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Outdoor Report

Published April 18, 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).

April 15, 2019 Wisconsin snow cover. - Photo credit: NOAA
April 15, 2019 Wisconsin snow cover.April 16, 2019 Wisconsin snow cover. - Photo credit: NOAA
April 16, 2019 Wisconsin snow cover.Photo credit: NOAA

The snow that fell last week across the north is diminishing and has disappeared where it fell in the southeast. NOAA satellite images show the rapid loss of snow from April 15 to 16. One on April 15 one shows the southeast snow band well. Then by the 16th it's gone.

Most lakes south of Highway 64 are now ice-free. There are still some flowages and lakes in the north with ice, but temperatures are supposed to be increasing this week. The ice is off of the North and South Fork of the Flambeau and soon the redhorse will be running. The river level is very high, nearing the flood stage.

Walleye are running up the major Lake Michigan tributaries such as the Oconto, Menominee, Peshtigo and Wolf rivers. There was heavy fishing pressure reported on all rivers this week. This last week was slower for anglers on the Fox River, with the slower bite attributed to cool temperatures and wind.

There was quite a bit of fishing activity on Door County's Whitefish Bay, Hibbards and Heins creeks on Saturday. Steelhead were seen in the streams that were running a little high, but clear. Steelhead fishing on other Lake Michigan tributaries was slower this week. Anglers fishing the Kewaunee River had mixed results. Suckers have begun running and anglers fishing for steelhead were catching upwards of 10 suckers. Fishing pressure on the Root River remained fairly high both above and below the steelhead facility but catches were few and far between.

Windy and cold weather had Lake Michigan waters rough, with significant waves and whitecaps and waves crashing over piers and break walls. The few anglers that were out on the Milwaukee River did not report any fish caught.

Fisheries staff anticipate that the lake sturgeon spawning run on the Winnebago System will commence at some point over the next week. Water temperatures are still a little cold, but warmer temperatures in the forecast later this week and weekend could get the fish more active.

Many areas of the state had a wet day for the spring turkey opener. The first period started Wednesday and hunters reported male turkeys have been seen moving frequently.

Deer are feeding very heavily on new growth right now. Raccoons, skunks and bear are starting to make appearances. Chorus frogs are calling. Pussy willows are starting to bloom in the swamps.

Sharp-tailed grouse performs mating dance on a a lek.  Additional viewing bling opportunties have become available to view this ritual this spring. - Photo credit: DNR
Sharp-tailed grouse performs mating dance on a lek.
Additional viewing bling opportunities have become available to view this ritual this spring.

Photo credit: Larry Dau

In spring, sharp-tailed grouse perform an elaborate mating dance on a matted patch of ground called a lek. The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area is home to Wisconsin's largest population of sharp-tails. The Friends of Namekagon Barrens host sharp-tail viewing opportunities from blinds. There are limited opportunities and spaces fill rapidly. The group recently added additional viewing opportunities. There is a minimum donation of $10 per sharp-tailed grouse blind reservation. Reservations can be made through the group's website at www.fnbwa.org.

Several large raptor flights unfolded, especially on the April 16 when hundreds of red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and sharp-shinned hawks were on the move. Loons are starting to shift northward, but some impressive counts continue on southern lakes, including 80-plus on Lake Monona this week.

Earth Day is right around the corner and this Saturday and Monday seven properties are holding Work*Play*Earth Day events. Come out and volunteer with Friends groups and help get parks ready for the busy season ahead. Then stay around and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Statewide Birding Report

The north saw some notable migration events this week. Large numbers of dark-eyed juncos reached the Lake Superior shore on the April 17, accompanied by fox, song, American tree, and the first white-throated sparrows. Over 750 Bohemian waxwings were tallied near Ashland on that date as well. Hermit thrushes, eastern phoebes, yellow-rumped warblers, winter wrens, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, northern flickers, rusty blackbirds, and Eastern towhee have arrived in small numbers, while feeding stations are hosting American goldfinches, purple finches, pine siskins, and a few lingering common redpolls. Readers from the Northern Highland and other portions of northcentral Wisconsin may notice a delay in migration timing for some species as snow and ice persist there following the past week's major snow event. Several large raptor flights unfolded, especially on the April 16 when hundreds of red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and sharp-shinned hawks were on the move, in addition to some rough-legged hawks and others. The first broad-winged hawks reached Wisconsin from wintering areas in central and south America.

