Published November 1, 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).
Fall color is now past peak across most of the state, except a few southeast and central Wisconsin counties on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report (exit DNR). Leaf drop is progressing rapidly and mostly complete in the far north except for oaks that retain some their leaves even into winter. Tamaracks are at varying stages of gold with some still turning while other are starting to lose their needles.
Water levels remain high on most river systems across the state and many lakes as well. Fishing has been good for all species in most northern lakes with anglers fishing for suspended crappies, deep walleyes and muskies near steep drop-offs. Crappies are biting very well on both Fox and Wolf rivers and anglers have also reported some great catches of walleye. The fall walleye bite was really good this past weekend on the Wisconsin River in the Wisconsin Dells area, where crappie fishing was also good. Water is still high on the Rock and Crawfish rivers where slow no wake rules remains in effect in some areas but anglers have still been catching walleye and bass.
There was high fishing pressure on Green Bay at Oconto with good catches of yellow perch being reported and both shore and boat anglers having good success. Anglers were still seeing a few spawning chinook salmon remaining in Lake Michigan tributaries and having success catching them, but numbers are down and those being caught are in bad shape. Angles are now hoping for steelhead and coho runs to begin in earnest. Anglers fishing on Manitowoc River have been starting to catch coho and steelhead are being caught periodically.
Deer rutting activity will be nearing its peak now and into the early weeks of November. Bucks are being observed traveling, and buck rubs and scrapes are being seen. Many bucks can be seen with their noses to the ground. Deer have picked up their movements significantly this week and are moving more during the middle of the day. Take care when driving any time of day or night as the next two weeks could be white-knuckle driving.
Elk are feeding heavily to fatten up in preparation for the winter months. Elk calves weigh about 120 pounds now and are about the size of an adult doe.
Leaf-off has been helping grouse hunters acquire more shots and woodcock hunting was superb this year in northern Wisconsin. Turkey are still abundant in the northern zones. Hunters who have not filled their tags in zones 6 or 7 must do so before Nov. 16.
Waterfowl numbers continue to increase. Canada goose, mallard, pintail, wigeon, coot, gadwall, green-winged teal numbers are all nearing peak. Flooded fields and marshes birds them spread out and hunters are having to do their homework to find them. Those who are successful are reporting commonly harvesting teal, wood duck, mallards and northern shovelers.
Thousands of sandhill cranes are gathering in the marshes and the fields around Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, and Amsterdam Sloughs, where numbers are right around our peak now, with the birds putting on a good show in the mornings and evenings. The first reports of tundra swans have come in as well.
Vocalizations of barred owls are high. Winter birds continue to make headlines as groups of snow buntings have been flying around in their wave-like formations and the first snowy owls of the season were found in Brown County and in Ashland this week.
Winter birds continue to make headlines as the first snowy owl of the season was found on October 29 in Brown County. Another was reported from Ashland this week as well. The first common redpolls, pine grosbeaks, and evening grosbeaks were also found in far northern counties, as well as bohemian waxwings as far south as Burnett. The flood of purple finches and red-breasted nuthatches out of the Northwoods has subsided but many remain at woodlands and feeders statewide. Nearly the same can be said for American goldfinches and pine siskins. American tree sparrows and dark-eyed juncos are increasing across the south, as are tundra swans, snow buntings, and northern shrikes in many areas.
Long-eared owl migration is nearing its peak, although the species is uncommon, highly nocturnal, and thus generally hard to find. Water bird migration continues at a steady pace. Most impressive was a count of nearly 10,000 red-breasted mergansers along Lake Michigan at the Harrington Beach water bird watch on October 31. A few Bonaparte's gulls and Iceland (Thayer's) gulls are also on the move. Nearly any water body from flooded farm fields to interior wetlands to the Great Lakes will host some waterfowl this time of year. Meanwhile, sandhill cranes continue to stage in impressive flocks across Wisconsin's open country, a few whooping cranes among them.
