Published September 27, 2018 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).
This week has been very fall-like with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s, and mostly cloudy gray skies. Fall color is now approaching 50 percent across much of northern and central Wisconsin onto the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report (exit DNR). However, color is spotty, with some areas near peak, while nearby woods remain nearly completely green. New England asters are in full bloom creating a sea of purple that the late season pollinators are enjoying.
Northern rivers are still running fast for this time of year, and more rain will keep the flow higher than normal for a while longer.
Gale winds at the end of the week kept some anglers from venturing out on Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Folks continued to be shoulder to shoulder on the Kewaunee and Algoma piers for chinook salmon though with little luck.
High flows on Lake Michigan tributaries made salmon fishing challenging. Chinook salmon were spotted going up into the Kewaunee River and fishing pressure was high with folks catching many dark chinook salmon in the 18-20 pound range. The Manitowoc River was flowing like crazy last weekend and was almost unfishable by the dam but anglers still had some success. East Twin River fishing pressure increased after the rain and so did the number of fish caught. Anglers fishing the West Twin River by the Shoto dam also caught fish.
Fishing pressure on the Sheboygan River was greatest near the Kohler Dam with a few kings were caught. The Milwaukee River was seeing high pressure, but few anglers were finding success. There was high fishing pressure on Oak Creek with anglers landing 15-20 pound kings or the occasional coho. Most Root River anglers were fly fishing with spawn and having luck mainly with chinook.
It's just past the medium of the elk rut, and biologists believe better than half of next year's elk calves have been conceived. Grouse, fall turkey and archery hunters are out in force. Grouse hunters are still finding a few birds to flush and are also report quite a few woodcock. Archery hunters report seeing fair numbers of deer and a few have been lucky enough to put some meat in the freezer early.
Opening of duck season starts Saturday morning. It should be a great opening weekend with a lot of marshes and farm lands still flooded from last week's rain. Hunters will need to wear the proper footwear, as well as be aware of downed and hanging trees from the recent winds. With the north winds and cold fronts that have moved in early this week there was a refresh of Canada geese and sandhill cranes at Horicon Marsh, where some small ponds are holding more than 1,000 newly arrived geese.
Three-hundred-plus broad-winged hawks were tallied in Monroe County on Sept. 21 and 500-plus over Sauk on Sept. 23. Peak flights this coming week will belong to turkey vultures, sharp-shinned hawks, merlins, and peregrine falcons. The first rough-legged hawks have arrived on schedule, as have a couple tundra swans.
Last Sunday was the autumnal equinox, and this weekend you can fall into fun with six state properties holding fall festivals. It's also a lake sturgeon weekend with SturgeonFest with young sturgeon being stocked at Lakeshore Park and the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery education center holding a program on sturgeon monitoring, restoration and distribution. For all events search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."