Farther south, ospreys continue their march back to nest platforms. Bonaparte's gulls were reported along Lake Michigan and in flooded fields inland, while the first terns are just now arriving, including Forster's, caspian, and common. Mid-April is a good time to look for grebes, including pied-billed, horned, and the rarer red-necked. Loons are starting to shift northward but some impressive counts were made on southern lakes this week, including 80+ on Lake Monona. Also impressive were 15-20 black-necked stilts counted along Highway 49 at Horicon marsh. Other shorebirds reported this week were Baird's sandpiper, dunlin, both yellowlegs, and the first piping plovers of the season. Purple martins, barn swallows, and cliff swallows also have begun their return, while warbler species were limited to yellow-rumped, pine, the first palms, and a few Louisiana waterthrushes.

Do you know these four Wisconsin raptors? Now's a great time to look up on sunny or windy days in search of soaring migrants. Clockwise from top right - turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and rough-legged hawk.  - Photo credit: Ryan Brady
Do you know these four Wisconsin raptors? Now's a great time to look up on sunny or windy days in search of soaring migrants. Clockwise from top right - turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, and rough-legged hawk. Photo credit: Ryan Brady

Rare birds spotted this week included western grebe in Ozaukee, varied thrush in Bayfield, and northern mockingbird in La Crosse. The week ahead looks good for migration, especially this weekend and then again mid-late next week. We'll start seeing the first of the long-distance neotropical migrants reach some portions of the state, like more warblers, perhaps a hummingbird or oriole in the far south, kettles of broad-winged hawks, and upland sandpipers back from Argentina but the main show won't kick in until late April in the south and early May up north. Help us track the migration at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland

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Wildfire Report

Last week 14 wildfires burned 39 acres in DNR Protection Areas; nine of the fires were caused by debris burning. Five buildings were threatened by wildfires but saved by fire suppression actions; one was destroyed. Snow is quickly melting in parts of the state that still have partial snow cover. This time of year there is still a great deal of dead vegetation that dries out quickly and is available fuel for a wildfire. Low relative humidity, warm temps, and gusty winds quickly drive up the fire danger. Stay aware of fire danger and burning restrictions by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) or search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "fire". Curious about where wildfires are actively burning? Check out our fire activity by clicking on "View current wildfire activity."

Firewise Tip: Turkey hunters are reminded to be extra cautious with anything that can start a wildfire when you're outdoors. Be especially mindful of the weather. A warming or cooking fire on a windy day can quickly become an out of control wildfire. - Jolene Ackerman, wildland urban interface coordinator, Madison

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Upcoming featured events at Wisconsin recreational properties

Earth Day is right around the corner and this Saturday and Monday seven properties are holding Work*Play*Earth Day events. Come out and volunteer with Friends groups and help get parks ready for the busy season ahead.  Then stay around and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Frog calling is continuing and so are frog hikes at the Southern Kettle Moraine and one at Devil's Lake, which is also holding a fishing clinic. The migration continues and bird hikes will be held at Havenwoods and Richard Bong.
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Monday, April 22, 2019

For all events search Get Outdoors

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

April 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Chiwaukee Prairie workday - Help Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund volunteers during our monthly workdays on the third Saturday and enjoy the beauty of this rich prairie in the process. We will be removing invasive brush that can dominate the prairie and displace native plants. 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 - The Bois Brule River has definitely come up with the recent snow and rain we received. There wa 0.64 inches of rain recorded at the Ranger Station on Wednesday April 17. As of Thursday the 18th at noon, the river is flowing at 518cfs with a gauge height of 3.13 feet. The historic average for this date is 294cfs. Anglers have reported some luck on the river in the past week, but with the current level of flow, fishing is pretty difficult. Wisconsin's spring fishing opener is Saturday May 4, allowing fishermen to target the remainder of the river upstream of Hwy 2. Know the regulations, as sections of the Brule have unique restrictions. Keep an eye on the river's discharge on your own! Visit: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=04025500. Spring means fire season! The time period after snow melt and before spring's new growth begins to emerge has the greatest potential for wildland fires. It is extremely important to take all of the necessary precautions before and during burning. Fire danger levels are always changing so please be sure to pay attention. Sunshine, low humidity and windy conditions can quickly increase the fire danger level. To learn more or obtain a burning permit visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html, or call 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876). - Mitch Pauly, visitor services associate