Some lingering birds of note include a few gray catbirds, great egrets, Baltimore oriole in Iowa County, and various warblers such as yellow-rumped, palm, orange-crowned, blackpoll, Nashville, Tennessee, Cape May, American redstart and others. A few of this week's rare finds were Northern mockingbird in Ozaukee, eared grebe in Sheboygan, western grebes in Door and Marathon, pacific loon in Bayfield, cattle egret in Marathon, and continuing rufous hummingbird in Fond du lac. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
Did you know that among the volunteer opportunities available at Wisconsin State Parks is serving as docent or tour guides for the lighthouse at Rock Island? The program is managed by the park's Friends Group and volunteers must meet the necessary knowledge and requirements through an application process. You can learn what is involved by attending a "A Week at the Rock Island Lighthouse" program this Friday at Kohler-Andrae. On Saturday you can learn about the successful reintroduction of trumpeter swans in Wisconsin at a program at Richard Bong, or how to track deer at Havenwoods. The Mackenzie Center is hosting candlelight hike and campfire Saturday Night. Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Friday, November 2, 2018
Saturday, November 3, 2018
For all events search Get Outdoors
November 3, 9 a.m.-noon, Waubesa Wetlands Brush - Join the new volunteer effort to restore Waubesa Wetlands! Waubesa is known for its large, high quality wetlands and spring complexes. With increased prescribed burning and brush control DNR crews and volunteers have increased efforts to improve this site. This workday will focus on cutting, treating, and piling brush on the edge of an oak woods.
November 8, 9 a.m.-noon, Maiden Rock Bluff Brush and cedar - Get outside and enjoy the view! Join us for our monthly workday at Maiden Rock. Maiden Rock is known for peregrine falcons, 400 foot bluffs, and rare plants. But there are concerns; invasive brush and red cedar are invading the remnant bluff prairie and oak savanna. Recent work has really changed this site. We will continue that work by clearing, treating, and piling invasive buckthorn and cedar trees.
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
Amnicon Falls State Park - The sounds of saws and hammers filled the air the past 2 weekends The Friends of Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks group secured grant funding to help pay for a permanent firewood shed. Members of the group volunteered time to raise the walls and set the trusses. Roof construction is slated for Saturday, Nov. 3. The building is located adjacent to the new office/contact station in the campground, allowing campers easy access to dry wood. This active friends group helps with activities, operations and improvements at both Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks. The photo shows volunteers and DNR staff working together to accomplish our shared objective. - David Lindsley, ranger
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Iron County - Water levels remain high, but fishing has been good for all species in most lakes; fish for suspended crappies, deep walleyes and muskies near steep drop-offs. When the water is calm enough to fish on, Lake Superior is producing successful fishing trips. Leaf-off has been helping grouse hunters acquire more shots. Woodcock hunting was superb this year. A late migration may allow bird hunters to harvest a few more within the next couple of weeks. Deer hunters are starting to see early rut activities occur. More deer have been seen this year than in years past, especially does and fawns. It's time to put some hours in and while doing so, be sure to complete our deer hunter survey at dnr.wi.gov keywords "deer hunter survey." You download the app to easily enter observations while afield. Turkey are still abundant in the northern zones. Hunters who have not filled their tags in zones 6 & 7 must do so before Nov. 16. - Jenna Kosnicki, wildlife biologist, Mercer
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Fall migration is in full swing in the Grantsburg Area! Thousands of sandhill cranes are gathering in the marshes and the fields around Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, and Amsterdam Sloughs. We are right around our peak numbers now, and the birds are putting on a good show in the mornings and evenings! Try looking for the cranes on Main Dike Road (south of the refuge on Crex Meadows), West Refuge Road (near Dike 2 on Crex), or Grettum Dike Road (down on Fish Lake WA). We are also seeing many different waterfowl species, including mallard, green-winged teal, northern pintail, northern shoveler, and ring-necked duck. If you are interested in trumpeter swans, try driving down Phantom Lake Road to see them in large groups on the lake. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for tundra swans that may be showing up in the area (we have only had one report so far!). One major highlight from the week was a white-winged scoter spotted down on Fish Lake Wildlife Area. These birds a very rare in this area. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - The Flambeau River water level is still high. The forest floor is thick with downed leaves. The oaks are the only trees left that have some leaves still in the canopy and tamaracks are starting to lose their needles. If you plan on collecting seeds for planting wild flowers or plants now is the time to collect them. Deer mice and meadow mice are out in full force. Vocalizations of barred owls are high and groups of snow buntings have been flying around in their wave-like formations. Sure signs that winter is coming. Grouse, fall turkey and archery hunters are visiting the Forest. We hear conflicting reports from all. Most migrating birds seem to be gone, but still a few ducks and geese are around. The elk are feeding heavily to fatten up in preparation for the winter months. Six elk were seen feeding in a clear-cut with a big bull in the group. The elk calves weigh about 120 pounds now and are about the size of an adult doe. During this time of year the deer hang out on open fields and roadsides filling up on green vegetation. Bucks are being observed traveling, and buck rubs and scrapes are being seen. Does are starting in estrous. There are two active logging sales at this time on the Flambeau River State Forest. Be aware of large logging trucks on the roads. The weather forecast for the weekend, calls for Friday to be mostly cloudy with a high of 44 and a low of 28. Saturday, partly sunny, with rain /snow likely Saturday night with a high of 43 and a low of 34. Sunday has a chance of rain/snow likely than showers, with a high of 42 and low of 37. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - As the oak leaves turn brown and fall, the only color left in the forest is the dark golden of the tamarack trees and, of course the green of the evergreens! A few scrapes are starting to show up as hunters scout for deer, and visibility throughout the woods is great. Water levels are dropping a tad, but proper boots is still a must for the outdoor enthusiast. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Bearskin State Trail - Trail activity is winding down for summer traffic and gearing up for snowmobile season. Vault toilets are closed and water pump handles are removed. Rubber matting has been placed on the Schaffer's Wharf trestle to protect it from snowmobile cleats and studs. Due to the high rain events earlier this summer, a 150-foot section of trail just south of the Schaffer's Wharf trestle partially washed away. The repairs for this section of trail are scheduled between Nov 1 and Dec 1, 2018. Please be aware the trail may be temporarily closed during this time.
Antigo DNR Service Center area
Council Grounds State Park - Ducks and Geese are well on their way south for the year. Many bucks can be seen with their noses to the ground and squirrels are gathering their storage of acorns for the winter. Eagles are common and fish for their meals on the Wisconsin River. Gun deer hunting opens on Nov. 17 in select areas of the park. Please stop at the office for a map of open areas or view online. The park closes to camping on Nov. 1 and the dock has been removed. - Dawn Bishop, property supervisor
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - The water temperature of the Menominee River ranged between 41 and 44 degrees and discharge decreased to 5,000 cubic feet per second as the week progressed. High fishing pressure was observed near the Hattie Street dam area. Good numbers of anglers targeting walleye and trout were observed fishing from the walkway and by the dam on both sides of the river. Many anglers started before daylight. Good action for walleyes off the bridge until about sunrise and then fishing slowed down. A few boats were fishing in the Bay, near the mouth of the Menominee River. Peshtigo River water temperature ranged from 42 to 46 degrees during the week. Discharge decreased as the week progressed to around 1,000 cubic feet per second. Fishing pressure was extremely low this weekend at the Peshtigo Dam area, only one shore angler was recorded on site. - Scott Poquette and Alex Keiler-Klein, fisheries technicians, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Water temperatures ranged from 39 to 44 degrees throughout the week. Flows decreased as the week progressed to approximately 750 cubic feet per second. There was high fishing pressure at Oconto Park II (North Bayshore Recreation Area). with good catches of yellow perch. Reports of 35 to 40 perch caught to get the 15 perch limit. Both shore and boat anglers were having good success. Average size being kept is 7 to 10 inches. Occasional rock bass or crappie being caught. High fishing pressure was observed at Oconto breakwater pier for several days this week. Primarily perch being caught and many of them being kept by shore anglers but some sorting of smaller perch was needed. The majority of shore anglers were using nightcrawlers or minnows for bait. One boat had 20 perch for two anglers fishing the river, another boat caught zero perch fishing the bay. Shore anglers were having luck catching yellow perch at the Oconto River Municipal Ramp. One angler had 15 perch while another had 6 for 5 hours of fishing. - Scott Poquette and Alex Keiler-Klein, fisheries technicians, Peshtigo
