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Outdoor Report

Published April 4, 2019 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).

After a week with sparse precipitation and warmer temperatures things are beginning to dry out. The only snow that remains is across the far north and it is diminishing rapidly, through there were still a few locations with up to a foot.

The spring fire season has begun and so far 75 fires have burned 569 acres, threatening 25 structures and destroying two buildings. Debris burning is the leading cause of wildfires. Consider alternatives such as composting and if you do burn, be sure to get a burning permit.

Northern lakes have as much as 36 inches of ice and as little as 12 inches of ice not including inlets, outlets and river channels. Southern lakes are opening rapidly. The Madison chain of lakes opened in the last week.

Last weekend's Bois Brule River trout fishing opener brought out quite a showing of excited visitors. The vehicle count from Highway 2 to Lake Superior was just over 250, slightly higher than the historic average.

Anglers fishing the Bois Brule River for the Lake Superior run opener. - Photo credit: DNR
Anglers fishing the Bois Brule River for the Lake Superior run opener.Photo credit: DNR

Ice conditions along the shores Green Bay are rapidly declining and some bays have open water. Anglers are shifting their attention to open water walleye and brown trout fishing on the rivers. The Menominee River was producing both brown trout and walleye. Walleye are showing up on the Peshtigo and Menominee rivers but the "big push" hasn't happened yet. Walleyes are running on the Wolf and Fox rivers.

In the southeast, warm temperatures last week brought many anglers out to the Sheboygan and Pigeon rivers. Fishing efforts on the Milwaukee River are now in full swing. Anglers were catching steelheads and musky, including a 40-incher caught and released. Although fishing pressure was high on the Menomonee River, success was very hit-or-miss. McKinley Marina is ice-free and many boaters took advantage of that last weekend. Lakeshore State Park is ice-free with kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats using the lagoon. Brown trout are starting to jump, and fishermen continue to pull these and a few steelheads out of the water.

Fishing pressure was high on the Root River and steelhead catches have been numerous. Fishing activity is starting to pick up on the Pike River also, though nowhere near the pressure like that on the Root River.

The 2019 Wisconsin Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearings and County Conservation Congress meetings will be held at 7 p.m., Monday, April 8, in each county of the state [PDF]. People have the opportunity to provide their input and testimony on rule change questions as wells as Congress proposals for rules to regulate fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities. Citizens may also submit ideas and vote for delegates to represent their county on the congress. This year offers additional opportunity for the public to weigh in with an online option of the Spring Hearing questionnaire [PDF] that will be posted on the DNR website (dnr.wi.gov keywords "spring hearings") from 7 p.m. on April 8 to 7 p.m. on April 11.

Black bears have emerged and are being seen in many locations. Turkeys have been strutting and heard gobbling regularly. The first chorus frogs of the spring are calling.

Maple sap collecting is still going strong. Come to the MacKenzie Center on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Maple Syrup Festival and learn about how maple sugar and syrup are made. There will be live music, food, horse wagon rides and more.

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Statewide Birding Report

Migration continues at a steady yet somewhat slow pace. Waterfowl viewing is good in flooded fields, wetlands, and lakes across the southern half of the state, including a wide variety of ducks, geese, and swans. Common loons have arrived to deeper, open waters as far north as Lake Wausau, with best numbers in southeast Wisconsin now. Other water birds like great egrets, Bonaparte's gulls, and horned grebes are also returning. Shorebird arrivals included Wilson's snipe, and both greater and lesser yellowlegs. The first warblers are arriving with reports of yellow-rumped warblers as far north as Eau Claire, and early pine warbler and Louisiana waterthrush in the south, where fox sparrows, hermit thrushes, winter wrens, kinglets, eastern phoebes, and some rusty blackbirds were also reported. Prevailing ice and snow are limiting action in the north yet, although more robins, blackbirds, meadowlarks, kestrels, woodcocks, cranes, and juncos are moving in. Ruffed grouse have begun to drum sporadically. A few bohemian waxwings and big flocks of common redpolls remain there also.