The calendar doesn't lie - fall is here. American robins and rusty blackbirds made good flights into the north this week, while both ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, northern flickers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and various sparrows were seen statewide. Now is a great time to spread white millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds on the ground near brush piles and other thick cover to attract sparrows, juncos, and other species (e.g. blue jays and squirrels). Numbers of white-throated sparrows are nearing peak in the north, where the first fox and Harris's sparrows have also arrived. Yellow-rumped warblers now dominate the warbler scene, especially across the north where hundreds moved into the region earlier this week, although palm warblers remain relatively common and a smattering of other species can be expected for weeks to come yet. Flycatchers have largely departed save for a few least flycatchers, eastern wood-pewees, and eastern phoebes. Hummingbirds continue in small numbers across mostly southern counties. Leave feeders up and properly maintained for later migrants as this will not cause hummingbirds to delay migration. Three hundred plus broad-winged hawks were tallied in Monroe County on Sept. 21 and 500-plus over Sauk on Sept. 23. A few may continue this week but peak flights will belong to turkey vultures, sharp-shinned hawks, merlins, and peregrine falcons. The first rough-legged hawks have arrived on schedule, as have a couple tundra swans. Aside from slight increases in duck diversity and numbers and some good goose flights, water bird migration hasn't been eye-opening quite yet. October and November will undoubtedly change that. Some of this week's rarities included Ross's goose in Ozaukee, Nelson's sparrow in Dane, northern mockingbird in Iowa, and both parasitic and pomarine jaeger in Douglas. Report your finds of rare and common birds alike at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
Last Sunday was the autumnal equinox, the astronomical beginning of fall, and this weekend you can fall into fun with six state properties holding fall festivals, including a Harvest Moon Festival at Capital Springs SRA, Art in the Park at Copper Falls, Fall Festival at Roche-A-Cri, Fall Candlelight Hike at Harrington Beach, Fall Color weekend at Gov. Thompson and Harvest Festival at Wyalusing. There will be Fall Color Festival bike rides at Kettle Moraine South and Richard Bong will be hosting a Wolf Lake Trail Run/Walk. Release your own lake sturgeon Saturday at Lakeshore during SturgeonFest or learn about bird banding at Kohler-Andrae. Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
And don't forget to visit #OutWiGo and sign the pledge to stay active in Wisconsin's outdoors.
Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties
Friday, September 28, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Saturday & Sunday, September 29-30, 2018
For all events search Get Outdoors
Sept 29, 9 a.m.-noon, Sugar River Wetlands Seed collecting workday- Help care for Sugar River Wetlands State Natural Area! This month our main objective will be collecting seeds. We'll identify several different native prairie and wetland plants and learn how to collect their seeds. Seed will be scattered in fall to areas where invasive brush has recently been removed. We may also spend some time addressing invasive plants coming up. This work will expand the quality wetland areas and continue the efforts started by the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association and Wisconsin DNR.
Sept 30, 10 a.m.-noon York Prairie Seed collecting workday - Join us to collect seeds on the 3 units of the York Prairie State Natural Area and enjoy the beauty of these prairie remnants. The seeds will be used for a new prairie restoration at the York sites and at the Stauffacher Unit of Muralt Bluff Prairie State Natural Area near Albany, WI. We have several days scheduled so come to one or all. This is a great way to start learning prairie plants.
No experience is necessary, we'll teach you! 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 - This week has been very fall-like with high temperatures in the 50s and 60s, and mostly cloudy gray skies. However, when we have seen the sun, the sky is the brilliant blue of autumn. Fall color is spotty, with some areas near peak, while nearby woods remain nearly completely green. Our first frost of the season is forecast for Saturday morning, that should get more fall color started. Check out the fall-color-report to find information on the estimated leaf color stage around the state. Get out and enjoy the cooler temperatures and colors of the season! The river is still running fast for this time of year, and more rain will keep the flow higher than normal for awhile. Fishermen are having some hit and miss luck with fishing. Be sure to check the river flow at www.waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=04025500 before heading out for fishing or canoeing. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - The Flambeau River water levels are bit high for this time of year due to recent rains, yet easily navigable. Sturgeon fishing on the North Fork of the Flambeau is open till Sept. 30, check the regulations). Red and sugar maples have turned or are turning in the Winter area. We are just pre-peak in the Winter area. Aspens, birch, oak, ash and basswoods are just beginning to turn; however, maples are the most dominant in the area. Colors in the Winter area peak even before areas to the north because of the abundance of maple. Many migrant birds are currently moving through the area. Monarch butterflies have just moved through, cranberries are soon to ripen and ferns are all brown due to frost on the morning of Sept. 22. Acorns and hickories nuts are falling. The deer have been busy grazing. We've just pasted the medium of the elk rut, better than half of next year's elk calves have been conceived. Grouse, fall turkey and archery hunters are out in force. Mowing of openings and trails are winding down. The ATV/UTV trail system is in good condition on the Flambeau River State Forest. Use caution north of Hwy W, as there is an active timber sale in progress. There are four logging sales at this time on the Flambeau River State Forest. Be aware of large logging trucks on the roads. The weekend weather looks drier, but the start of October looks to be a wet one. Temperatures will be cool until next Wednesday with lows in the mid 30s to low 40s. Wildlife will be in a feeding frinzy if the rain isn't too hard. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The fall colors are really starting to show in the NHAL, especially in the maple stands. High water abounds so hunters and gatherers need to wear the proper footwear, as well as be aware of downed and hanging trees from the recent winds. It is a mushroom hunters paradise out, if one knows what to look for! The lavender of asters are about the only wildflower still blooming, as goldenrod, joe-pye weed and fireweed are sporting quite a seed crop. Broods of turkeys of all sizes are busy looking for bugs along roadsides competing with the migrating flickers and sparrows. Many critters are getting ready for winter, gathering what they can and beaver are setting up new territories and building dams on area streams. It's a great time to be out in the woods. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - The water temperature of the Menominee River fluctuated only slightly as the week progressed having a high of 74 and a low of 62 by Sunday afternoon. Gale winds at the end of the week kept some anglers on shore or in the river rather than venturing out in the Bay. Fishing pressure remained relatively low over the weekend. A few shore anglers were fishing this weekend. Pier anglers trying for salmon had no luck but high winds reduced time spent fishing on Friday. Stephenson Island fishing pressure was moderate, with a few shore anglers targeting trout and salmon and some boat anglers trying for lake sturgeon or musky. The Peshtigo River dropped from 73 degrees down to 63 degrees by Sunday the 23rd. Fishing pressure remained high over the past weekend, with some anglers having luck catching perch. A few pink salmon were observed and actively spawning in shallow riffles upstream from the Municipal Ramp over the weekend.- Alex Keiler-Klein and Tammie Paoli, fisheries technicians, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Throughout the week, the water temperatures for the Oconto River ranged from 76-60 degrees. Many fluctuations of water temperature had occurred as the week progressed. Fishing pressure was extremely high this weekend at the Oconto Breakwater Harbor Area. Reports of many sheepshead being caught by boat anglers, with an occasional walleye. Stiles Dam fishing pressure remained very light over the weekend. Low fishing pressure was observed at the remaining sites on the Oconto River. Medium fishing pressure was observed a the Pensaukee River boat ramp this weekend but no interviews were obtained. - Alex Keiler-Klein and Tammie Paoli, fisheries technicians, Peshtigo
Brown County - There were a decent number of anglers out over the past week from the Metro boat launch despite the rain and high winds. Effort was evenly split between walleye and musky with both groups catching fewer fish than desired. Most boats were trolling with flicker shads or jigging with minnows but the most walleye caught by any group was three. Musky anglers didn't fair much better with about one out of every five boats netting a fish. The rough fish catch has also decreased greatly over the past week with many boats unable to catch even a drum. At the beginning of the week water temps were in the mid 70s and by the end they crept down into the mid to high 60s. The water clarity is low due to the recent rains and the abundance of blue green algae. Effort has stayed consistent at the Fox Point /fairgrounds launch in comparison to previous weeks. By the end of the week the water temperature was in the mid 60s. There have been a