Manitowoc County - Fishing is continuing to slow down. Chinook were still being caught at the dams but not at a fast rate. Few more browns and coho were being caught by the dams now as well as steelhead. Anglers fishing at Manitou park have had success on coho. Anglers targeting steelhead in the Manitowoc harbor had mixed success. Early in the week fish were at least active and caught occasionally. As the week progressed the action slowed down. Spawn sacs is what produced the fish early in the week. Anglers fishing on Manitowoc River have had mixed results over the week. Anglers have been starting to catch coho by Manitou Park. The coho were being caught on spoons. Steelhead are being caught periodically. East Twin River fishing pressure is continuing to decrease as the weeks progress. The number of fishing spotted in the river is decreasing as well. The anglers that were fishing over the week had little success with a few chinooks being caught. A brown trout was caught over the weekend on a spoon by the dam. Some coho were spotted in the river although none were caught. There was more fishing pressure occurring on the West Twin River at Shoto Dam compared to Mishicot over the week. More fish were harvested at Shoto as well. Chinooks dominated the catch over the week. They were harvested using spoons and spawn sacs.- Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Marinette County - Fall colors are muted considerably now with yellow tamarack needles being the last holdout. Snow buntings have begun to show up. Woodcock seemed to have migrated through the county and are somewhere south of here now. Deer are moving more during the middle of the day and scrapes have been popping up all over the county. Hunters and landowners are again reminded that Marinette county is under a baiting and feeding ban. Ticks are still being found in high numbers in parts of the county. Be sure to check yourself and your pets after spending time afield. Fisherman are finding perch biting in many of the shallow areas adjacent to the bay of Green Bay. CWD has been found in a captive herd in Northern Marinette county and in a wild deer just east of the county in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Hunters can help us monitor the deer herd by donating the head from their deer. Search CWD Sampling on the DNR website to learn more. Trapping season is now open for most species, with the notable exceptions of otter and beaver trapping which open on Nov. 3. Waterfowl hunters report low numbers of birds and spotty success. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee
Shawano County - Lots of wildlife migrating through right now, so hit the trails at Navarino Wildlife area. Eagles are strengthening their mate bonds. I've been seeing a few flying together and calling to each other. Geese and ducks continue to come through with the flocks getting larger and larger in size. Deer have picked up their movements significantly this week. Take care when driving any time of day or night. Grouse and pheasants are being seen along the backroads. Slow down when you see them and let them get out of the way. Leaves are pretty much done but the tamaracks are showing off their golden colors right now. Get out and enjoy! - Jean Romback-Bartels, DNR Secretary's Director, Green bay
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Potawatomi State Park - The leaves are past peak but there is still a little color left and it is a great time to hike the Hemlock Trail. Sandhill cranes have been seen in the neighboring corn fields by the park entrance and can also be seen flying over the park. The campground is open. Any sites that are not reserved are available on a nightly basis at the park office. The dump station, shower building, and flush toilets are closed for the season. The winter drinking water supply is in the campground. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Whitefish Dunes State Park - Leaf color is past peak but the woods still have a lot of fall colors. This is a great time to hike the trails to see the leaves. Salmon have been recently spawning in Whitefish Bay Creek. The Whitefish Creek spur is only open on weekends due to logging taking place during the week. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Crappies are biting very well on both Fox and Wolf rivers. A real exotic setup is working best - a hook, a minnow and bobber. Woodcock are mostly gone as we had a couple of mornings in the low 20s. Unfortunately our grouse numbers seem very low this year and that has not resulted in much hunting opportunity. Leaf off is mostly complete now. Deer are really starting to move, saw two bucks in the roadside ditch on my commute this am. The next two weeks will be white-knuckle driving. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
The rut is starting and bow hunters have reported seeing deer moving about. Now is the time to get out and try your luck harvesting a deer. Fishing on both Big green Lake and the Wolf River has been very good. Anglers have reported great catches of walleyes and panfish - especially crappie. The few trappers who are actively trapping and reported they are the only ones in their area. So there is very few persons trapping due to low fur prices but it is a great time to hone your skills and enjoy the sport. There are a lot of geese in central Wisconsin right now as well as migratory birds. Whether you're a hunter or bird watcher, now is a good time to see the migration. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