Common loons are returning to Wisconsin waters. Although most are now being seen in southeastern Wisconsin, look for them to move northward with the retreating ice line in the weeks ahead.  - Photo credit: David Franzen
Common loons are returning to Wisconsin waters. Although most are now being seen in southeastern Wisconsin, look for them to move northward with the retreating ice line in the weeks ahead. Photo credit: David Franzen

Statewide, birders reported some American goldfinches showing patches of yellow breeding plumage and pine siskins at backyard feeders. Cleaning your feeders weekly with a 10 percent bleach solution is very important now as wet and dirty conditions can lead to salmonellosis outbreaks, especially in the small finches. Know the signs and take action. Now is also the time to be mindful of bear activity, being sure to elevate your feeders and/or bring them in as needed to reduce conflict. Warm, south winds ahead of an approaching storm system will provide favorable migration conditions into this weekend but the volume of migration may depend on the extent of rainfall. The rest of the week looks cool with a northerly flow, meaning a slower pace of migration unfortunately. Find out what others are seeing and report your finds to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland

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Wildfire Report

Fire season is upon us. Each year an estimated 1,100 wildfires burn in DNR protection areas (about half the state, generally the more forested areas) and another estimated 2,500 wildfires burn in parts of the state where fire departments are the primary responders. Two-thirds of these fires occur in spring. There is a great deal of dry vegetation and fallen leaves and other debris present this time of year, which is quick to dry out. Accompanied by warmer weather, drops in humidity and gusty winds, wildfires can quickly ignite and spread. So far this year,75 fires have occurred, burning 569 acres. Main fire causes have been debris burning and equipment; 25 structures have been threatened by these fires and two buildings have been destroyed.

With the nicer weather, homeowners are cleaning up around their properties, sometimes choosing to burn leaves and branch debris. Debris burning is the leading cause of wildfires, especially this time of year. Burning is not your only option. Try alternatives such as composting or leaving brush in the woods for wildlife cover. The best practice is to not burn at all or to wait until surrounding vegetation greens-up in the summer. If you wish to burn, get a burning permit and follow the rules of the day. You can stay aware of fire danger and burning permit requirements by checking our website, dnr.wi.gov, keyword "fire" or calling 1-888-WIS-BURN. Information is updated each day at 11 a.m.

Firewise Tip: If you burn wood for home heating, it's time to move any remaining firewood stacked near your home to a spot that's at least 30 feet away. If you dump wood ash outdoors, spread the ash in an area free of vegetation and debris and drown with water to make sure any hidden embers are fully extinguished. Or leave the ash in a metal bucket with a tight- fitting lid until it is completely cool. - Jolene Ackerman, wildland urban interface coordinator, Madison

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Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties

Come out to the MacKenzie Center on Saturday and learn about how maple sugar and syrup was made by Native Americans and pioneers, as well as current methods used today. There will be live music, food, horse wagon rides, interpretative displays, and much more! Spring turkey hunting season is right around the corner and Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is holding Turkey Tracks Weekend Saturday and Sunday. Practice setting up a blind, place your decoys, try a call and pick up some delicious wild game recipes!
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

For all events search Get Outdoors

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

April 12, 9 a.m.-noon - Ridgeway Pine Relict Workday: Cutting brush. Ridgeway is known for its scenic pine relicts that have northern plant species. Help care for this site by removing invasive plants and encouraging native plants at our second Friday workdays. Activities during winter focus on brush cutting, treating, and burning.

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

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - April has arrived. Although we have not yet enjoyed many days above the 50 degree mark, spring is definitely in the air and the snow cover is slowly disappearing. We have experienced fairly dry weather patterns as of late, but rain showers are being forecasted for the upcoming weekend. Last weekend's trout fishing opener brought out quite a showing of excited visitors to the Bois Brule River. Despite the rather cool and windy conditions, angler parking lots and access points to the river were very active with eager fisherman and women trying out their gear on the first open water of the year. The annual vehicle count from Highway 2 north to the mouth at Lake Superior was just over 250, which is slightly higher than the historic average. Activity in the campgrounds here has slowly been increasing, as weather conditions and temps improve; camping can be very enjoyable April! The opportunity of getting out and exploring the river, as well as the forest, this time of year is very unique and can be a narrow window, as spring inevitably wins the battle over winter. Recent observations confirmed that ice no longer covers the Bois Brule River at any point. The most current flow measurements were at 281cfs on Thursday April 4 with a gauge height of 2.27 feet. The 73 year average flow for this date is 216cfs. Keep an eye on the river's flow/discharge at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=04025500 - Mitch Pauly, visitor services associate