few more anglers out this week at Voyager Park compared to last with effort primarily focusing on whatever they could catch, primarily catfish, freshwater drum, and smallmouth bass. Despite the low catch numbers some anglers report catching a few walleyes after dark from the fishing pier. Yellow perch remains very consistent out of Duck Creek despite their limited size. Boats were catching more than two dozen fish for half a day out on the water. Sizes ranged from 5-8 inches with many smaller fish being tossed back. There were also a few duck hunters out that managed to kill a few birds. Both walleye and musky fishing has been slow out of Suamico and Geano beach. Walleye anglers were primarily trolling with more than half the boats not catching a fish and the ones that did only caught a few. There were far more musky anglers out but success was still very limited. The few fish that were caught were reported to be in the mid-30s. Most musky anglers were trolling but there were a few casting but neither method appeared to be more successful than the other. Water clarity is still low due to the recent storms that have passed through. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Very few boaters out this week out of Bayshore due to the weather conditions. Those that were out reported slow fishing for both walleyes and yellow perch. Most anglers harvest very few or no fish while out this week . - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - Bass fishing slowed down a bit with the strong blows recently. Anglers were still finding some nice fish out amongst the Strawberry and Sister Islands but fish seem to be scattered, mostly in depths over 20 feet. Pier fishermen have been doing well at Stone Quarry on a variety of plastics. Fishing pressure has been low with most anglers targeting bass. Anglers are starting to fish Gills Rock and Washington Island for smallmouth but are having mixed results. Bass are spread out and don't seem to be moving into their fall patterns yet. Water temps range from 61-65 degrees. A walleye fisherman reported some action on crankbaits but no fish. Rowleys Bay pier remains a productive spot for smallmouth. No boats have been seen salmon fishing north of Sturgeon Bay. Most salmon fishermen are targeting the Sturgeon Bay Canal both casting and trolling. The salmon can be seen jumping in the mornings and evenings. Getting a bite can be tricky but some anglers have caught some nice fish over 20 pounds. Crankbaits have been the most popular bait. Perch fishermen in the canal have had success with both crawlers and minnows. The most successful anglers stay mobile and start early in the morning searching for active schools of perch.- Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Chaudoir's Dock had very few boaters out this week due to weather and interview times. Very few fisherman were out this week out of Little Sturgeon. Those that were out reported fishing was slow with very few fish being caught and those that were being caught were small or were not the fish they were targeting. Those that were out fishing Sawyer Harbor reported slow fishing with one boat of four people harvesting three walleyes from sunup to sundown. The smallmouth were the same with another boat averaging four total from sunup to sundown. . - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Kewaunee County - There was very light fishing pressure early this week with little to no luck on chinook salmon in the harbor. Near the end of the week water temperature was reported to be 63-65 degrees out in 500-600 feet of water and 60-62 degrees at the shore. There was medium fishing pressure along the shoreline as folks were out at dawn and dusk. Not as much luck was had this week as compared to the last along the shore and pier. King salmon could be spotted going up into the Kewaunee River but no hits were reported. Spoons were reported to be warm when retrieved. Folks continued to crowd the Kewaunee pier for chinook salmon this week though little luck was had retrieving them. Late in the evening there were some runs reported though low catch rates. Folks were having better luck on the lake side for king salmon. Many anglers had moved on to the river system. Kewaunee River fishing pressure was high early this week with folks catching many dark chinook salmon in the 18-20 pound range. Salmon could be spotted coming up and down the river by footbridge. Many folks got their fish throughout the day around Devil's bend on flies and spawn sacs. Early this week folks stayed in the Algoma harbor catching chinook salmon and a few northern pike. It was noted to be 65 degrees at the surface near shore. By late in the week and the weekend many of the boats could be seen coming back with rainbow trout and king salmon out in 380-520 feet of water. It was reported to be 64-65 degrees at the surface far out and mid 50s 100 feet down. Some folks were getting rainbow trout in 500 feet of water and 100-110 feet down. At the shore it cooled down to 58-59 degrees late week. Very little luck was had with salmon