Waushara County - Looks like it will be cooling off a touch as we head into November, but things are definitely ramping up in the deer woods. Based on recent trail cam photos the rut is definitely starting. Some larger bucks have been harvested and I even saw a buck standing with a doe in the middle of a green field at noon this week. Hunters are really starting to get active in the woods and they might think about sitting just a little longer on these days as the deer are moving more during daylight. Waterfowl reports for the Waushara area are kind of hit or miss, but with the large amount of water we have around is making it more difficult to locate them. Flooded fields and marshes have them spread out. They are here, but hunters will have to do their homework to find them. Trapping season has started off with a bang too as I have had a number of calls already to register fur and am hearing of a good number of catches in the field. The weather looks decent for the weekend so as always get out and enjoy what Waushara County has to offer. - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Milwaukee County - There are still antlerless deer carcass tags available for purchase across the state, including in Milwaukee County. Deer rutting activity will be nearing its peak now and into the early weeks of November. Now is the time to take advantage of our bow deer hunting season, either on private or public lands in the County. You can visit MMSD Greenseams or the DNR's Public Land Map to find public lands in the area. However, all Milwaukee County Park land is NOT open to deer hunting. Hunting seasons are in full swing, with pheasant, rabbit, squirrel and raccoon seasons open, to name a few. Keep your eyes open for other urban wildlife, such as coyotes, fox, and songbirds, as the leaves drop all over the county. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Milwaukee
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - Very few anglers were seen all weekend in Sheboygan, aside from the Kohler Dam. Near the dam, anglers reported high concentrations of lake trout, while some anglers have been catching small steelheads. Rain on Sunday prevented many anglers from getting to the water and massive waves off of Lake Michigan closed the piers. The Pigeon River was quiet all week and no fish were reported during the survey. The ramps haven't been seeing much action in the past few weeks, and this trend continued over the weekend as well. - Jessica Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Ozaukee County - Fishing efforts have slowed down in Port Washington this week. Most efforts have remained constrained to the utility and harbor, but even so, there isn't a ton of pressure from anglers. Those that have been fishing are using crankbaits and spawn sacks to target salmon and trout, and are having success catching the last of the kings coming in from the lake. Kings were reported in both the utility and the harbor, and are being caught at a reasonable rate. A few anglers have also been fly fishing in Sauk Creek, and are having success catching spawning kings, but numbers are down and those being caught are in bad shape. No action was seen on the ramps; besides constant boat removal from the marina as we approach late fall. - Jessica Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Milwaukee County - Low fishing pressure with few boaters launching from McKinley or Riverfront. Anglers targeting salmon or brown trout along Lake Michigan shorelines from McKinley to Lakeshore State Park continue to see little action. Anglers do report many fish jumping at the surface throughout the fishing day. Only a couple of brown trout were caught near the Summerfest Lagoon using spoons. Milwaukee River water temperatures range from 46-48 degrees. Water levels and flow are lower than normal. Anglers saw little success through the weekend targeting kings, coho, steelhead, or walleye. However, anglers did report landing a few lake trout near North Ave access and further upstream near Estabrook using spawn sac. Estabrook and Kletzsch Parks are still seeing seeing higher fishing pressure(especially areas near the falls). The Menomonee River saw no fishing pressure throughout the week/weekend. Water levels and flow are lower than normal with clear water in the tributary. Temperatures range between 48-49 degrees near MMSD. Around Miller Park/Three Bridges, temperatures are 47 degrees. Construction near Emmber and Canal is complete and access is now available. There was continued low fishing pressure with few boaters launching from South Shore or Bender Park. Anglers targeting salmon or trout along Lake Michigan shorelines from Jones Island to the Oak Creek Power Plant continue to see little action. Oak Creek had higher fishing pressure near the falls. Anglers were still seeing only a few spawning kings remaining through the waterway hoping for steelhead and coho to begin runs. Anglers continue to use spawn sac or skein as the bait of choice. Water levels are low, clear, and with a slower than normal flow. Temperatures throughout the creek are around 42 degrees. - Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Racine County - Most shore anglers were floating skein for kings and coho. Both have been caught floating bait about 8 feet down. Other anglers report catching small jacks with spoons. Most Root River anglers were staying near the dam and Lincoln Park. Lower water levels have made for easier sighting fish. Most anglers switching to slightly brighter colored flies now but still small presentation. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Kenosha County - Boaters that were in the harbor were floating skein for kings and browns. They witnessed lots of fishing swimming and jumping but only caught a couple. Shore anglers are typically using skein with a few casting spoons and cranks. Most fish have been caught on skein. Seems like a lot of browns have moved into the harbor according to reports. Pike River anglers were using flies targeting kings. No browns or coho have been reported caught in the river. Most luck has been by the golf course and near the mouth. - Zak Feest, fisheries technician, Racine