Little Manitou Falls is open at Pattison State Park, as is Big Manitou Falls. - Photo credit: DNR
Little Manitou Falls is open at Pattison State Park, as is Big Manitou Falls.Photo credit: DNR

Pattison State Park - The waterfalls at Pattison State Park are open and flowing well from the spring runoff. Trails to the falls vary from open to snow packed to icy, so dress appropriately. The snow has receded quite a bit from this slow warm up. There are open areas, and the shaded woody areas can still have up to 12 inches of snow. Grooming operations on the cross-country ski trail are currently suspended unless we have another significant snowfall where conditions would be optimal. Robins are returning and have been spotted at the park. Warmer temperatures are predicted by the weekend along with some rain, so the snow levels will continue to decline. Now is a great time to come out and see Big and Little Manitou Falls. - Gervase Thompson, ranger

Ashland DNR Service Center area

Iron County - Spring birds have begun to arrive. Hundreds of red polls, dozens of red-winged blackbirds, and a handful of phoebes have been observed throughout the county along with sharp shinned hawks and other migrating birds of prey. Although there are some bare spots on the ground, the majority of the county is still blanketed with 10-18 inches of snow with a hard crust on top. This has been beneficial for skate skiers who like to go off trail and deer moving out of deer yards looking for food. Lakes have been reported to have as much as 36 inches of ice and as little as 12 inches of ice in accessible areas (this does not include within river channels). Showers are likely this weekend with highs nearing 60 degrees and lows above freezing. - Jenna Kosnicki, wildlife biologist, Mercer

Turtle-Flambeau Scenic Waters Area - The MECCA ski trails are no longer being groomed for skiing and the trails are open to foot traffic. The warming cabin is closed and skiing is done for the season. See you on the trails next winter. - Brett Bockhop, parks and recreation specialist