near the harbor and inland. This weekend there was medium fishing pressure along the Algoma shoreline with a low catch rate on king salmon. Strong winds and lake water washing over made conditions unfavorable at times. Anglers were hoping for fresher salmon at the shore and at the pier though they were more difficult to catch. Good luck was had using silver and green spoons. Folks were shoulder to shoulder on the Algoma Pier this weekend though very few hits were had and not many landed any chinook salmon. Some northern pike was reported to be caught on the north side of the pier. Early in the week folks by Blahnik Park on the Ahnapee River were getting good sized yellow perch. There was also reports of small largemouth bass and pumpkinseed. By late week, many anglers were crowded at Olson Park trying to catch king salmon though not too much luck was had. Some northern pike were being caught on spoons. Stony Creek fishing pressure was high this week. Both fly and spin anglers were readily hooking chinook salmon near the mouth of the crick. The catch rate was high. Many folks were getting kings with silver and blue cleos or spawn sacs. Moldy spots were spotted on many of the salmon by Sunday evening.- Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - The Manitowoc River was flowing like crazy last weekend and was almost unfishable by the dam. There were some anglers that tried fishing by the dam in Clark Mills, but their lines kept on getting tangled together. Anglers fishing by Manitou park had some success this week. Those fish were caught casting spoons and occasionally a crankbait. The fishing has started to slow down inside the harbor. The number of a northern pike being caught has decreased as well as the number of bass. No reports of perch being caught yet. Anglers trying their hand on the Lake have had little to show. Most of the boats are trying out in front the pier heads with no luck. The number of boats going out has decreased to a few boats a day. East Twin River fishing pressure has increased after the rain we received. As the number of anglers increased so did the number of fish that were harvested. Most of the fish caught along the East Twin occurred by the dam in Mishicot as well as downstream from the fire station. In both locations spawn sacs produced the fish. Chinooks dominated the catch over the week. Anglers fishing the West Twin River by the Shoto dam caught fish after the rain storm. However, the amount of flow coming down has limited most anglers to fishing the smaller dam. Spawn sacs produced the fish in Shoto just like in Mishicot. Anglers using the Shoto ramp had no success this week. The fishing pressure is starting to decline in the Two Rivers harbor. In addition to the decrease in fishing pressure the number of fish caught decreased as well. Anglers have reported seeing chinook salmon jumping in the harbor yet, but not at a high rate. Pier fishermen have had limited success on the pier over the last week. There were a few anglers who braved the storms and caught chinooks casting off the pier. Silver and green cleos produced a couple fish over the week. The number of anglers trying their hand on the boats have decreased. The number of fish being caught is also decreasing. The best catch of the week was three kings, otherwise it was zero or one fish. Majority of the fish were caught in close to shore using spoons and j-plugs.- Cody Flavion, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Marinette County - Marinette County had a good cold snap last weekend with overnight temps in the mid-30s. Following the cold snap, fall colors are building with more maples turning red. The next 2 weeks should be great fall color. Increased deer activity was also spurred on by the cold air. Grouse hunters are still finding a few birds to flush and are also report quite a few woodcock. Archery hunters report seeing fair numbers of deer and a few have been lucky enough to put some meat in the freezer early. Acorn production has been good this year. Deer, turkey, grouse, squirrels, blue jays and others are making good use of the abundant food. DNR staff and private contractors are busy spraying Phragmites. The tall invasive grass is often associated with the bay of Green Bay and other wet/moist soil areas. These permitted treatments usually occur in late summer and early fall because that's when the plants have put the most energy above ground and have the most surface area to accept the chemical and transport it to the roots. Once a freeze hits, the plants die back and are no longer susceptible to the chemical. The cold seems to have set back the mosquitoes a bit as well, but there are still some areas of the county that continue to have a high population so pack the bug repellent just in case.- Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee