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Waterfowl numbers continue to increase! Canada goose, mallard, pintail, wigeon, coot, gadwall, green-winged teal numbers are all nearing peak. The first reports of tundra swans have come in as well. Updated waterbird numbers can be found at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge website. Juncos, white-crowned sparrows, red-breasted nuthatch are also being seen at feeders. Marsh water levels continue to change and cattail bogs continue to move and break loose. Hunters are reminded to be vigilant on the marsh as conditions change frequently. Be sure to save time while visiting to take part in the Explorium at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center located between Horicon and Mayville on Highway 28. For a full list of events please visit www.horiconmarsh.org or contact Liz Hermann at email@example.com.- Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - Wisconsin River fishing in the Wisconsin Dells Area's the fall walleye bite was really good this past weekend. Crappie fishing on the river in the same area was really good too. - Michael Green, conservation warden, Wisconsin Dells
Dane County - Migrant bird species of note include red-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper, dark-eyed junco, and some lingering sparrows and other North American migrants. Decent numbers of waterfowl using flooded private agricultural lands in the area. Bucks are starting to move with many reports of car-killed deer and bucks seen checking rubs and scrapes during the day. - Andy Paulios, wildlife biologist, Fitchburg
Jefferson County - Water is still high on the Rock and Crawfish Rivers. Slow no Wake remains in effect. People have been catching walleye and bass from the Rock River in Watertown, Jefferson, and Fort Atkinson. RobinWater levels have decreased, but waterfowl hunters are still finding it difficult to find hunting locations where ducks are returning regularly. Hunters have been commonly harvesting teal, wood duck, mallards, and northern shovelers. There are plenty opportunities to get out on public hunting grounds to pursue pheasants. The following properties are stocked: Waterloo, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Rome, and Princes Point. - Pearl Worden, conservation warden, Jefferson County
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Lake Wissota State Park - The fall color season has come to an end. Fish in Lake Wissota adjacent to the park have been seeing very little pressure from anglers. For those that have not winterized their fishing equipment some of the best fishing of the year can be had now. Species of birds seen or heard include: ravens, black capped chickadees, phoebes, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls, barred owls, bald eagles, and Canada geese. The campgrounds will be open until December this year. Camping this time of year can be a bit of a "chilly endeavor" but for a few brave souls it is the best time to enjoy some solitude and the heat from a crackling campfire. The water and shower buildings are shut down in the campground for the season. The sanitary station will be open as the weather allows. Vault toilets in the campground are open year around. As the park office is not regularly staffed at this time of year, please use the self-registration station located at the park shop building. The park will be open to hunting for all species with an open season on Nov. 15. Orange maps showing the areas closed and open to hunting are available at the park and on the DNR web site. This hunting opportunity runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 and late bow season. Horse trails will be closed Nov. 15 until trails dry in spring. All park visitors are encouraged to wear blaze orange during the nine-day deer gun season. Orange maps showing the areas closed and open to hunting are available at the park maintenance shop self-registration area, and are posted in the information kiosks in the park. - Nathan Fries, ranger
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - Drinking water is available at the office (frost-free spigot next to the restroom). Some winter sites are open and are non-reservable. All other backpack sites are closed for the season. The campground will stay open until there is plowable snow. A pit toilet is in each loop. Dump station and flush toilets/showers are closed for the season. - Heather Wolf, park manager
Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate and camping are now closed until the beginning of May. Parking is in the winter lot on Czech Ave and park stickers are still required. Visitors can hike through the woods to the petroglyphs and stairway. - Heather Wolf, park manager