while others caught nothing. Walleye anglers also caught some freshwater drum and a few white perch while out trolling. The muskellunge effort Saturday increased, with many of the fishing boats interviewed having success. One musky angler caught a 54-inch monster. Walleye are continuing to bite at Bayshore with nearly all the walleye anglers catching an average haul of two to three fish. Yellow perch fishing slowed down from the previous weeks catch rate, however some boats had great hauls. Large catches of white perch were reported, along with anglers catching catfish and freshwater drum. The parking lot was near capacity on the weekend. Jeremiah Shrovnal, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Door County - There was low fishing pressure for most of the week and weekend at the Sturgeon Bay shore with one report of a northern pike being caught offshore near the DNR office. Many boaters came back to the Sturgeon Bay ramp with good size walleye and some yellow perch this week. There are also reports of northern pike, white perch, sheepshead, and smallmouth bass in the canal. The water temperature was reported to be 68-70 degrees on the surface. A few anglers were out at Bay View Park- for smallmouth bass this week though no success was had. Fishing pressure was low. Some walleye were being caught out of Stone Quarry along with freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and northern pike. Water was reported to be around 72 degrees at the surface near the ramp. Choppy water made fishing difficult late in the week, but was calm enough off and on through the weekend when not storming. There was light fishing pressure from shore this week with a decrease in smallmouth bass catches, some reports of rock bass, and a couple northern pike being caught. Good luck for smallmouth bass was had using nightcrawlers. Folks were coming back to the Sunset Park ramp with some yellow perch this week. Fishing pressure was relatively low. Water temperature was reported to be 71 degrees at the surface. Fishing pressure from shore was low this weekend with a few reports of smallmouth bass caught using tubes. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Walleye and yellow perch anglers continue to find consistent catches out of Chaudoir's dock, with nearly every boat bringing something in. Many of the walleye fisherman caught extra catfish, while everyone seemed to bring in white perch. Fishing pressure was low over the past week at Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor, with many pleasure boaters. The few walleye anglers did bring in fish, while the perch anglers had mixed luck. One smallmouth bass angler caught six hardy bass. While out anglers also caught northern pike, freshwater drum, white bass, white perch, catfish, and round goby. Fishing pressure was low over the past week at Potawatomi State Park, but the handful of anglers had success catching walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and round goby. - Jeremiah Shrovnal, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Smallmouth action from the piers remains good. Crawlers under slip bobbers are the most popular bait. Fish can be caught all day long but the bigger bass are caught early and late in the day. Perch action in the marinas has been very inconsistent. Anglers have been trying minnows, red worms and crawlers. Boat anglers have been trolling crank baits for walleyes with limited success. Fishing pressure has been low with the majority of boat traffic being pleasure boaters. Gills Rock and Rowleys Bay piers have been good spots for bass in the morning. Salmon fishing in Gills Rock has been slow but one angler had success targeting browns. Fishing pressure has been fairly low with the weather this weekend. Anglers out of Baileys Harbor have been catching a couple kings and rainbows. They have been searching different depths and report water temps to be all over the place.- Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Fishing pressure was very light for the majority of the week and into the weekend. The catch rate remained low for chinook salmon. Water temperature was reported to be 74 degrees at the surface early in the week but dropped down to 58 degrees near the ramp by the weekend. Choppy water and rollers made conditions difficult as well as a heavy fog settling onto the lake after the storm. The thermocline post rain was reported to be 44 degrees 30 feet down out to 300 feet of water and 64 degrees at the surface. Very little shoreline fishing pressure this week with a few reports of chinook salmon being caught on Thursday. Temperature was reported to be 67 degrees but cooled to 58 degrees on the shore surface by Saturday. There was a decrease in fishing pressure at the pier this week. No reports were had for brown trout or chinook salmon. There was light fishing pressure this out of Algoma week with folks coming back with a few small king salmon. Wednesday the water temperature was reported to be 73-74 degrees just about everywhere with a thermocline dip of 48 degrees 120 feet down out to 300-350 feet of water. By Saturday the report was 58 degrees at the surface near shore and 62-64 degrees out to 200 feet of water. Folks were getting chinooks salmon closer to 150-200ft of water on spoons. Anglers out at Olson park were catching small largemouth and a few perch. There were also a few reports of bullheads and one bowfin. At the Algoma Harbor there was a 14 degree temperature drop after the storm from Wednesday to Saturday bringing the water to 56 degrees-58 degrees near shore. There was heavy fishing pressure in the mornings and evenings with reports of brown trout being caught at the shoulder and chinook salmon catches near the tip of the harbor.- Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - Fishing has remained slow throughout the week. Due to the high winds and large swells on the lake the number of anglers that were fishing was low. A few chinooks were caught throughout the middle of the week in 115 feet of water on flasher fly combos. Water temps were still in the mid-70s on the surface and then 80 feet down was still 72 degrees. Fishing on the piers are still low. Hopefully with the rain we received recently will help the fishing. The salmon and trout should be starting to come in shortly. Anglers are still catching bass inside the marina. Northern Pike are being caught as well. There was a northern over 30 inches caught this past week inside the marina. The fishing report for Two Rivers is the same as Manitowoc. Fishing is still slow, but hopefully things will start to turn around. Pier anglers have not had any luck catching any salmon or trout in the past week. A bass was caught on occasion as well as carp. The carp were caught on spoons while anglers were trying for salmon/trout. Anglers fishing inside the harbors are still catching bullheads. The bullheads were the only thing caught over the past week.

- Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Oconto County - The county fared well with storms and did not see much damage. There are still blackberries in the woods but they are dying off. Saturday is the opening of the early goose and teal seasons, along with opening of mourning dove. Individuals have had success for waterfowl hunting on the bay, and surrounding state properties. Also the Machickanee Flowage and Christie Lake have produced teal and geese. Not many farmers have cut corn yet so geese have mainly stuck to alfalfa fields. With recent rain, most ATV trails should be less dusty and fun to ride. The river and lake levels were decreasing before the rain but have now risen. Fishing is still slow in inland lakes but Green Bay is still producing walleye. For fall colors some maple trees are starting to change but most other trees are all still green.- Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Manitowoc County - The county received a good amount of rain over the last few days, 2-3 inches in some locations. Some areas were hit harder with downed trees and power outages. Collins Marsh water levels are up significantly due to the rain but with adjustments to the dam levels it should go back to its normal level in a few days. As a reminder September 1 marks the start of the Wildlife Refuge on Collins Marsh. Make sure you pay attention to the signs that are posted. You cannot enter the wildlife refuge for any reason, that includes fishing from the dam off of Highway JJ. Early goose and early teal hunting starts on Saturday September 1. Local geese can be seen throughout the county is cut wheat fields and flooded hay fields. Point Beach State Forest also received heavy amounts of rain the past few days. Trails are open but are very wet. Please be considerate when on the trails to leave a limited impact on the landscape. Enjoy the great outdoors.- Alyssa R Neff-Miller, conservation warden, Mishicot

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - Anywhere from 4-10 inches of rain in the last week in central Wisconsin. Most streams very flooded and unfishable. The mosquito hatch is well under way and they are thick. Nighthawks are staging in evening flights and will leave shortly. Looks like an excellent white oak acorn crop, early archery deer and turkey hunters should duly note. Blackberry crop is almost over, a great year. Spots on fawns now fading out, bucks are still in velvet but that will change very soon. Many black ash and red maple trees are beginning to change colors. Have a good holiday weekend. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Rivers are rising rapidly due to the recent heavy rainfall received. Most are still in great shape to enjoy some kayaking this week. Fishing is starting to improve. On the Wolf River near Fremont, anglers have been doing well and catching bass by throwing near rocky shorelines. Panfish are being caught in the brush piles - especially if there is current. Nighthawks are migrating through central Wisconsin. Watch for them in the evening. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery - The public is invited to a lecture series on Lake Sturgeon. Speakers will welcome questions and discussions on this iconic Wisconsin fish. Lake Sturgeon Lecture: "Hook, Line and Spearing" on Saturday, Sept. 1, starting at 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Waushara County - The weather in the Waushara area for the first round of hunting season openers looks like it could be a warmer one. With the recent rains in the area it may spread out the teal now that there will be more water for them to play in. The fawns are looking good this year as far as size goes. They have had great conditions this year to grow fast. The rivers and streams in the area have risen from the rain as well and most are still above ordinary water levels. The crappie bite out on the area lakes sounds like it is on. The acorns have started to fall and the apples on the trees are looking great for some pies to be made. - Kyle Ziembo, warden recruit, Wautoma

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - The forest received more than 8 inches of rain Aug. 27-28. Long Lake campground was impacted by a confirmed tornado and several campsites have downed trees. Campers should call the campground office before coming to Long Lake Campground. Long Lake has a slow no wake restriction through at least Labor Day weekend. The horse trails & mountain bike trails are CLOSED due to wet conditions and fallen trees. - Deb Harder, visitor services associate