Oconto County - I have seen a large influx of migratory birds moving south in Oconto and Marinette Counties. Colder weather will help keep the birds moving. Fishing continues to be slow inland, but on the Bay of Green Bay walleye are still being caught. I have seen plenty of turkey, deer, and other small game while on patrol and out on public properties. There are many state properties along the Bay of Green Bay, Pensaukee Wildlife area, Bay Shore State Wildlife areas, and Pecor Point, that provide great hunting opportunities for waterfowl hunting and deer hunting. Most areas are wet and require knee or hip boots but hunters have been successful in the past harvesting game. - Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls
Governor Thompson State Park - The fall flowers including many types of asters and golden rod are now blooming along the trails. We are seeing fall colors, deer, turkeys and black bear. - Maggie Kailhofer, park manager
Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Manitowoc County - Fall colors are starting to show in Manitowoc County with an estimation we are at about 20 percent. With the colder weather the mosquito population should go down making it much more enjoyable to be outside. Fishermen are catching fish at the Dams in Shoto and Mishicot for the Annual Fall Fish run. As a reminder there is a night fishing closure in those areas, please check the regulations for the exact time to stop fishing. Opening of duck season starts Saturday morning. It should be a great opening weekend with a lot of marshes and farm lands still flooded from last week's rain. Please review the regulations before you head out to ensure you are following the laws. Remember the basic rules of firearm safety TABK when you are out in the field as well. Forecasts for this weekend show highs in the mid 50s, grab a jacket and get outside to enjoy the great outdoors. - Alyssa R Neff-Miller, conservation warden, Mishicot
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Starting to color up nice in the central sands area, especially in northern Waupaca county. Deer hunting off to a slower than normal start due to nice warm weather and locally horrendous mosquito populations. In Waushara and Marquette counties the skeets are so bad as to be a deterrent to outdoor activities. Trout fishing very good if bugs can be tolerated. A few woodcock have arrived in far northern Waupaca county. Tons of turkeys around, looks like they must be feeding on grasshoppers in fields and ditches. That's a good think too as many poults are very small due to late renesting attempts and need to catch up on their growth. Excellent acorn year for the White Oak family - White, Swamp White and Bur Oak. Pray for a frost to kill the mosquitos - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery - Learn about ongoing lake sturgeon research, explore a new sturgeon exhibit, and enjoy the fall colors during a special event Sept. 29, 4-6 p.m. at the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery education center, N5871 State Road 22, in Wild Rose, Wis. UW-Green Bay graduate research assistant Stefan Tucker and undergraduate student Angie Grimm will discuss sturgeon monitoring and restoration for the Fox River, assessing adult demographics, reproduction, ecology and juvenile habitat selection. UW-Stevens Point's Nick Porter, graduate assistant in fisheries, will discuss Wisconsin's current lake sturgeon population and distribution. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more about the hatchery.
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Lakeshore State Park - Join in the fun at Sturgeon Fest at on Sept. 29. Sponsor and hand release one of the young sturgeon into the Milwaukee Harbor (pre-register to sponsor a fish due to limited number) and enjoy games and crafts for kids, a scavenger hunt, an Adventure Rock climbing wall, a live reptile and amphibian display, local food trucks, and more at this event, which runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - The Deland Park ramp was quite busy this weekend, and success was about 50/50 from boats coming in off the lake. Some anglers were able to find pockets of cooler water, and had success pulling in steelheads and coho, while others claimed to have marked fish, but weren't able to get them to bite. Spoons and spinners were used most often and seemed to work pretty well. The shore and piers were very quiet, with only a handful of anglers out on the south pier. There were no reported fish caught, although there were a few fish jumping near sunset. Fishing pressure on the Sheboygan River was greatest near the Kohler Dam and the mouth of the river. A few kings were caught near the dam, while little success was seen near the mouth. Fly fishing and crankbaits were the most popular near the dam, while spoons were preferred downstream near Sprecher and the south pier. Not much action was seen in between the dam and south of 8th St., aside from a boat out near 14th St. - Jessica Grace Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Ozaukee County - Fishing efforts on the lake out of Port Washington were very slow. Of the boats that came in, only one reported a catch, while the rest saw little-to-no action out on the water. Anglers mainly used spoons and other