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Spring has arrived! The Grantsburg Area is experiencing warming temperatures and a lot of sunlight. With the warmer temperatures, most of the snow has melted and there are many areas with open water. Some areas may have standing water or mud if we have precipitation come through this weekend. Use caution while driving the roads in Crex, Fish Lake, and Amsterdam Sloughs. We are seeing a large increase in wildlife activity this week. Black bears are being seen in many locations around the area, new species of waterfowl arrive almost daily, and many other migrants are returning as well. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - April is Maple Sugar Moon month. Ice goes out on lakes, wood frogs and spring peepers call, walleye spawn, wild leeks and fiddleheads emerge, early wildflowers bloom, tree buds burst, trees begin to flower. Early mornings are filled with bird chirping, grouse drumming and turkeys participating in the spring pre-nesting activities and mating. Many of the birds are not back as of yet, but Flambeau staff have seen robins, red-winged blackbirds, a few morning doves, kestrel hawks, geese, cranes and a smattering of other species. Snowshoe hare and weasel coats are turning, river otters are giving birth; tics are active and the maple sap is flowing. Staff have seen wandering porcupines, fishers, and muskrats. It's mating season for lots of different species. Groups of deer and elk are seen grazing and snoozing in the sun and feeding on down tree branches and brush in the finished logging sales. Does and cows (ungulates) are getting heavy with fawns and calves, as they are in their third trimester of pregnancy, which is a period of quick fetus growth. Won't be long now and the youngsters will be out and about. Elk bulls are starting to drop their antlers and shed hunters will be combing the woods to find them. Soon the white/brown world around us will be green. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for a chance of showers Saturday, with a high of 38 and a low of 46. Sunday, chance of showers after with a high of 61 and a low of 40. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The snow cover on the state forest is slowly receding. South facing slopes are bare, but there is still quite a bit of snow in the woods and the big snow banks are trying to melt! There is still plenty of ice on the area lakes. The cold nights allow critters and hikers to walk on top of the crust in the morning, and depending on daytime temperatures, walk on top during the evening also. Maple sap collecting is in full force. The strong north and northwest winds have kept the spring migration slow, but a few ducks, geese, swans, blackbirds and juncos have managed to creep north. Hawks have been seen at Powel Marsh and the chipmunks have emerged from their winter dens! A south wind and warm rain could change the landscape dramatically. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Ice conditions and landings at a lot of stops are rapidly declining and open water is not far off. Ice fishing pressure has declined precipitously with a lot of anglers shifting their attention to open water walleye and brown trout fishing on the rivers. High water on all the local rivers is making for some tough fishing conditions as well. - Benjamin Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Marinette County - Menominee River- Brown trout are reported being caught off of the Hattie street bridge and along the shore up to the dam on both sides of the river during the day. Reports of big walleye being caught off Hattie street at night are also coming in. Anglers using stick baits are catching the most fish. Two gates of the dam were wide open and lots of current was observed. Stephenson island boat launch is open, and heavy boat traffic was observed over the weekend. - Benjamin Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Anglers fishing what is left of the ice at the Oconto breakwater on Tuesday reported catching a few whitefish and a few smaller male walleye. The ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating and open water is rapidly expanding at the mouth of the river. Pike ice anglers fishing north of the breakwater report slow fishing with no fish caught in 10 hours of tip-up fishing. Later in the week the ice at the end disappeared and boats were seen fishing the river channel out into the bay. Anglers reported catching a few walleyes and whitefish from boats. Anglers report catching a few walleye and northerns out of the Oconto Parks on tip-ups and jig poles fishing what's left of the ice. High water was observed on the Peshtigo River at the dam in town. A few anglers got out in boats but report slow fishing. Water temperature in the Peshtigo was 35-38 degrees over the weekend. Anglers fishing the city landing from shore report tough fishing conditions but managed one or two smaller walleye. - Benjamin Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - Boat anglers on the Fox River reported slow fishing for walleye on Monday. Anglers reported catching between zero and 10 fish for a couple of hours of fishing in the morning. The largest reported walleye caught on the day was 27 inches. Fish species also caught while walleye fishing included whitefish, carp, quillback, perch and a 65-inch sturgeon all released. Water temperature was reported at 37 degrees. Sunset Beach anglers report slow fishing for pike, very few fish were reported caught, with a few smaller fish caught and kept. - Benjamin Ewoldt, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Door County - The fishing pressure is low throughout Door County as the steelhead have not shown up in the streams in mass numbers yet. Heins Creek has received the most fishing pressure for steelhead with no fish to show for. Baileys Harbor has received fishing pressure for anglers going out for brown trout, with little success though. The few fish that are being caught have been in the 25-40 feet of water. Rowleys Bay harbor is clear of ice. One boat was fishing inside the harbor and anglers have been fishing off the pier with no luck for browns or northern pike. The city launch in Sturgeon Bay was opened up by anglers over the weekend, with multiple boats heading out. There are no docks in at the city launch or the Baileys Harbor launch. Anglers fishing out of Stone Quarry have had little success fishing for whitefish. A few anglers were still ice fishing off of Peninsula Park piers. The number of anglers fishing on the bay has decreased throughout the week. - Cody Flavion, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - Walleye on the Peshtigo and Menominee rivers are showing up but the "big push" hasn't happened yet. Waterfowl on the Peshtigo Flowage and Bagley/Potato Rapids Flowage are claiming their nesting spots. Mallards and wood ducks are paired up and Canada geese are walking around on the ice patiently waiting for it to melt. Still a lot of divers (mergansers - common and hooded; buffleheads) around; migrating north as the ice melts. Several adult and juvenile bald eagles are cruising the rivers; observed an adult carrying materials/sticks to its nest. - Chris Long, fisheries biologist-senior, Peshtigo

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Manitowoc County - The county is starting to come alive for the spring time. Geese, turkeys, Sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans can be found roaming the open fields throughout the county. Some of the inland lakes still have ice on them but most are starting to break up and become open water. Fishermen are taking to the rivers and streams for the spring fish run of steelheads. Now that water levels are lower anglers are having more success. The weather this weekend is supposed to be warm, about 55 degrees. It would be a great time to check out Point Beach State Forest or Collins Marsh Wildlife area. Bring boots and your camera, you never know what you will find. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors.- Alyssa R Neff-Miller, conservation warden, Mishicot