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Milwaukee County - Poor weekend weather with higher winds, waves, and thunderstorms limited anglers from heading out on the water. By Sunday, afternoon boaters mostly stayed nearshore and in the harbor in search for brown trout and had little success. McKinley Pier anglers targeting salmon, trout, bass, walleye, or northern pike (on the lakeside and harborside), continue to see very little action. There has been lower fishing pressure at this location due to warmer surface temps and lack of alewives (even out near the gap). With the stronger weather systems, it has slightly cooled off the water. Surface temperatures range from 65 degrees in early morning hours and up to 71 in the afternoon. There was low fishing pressure through the week/weekend near Jones Island. Anglers targeting salmon or trout found little action. Very few boaters launching from Bender Park. Those few anglers trying their luck for salmon and trout found success in the early morning hours, landing mostly smaller fish in 90 feet of water, fish hitting lines 50 feet down. Low fishing pressure continues at the Oak Creek Power Plant. Those few morning and afternoon anglers trying their luck were targeting catfish or bass near the discharge, and salmon or trout at the end of the pier using a variety of bait. Very little action occurred, with surface temperatures between 71-72 degrees.- Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee

Racine County - Most boaters were having luck from 200-300 feet of water with their main catch consisting of rainbows. Most anglers are trolling flies and spoons. A couple anglers attempted to troll close for browns with no luck. Most anglers casting spoons and spinners from the pier for brown trout had little luck. A few anglers targeting perch with jigs and shrimp with only a few small ones to show for it. Water temps were down to 71 degrees. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine

Kenosha County - Most boaters are having luck from 250-350 feet of water trolling flies and spoons. A mixed bag of coho, rainbow and lake trout are being reported with an occasional chinook. Majority of the pier anglers were casting spoons and jigs in hope for brown trout and chinook with little luck. A few pike have been reported being caught during survey times. Water temps are down to 70 degrees right now. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine

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South Central Region

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Lake Kegonsa State Park -A section of the Lakeshore Trail is currently closed due to high water. Sections of the Prairie Trail have been washed out due to heavy rains, but the trail remains open and passable. The beaches are currently under a Water Quality Advisory due to elevated levels of bacteria. The entire lake is under slow-no-wake ordinance. - Sarah Bolser, park manager

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West Central Region

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Perrot State Park - We did receive rain this week but the hiking trails are in good condition and all are open. The river levels are slowly rising from recent rains but the current is still relatively calm and access to the Mississippi River remains open. Enjoy great vies of the bluffs and Trempealeau Bay from a canoe or kayak. Rentals are available at the park office. The prairies are in full bloom so hike up to the top of Brady's Bluff or stroll through the Nature Center prairie and enjoy wildflowers and native grasses. Songbirds, butterflies, moths, and bees are also enjoying the prairie blooms. - Lois Larson, park manager

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Red Cedar State Trail - There are some fall colors beginning to show in the area. Bug activity has really died off and the weather is much cooler. We are getting into some of the best outdoor weather in Wisconsin. Trails are in good condition on the Red Cedar State Trail, Chippewa River State Trail, and at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area. It's an excellent time of year to go for a walk or bike ride. - Calvin Kunkel, ranger

Lake Wissota State Park - Storms have done a lot of damage across the state but Lake Wissota is fully operational for the long holiday weekend with no closures at this time. The recent storms did blow several trees down throughout the park but most of them have been cleaned up already. We have been experiencing cooler mornings that acts as a reminder that fall is just around the corner. Some late season flowers are still in bloom but other plants are showing signs of fall color. Most berries are done for the year but there are wild plumb trees in the park that are getting ripe. Many people look forward to September because it will be the start of several hunting seasons. Just a reminder that hunting is only allowed in certain areas of the park and hunting is not allowed in the park until November 15. There are other public lands available for early season hunting that are nearby. September can also be a good month for fishing on Lake Wissota. Anglers have been catching a variety of species of fish but catfish continue to be the most consistent. - Nathan Fries, ranger

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - Trails, campsites and boat launches are in good condition - no flooding at the park. Visitors have been hiking, boating, and fishing. Canoes, kayaks and bikes are available to rent. Not much for bugs at this time of year. All reservable sites are taken for Labor Day weekend so we have six first come sites. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - Visitors have been hiking, checking out the petroglyphs and seeing turkey vultures circling the mound. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, August 30, 2018

Contact information

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