crankbaits but saw little success. Fishing on the Port Washington shoreline and piers was fairly active this weekend, with many anglers sticking to the north pier and inside the marina. Many of the anglers were using spoons and spinners, but a few tried their luck with spawn sacks. Surface waters have begun to cool down and were in the mid-60s when recorded. The Port Washington utility saw many anglers both Saturday and Sunday, but success was hit-or-miss. A steelhead was caught near the power plant on a spoon, but no other fish were seen in the evening. According to other anglers, fishing success was very high in the morning, and they estimated that 6-7 fish were caught before 11 a.m. Lots of fish were jumping in the evening, but not many hits were reported. - Jessica Grace Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Milwaukee County - Morning boaters targeting salmon out of the McKinley ramp had very little luck this weekend. Most anglers reported marking quite a few fish through the north and south gaps and into deeper waters up to 180 feet, but there was little bite. Those heading to deeper waters noted thermoclines beginning down in about 80 -90 feet of water. McKinley Pier anglers reported quite a few fish jumping at the surface shortly after sunrise and close to sunset. Those targeting salmon or brown trout found little success at the end of the pier near the gap and harborside, using a variety of baits including spoons and spawn. Surface water temperatures lakeside, range between 62-64 degrees. Low fishing pressure continues shoreside. Those few anglers targeting salmon observed by the Summerfest grounds and Lakeshore State Park continue to see little to no action. At the mouth of the Milwaukee River surface temperatures range from 64-66 degrees. Estabrook and Kletsch Parks are seeing high fishing pressure, especially by the falls; however, few anglers are finding success catching salmon or trout. Water levels are lower with normal flow and clearer waters. Water temperatures range between 59-61 degrees further upstream. The Menomonee River saw low fishing pressure throughout the week/weekend. Low, clear water levels and normal flow in the tributary. Temperatures range between 68-69 degrees near MMSD. A few panfish were caught further upstream using live bait. The few anglers trying their luck for salmon and trout around Miller Park/Three Bridges, where temperatures are 59 degrees, saw little action. There was high fishing pressure on Oak Creek near the falls, especially in the morning hours. Anglers were landing 15-20 pound kings or the occasional coho using spawn. Anglers using a variety of flies and yarn saw very little action. Water levels are low, clear, and with normal flow. Temperatures throughout the creek are around 56 degrees. Low fishing pressure continues at the Oak Creek Power Plant. Those handful of morning anglers trying their luck for salmon or trout saw very little action. Anglers fishing the discharge continue to land the occasional catfish or sheepshead using live bait. - Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Racine County - Not Many boaters traveling far out. Most are having luck trolling in about 50-100 feet of water with spoons and jplugs for kings. Most pier anglers were casting spoons and floating spawn. A couple coho have been reported. Water temps were in the mid 60s throughout the week. Most Root River anglers were fly fishing with spawn near the quarry, dam and Lincoln Park. Anglers were having luck mainly with chinooks. Water is flowing pretty fast this weekend which slowed down the bite but salmon can still be witness jumping making their way up. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Kenosha County - Most anglers were having luck in 100-200 feet of water for more silver fish. The anglers in the harbor are mainly catching kings which have already changed color. Most luck is floating spawn in the harbor or trolling jplugs outside of harbor. Water temps maintaining around 63 degrees. Pier anglers were having luck catching chinook on spawn or casting glow spoons at night. Cranks have also been reported to work at night for triggering a bite. A couple coho salmon have also been reported. Most anglers were sticking to the mouth of the Pike River for best luck. There have been a couple fish caught up river on fly rods with spawn. Fish seem to be starting to make their way up the river. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - New England asters are in full bloom creating a sea of purple that the late season pollinators are enjoying. With the north winds and cold fronts that have moved in early this week we have seen a refresh of Canada geese and sandhill cranes in the area. Some small, local ponds are holding over 1000 newly arrived geese. The heavy rain earlier in the month led to a number of cattail bogs breaking loose in the marsh and clogging some main channels. DNR staff have been working diligently to break these mats apart and at the moment there is full access to the marsh for duck hunters. It is highly recommended to scout your routes and hunting locations as the marsh has changed quite a bit over the last month. With the north winds, new ducks should have arrived just in time for the opener. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Baldwin DNR Service Center area