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - Little to no snow in Marquette and Waushara counties, fair to moderate amount of snow in the woods and north slopes in Waupaca counties. All rivers running very high, would make for very challenging fishing. New spring arrivals including a pair of whooping cranes at White River Wildlife Area, northern harrier, ring-necked duck, and scaup. Turkeys are bunched up and toms are gobbling and displaying. People are still tapping maple trees. No buds popping yet and green-up has not begun yet. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

The walleyes are running on the Wolf and Fox Rivers (Green Lake County). The water temperatures are warming and fish are moving into the marshes for their annual spawn. Lots of migratory birds are in the area - especially waterfowl are easily viewed. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

Waushara County - The area has seen an increase in fire danger and (knock on wood) we have not had any large fires there have been some that have endangered structures in surrounding counties as of late. Please be vigilant when dealing with burning debris. Respect the fire and the conditions that are present. The warm temperatures this weekend along with continued winds make for some very dangerous conditions in this area. Please check burning restrictions and if you do have any kind of fire be certain you have suppression tools and water nearby even if it is OK to burn. The main lakes in Waushara County are starting to open up and it will only be a matter of time before all the ice is off and folks are out using the water again. Turkey season is almost upon us and some special hunts will be taking place over the next couple weekends. Turkeys have been strutting and heard gobbling regularly. Even with an actual spring and seemingly cooler temperatures spring is progressing out there so get out and enjoy it! - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Lakeshore State Park - Lakeshore State Park is ice-free with kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats using the lagoon. Brown trout are starting to jump, and fishermen continue to pull these and a few steelheads out of the water. The accessible fishing pier in the lagoon will be back open for operation Tuesday, April 9th, but shoreline fishing along the lagoon, Lake Michigan and the harbor wall is open in the meantime. Dark-eyed juncos, common grackle, robins and mallards are making their return. There are still quite a few red-breasted mergansers and a couple goldeneyes and scaups remaining. Common loons are occasionally seen as they make their way back north, and an eared grebe has been sticking around for a few days. We're still waiting on our first native forbs to bloom, but the prairie smoke is continuing to green-up and break its dormancy. - Angela Vickio, naturalist, Milwaukee

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Sheboygan County - Thursday was warm, bringing many anglers to Sheboygan and the Pigeon River, including one boater in Lake Michigan waters to the south of the city. Some anglers were flyfishing, and at least one angler was kayak fishing. Despite this activity, no fish were reported to be caught. Sunday was windy, chilly, and a bit cloudy. Michigan waters were turbid. Few anglers were fishing, with the majority of anglers fishing the Pigeon River. While still slightly turbid at Pigeon River Park, the Pigeon was clear at Maywood Park. At least one steelhead was caught. Wednesday anglers fished the Sheboygan River near Esslingen, the Roy Sebold Nature Area, and at the Kohler Dam. The catch of the day was northern pike (4 kept), while several trout were also caught. Thursday, similarly warm, also had a lot of activity, including at Weedens Creek. Pike and steelhead were caught at the Kohler dam and downstream. Saturday brought snow, rain, and fewer anglers. The south pier was iced on the margins during the middle of the day, deterring all. A few anglers tried their luck at Sebold, but no fish were caught.

Ozaukee County - Many were fishing on the warm, windy Thursday. Outflow from the power plant was very strong, creating turbulence. The Sauk seems to be returning to normal bank height and running clear. A few browns were caught, with two kept, and at least one sucker was caught. Saturday was colder and cloudier, and Michigan waters were rough enough for there to be surfers. Sauk Creek was lower, swift, and clear. Anglers were fishing at the power plant outflow and at Sauk Creek, but no fish were reported to be caught. Sunday was sunnier, but still chilly. Outflow waters at the plant were relatively fast. Few anglers were fishing during the evening, but several trout were kept. - Timothy Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee

Milwaukee County - Fishing efforts on the Milwaukee River are now in full swing as flooding is finally down. Most pressure was seen near the North Ave dam, Estabrook Park, and the Kletzsch Park dam. Success for trout was slow-going at Estabrook, with a majority of caught fish being suckers. Those fishing at Kletzsch had a great weekend and were catching steelheads and musky off spawn sacs and flies. A 40-inch musky was caught and released by anglers Saturday afternoon along with many good size steelheads. Although fishing efforts remained high on the Menomonee River this weekend, success was very hit-or-miss. A majority of anglers tried their luck near Miller Park and throughout 3 Bridges Park, but few fish were reported. A few steelheads could be seen swimming in the river but were not really biting. McKinley Marina is officially ice-free and many boaters took advantage of that this weekend. Strong winds caused very choppy water, but many boats could be seen catching browns in the harbor near Discovery World, Lakeshore State Park, and under the Hoan. Shore fishing was relatively slow, but anglers were catching browns near Summerfest and decent-sized perch under the Hoan. The most success from shore occurred at Jones Island, where patient anglers were catching good sized browns off spawn sacs. Those fishing at the power plant had little success and had limited angling real-estate due to waves crashing at the end of the pier this weekend. Both the South Shore and Bender Park ramps were very quiet this weekend due to strong winds and choppy waters. White caps could be seen all along the southern portion of Milwaukee county and waves were crashing over the breakwalls. Although fishing efforts were pretty consistent from last week, success has dwindled at Oak Creek. With lower water levels, many anglers targeting steelheads had no luck and few fish were seen between the mouth and dam. - Jessica Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth

Racine County - Fishing activity and pressure remains relatively low on the shores and piers of Lake Michigan, but the fishing pressure remains high on the Root River as the steelhead swim up the river to spawn. Water levels on the river have dropped slightly over the past week to 10 days while water clarity on the river remains fairly low. Fishing pressure on the river is high with steelhead being the most targeted fish species. Fishing activity above the steelhead facility has been constant with the most activity being at the Horlick dam. Fishing activity below the facility is also very constant and heavy with the most activity being in Lincoln Park and Island Park. Steelhead catches have been numerous both above and below the facility. Spawn sacs appear to be the hot bait. Fishing activity along the Racine harbor and piers has still been very low. A few fishermen were seen fishing along Christopher Columbus causeway with salmon and trout being targeted. Racine Ramps boat trailer activity has remained low as it is still very early in the season. It was very cold and breezy this week with waves splashing onto the piers in the area. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant

Sunrise greeting anglers along the Kenosha shoreline. - Photo credit: DNR
Sunrise greeting anglers along the Kenosha shoreline.Photo credit: DNR

Kenosha County - Fishing activity started to pick up slightly on the shores and piers in Kenosha. Fishing activity on the Pike River has also started to pick up, but nowhere near the pressure like that on the Root River. Pike River water levels have dropped slightly. Steelhead are also the main target here like on the Root River. A few steelhead were being caught along various points of the river. Fishing activity along the Kenosha harbor, piers and shores has picked up slightly, especially along the piers. The main fish target here was reported to be brown trout. Very few catches were reported. Kenosha ramp activity has remained very low as it was fairly cold and breezy the past several days. A few trailers were reported. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant

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South Central Region

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Dane County - The first chorus frogs of the spring were heard on April 2. Fox sparrows are abundant. Woodcock are on territory. - Andy Paulios, wildlife biologist, Fitchburg

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West Central Region

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds seen or heard include: mergansers, Canada geese, sandhill cranes, robins, mourning doves, nuthatches, ravens, black capped chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, great horned owls, barred owls, and bald eagles. Sugar maple tapping is in progress throughout the area. The campgrounds remain closed at this time. Trails have a mix of bare ground, snow, and some icy patches. The horse trails remain closed as we await drier conditions. The rivers have open water, as do a few of the larger lakes. Small lakes and most bays continue to hold ice. People have been doing well on panfish on area lakes. - Nathan Fries, ranger

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - The lake is in draw down and unknown when lake levels will be back to normal for putting piers in (usually end of April). People have been fishing along the shore by the Buckhorn Bridge. Sandhill cranes, robins, and more have returned to the park. We are slowly seeing signs of spring. The 60-unit campground is open and non-reservable until May 1. Flush toilets/showers/dump station will not be open until mid May. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate and camping are still closed until the beginning of May. Carter Creek has been high at times with water on the Spring Peeper Trail. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, April 04, 2019

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary
(608) 267-2773