Kinnickinnic State Park - The much anticipated fall display of color has yet to make an appearance at the park. Ash and elm have begun to turn yellow, but many have already dropped their leaves. Some maples show a hint of color. Most other types of trees are still as green as they were in July. Spring turkey and pheasant broods are fully fledged and look like smaller versions of their parents. Most fawns are now spot free and white-tailed bucks are busy polishing their newly hardened antlers. Cooler autumn temperatures have slowed kayak use along the lower Kinnickinnic river. The river and associated lots can still be busy on warm fall weekends. Please respect other users and plan ahead to avoid congestion. If the main parking lot on the Kinnickinnic is full, please do not park on County Road F or the nearby driveway easement. Both are marked as No Parking and parked vehicles will be cited. Additional parking can be found in the main area of the park off of 820th Avenue. Kinnickinnic River water level information [exit DNR] The St. Croix River is currently below the 683-foot slow no wake threshold and is expected to remain at or below current levels for the foreseeable future. Boaters should monitor river levels and conditions prior to venturing out on the river. Higher than normal water levels can affect the amount of usable beach available. Expect limited onshore mooring and be cautious of submerged fire rings. The hill from the St. Croix parking lot to the beach is closed to vehicle traffic. It is still accessible to foot travel and is the most convenient access to the St. Croix River. St. Croix River water level information [exit DNR] - Eric Klumb, ranger
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - This is a great time of year to visit the state forest; temperatures are cooler, birds are migrating through on their way to winter grounds and leaves are changing color. We are currently at about 30 percent color in the forest. Reds, oranges and yellows are really starting to pop. Peak color in the Black River area is usually around the first or second week in October. Temperatures this weekend are supposed to be a lot cooler with highs expected to be in the mid-50s and night time lows ranging from the high 20s to low 40s. ATV trails are open except for the Wildcat loop. This is a great time of the year to ride the trails. Make sure when you are on road routes you have your lights on for safety. September can be one of the nicest months to camp at the State Forest. Reservations can still be made for Castle Mound through the second weekend in October. East Fork and Pigeon Creek campgrounds are now on a first-come, first-served basis. - Emily Alf, visitor services associate
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Lake Wissota State Park - Many people are out and about in the area enjoying the fall weather. The fall colors are just beginning to show and are getting more colorful by the day. We are still a way away from peak color as of Sept. 22 but it still makes for beautiful scenery in the park. There are also a few late season flowers still in bloom in our prairie areas. Species of birds seen or heard include: ravens, rose-breasted grosbeaks, a variety of wrens, phoebes, turkey vultures, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, barred owls, osprey, bald eagles, Canada geese and belted kingfishers. Many hunting seasons are underway and hunting conditions should be improving as we get more cooler weather. Lake Wissota State Park hosts a CWD sample box where deer hunters are able to bring their deer heads in for CWD testing. Be sure to read the instructions and completely fill out the form. Results from the test should be available in approximately ten days. Just a reminder that hunting does not open in the park until Nov. 15. - 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. The cooler weather is reducing the recent mosquito hatch from all the rain. Accessible fishing pier and boat boarding piers will be removed Oct. 24. - Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - Fall Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 29 from 1-5 p.m. Free admission, camping is available and camping rates apply. Go on hikes, play games, make nature crafts, learn about animals from our naturalists and storyteller, and go on a horse drawn hay ride around the park road. During the event the road will be closed past the office for the hay rides. Parking will be open at the office, at the entrance, and in the winter lot for those wanting to hike in the park. Food concessions available from Friends of Roche-A-Cri. Camping and main gate will close Oct. 7. Parking until early May will be in the winter/prairie lot on Czech Ave and park stickers will still be required. - Heather Wolf, park manager