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Spring migration is in full swing in the Grantsburg Area! We are seeing new species show up almost daily, including a great variety of waterfowl, a couple of shorebirds, numerous sparrows, and even the yellow-rumped Warblers have returned! There are still some flowages with ice on them, but temperatures are supposed to be increasing this week! With the increase in temperature and some incoming rain on Wednesday and Thursday, that should take care of the rest of the snow and much of the ice! There are a few areas that are muddy on the roads, so use caution when driving out on the properties. These conditions may worsen if we get a significant amount of precipitation. Highlights this week include: northern saw-whet owl, yellow-rumped warbler, greater yellowlegs, osprey, golden and ruby-crowned kinglets, northern pintail, river otter, red fox, and black bear. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator

Washburn County - In spring, sharp-tailed grouse perform an elaborate mating dances on a matted patch of ground called a lek. The Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area, located in far northwest Wisconsin, is home to Wisconsin's largest population of sharp-tailed grouse. The pine/oak barrens, a globally rare habitat, is located at far northeast Burnett and northwest Washburn counties. The Friends of Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area hosts sharp-tail viewing opportunities from blinds. There are limited opportunities and spaces fill rapidly. The group has recently added additional viewing opportunities. The groups requests a minimum donation of $10 per sharp-tailed grouse blind reservation. Reservations can be made through the group's website at www.fnbwa.org. - Nancy Christel, wildlife manager, Spooner

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - The ice is off of the North and South Fork of the Flambeau and soon the redhorse will be running. The river level is very high, nearing the flood stage. Pileated woodpeckers, evening grosbeaks, kingfishers, and turkey vultures are being seen. Most elk bulls have been dropping their antlers and antler hunters are combing the woods to find them. Aspens and red maples are budding. Maple sap is still flowing but the most collectors are pulling their taps. Lake of the Pines Campground is now open. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for Friday to be sunny with a high of 58, Saturday to be sunny with a high of 66 and Sunday to be mostly sunny with a slight chance of rain later in the day with a high of 59. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The forest can only hope that the mid- week rain will knock down the many big snowbanks along roadsides and get rid of much of the snow that is hanging on in the woods from last week's storm. The lakes are still ice covered, but the rivers are open for exploring. Many of the spring migrant birds are showing themselves. Flocks of juncos mixed in with a few sparrows are pushing north, with even a yellow rumped warbler hitting a window and taking a breather before taking off again. Some evening grosbeaks are still around and the redpolls are leaving the Northwoods. The robins that survived the storm can be heard claiming their territories. Sharp shinned hawks are keeping the big flocks of songbirds on the run. Cranes and turkeys can be heard calling at times. Chipmunks are busy after a long winter's nap, and the various squirrels are always entertaining. Raccoons, skunks and bear are starting to make appearances! Pussy willows are starting to bloom in the swamps...spring is on its way. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Marinette County - Heavy fishing pressure on the Menominee this week with anglers targeting walleyes. Boat anglers had mixed results with some good catches reported earlier in the week while others struggled to catch fish. Popular spots were the turn basin off Sixth Street boat launch and the mouth of the river. Shore anglers were finding a few fish during daylight hours, but it was reported that fishing was better at night. Clown colored stick baits were popular among the shore anglers. Some anglers were fishing the piers at the mouth of the Menominee, but no reports of success. As of Sat. April 13 all launches on the river except for the Sixth Street boat launch are open; however, docks were not in yet at the lighthouse launch and Menekaunee Harbor. Little River and Red Arrow launches still had ice. Peshtigo River also saw heavy fishing pressure this week. Slow fishing was reported at the mouth of the Peshtigo as ice had limited access to the bay. Reports from upstream by the Municipal City launch were good. Boat anglers reported catching good numbers of walleyes early in the week. Good fishing continued on the weekend but a little slower. Anglers were using jig and minnows and jig and plastic combinations with success. Shore anglers by the dam in Peshtigo were getting fish also but many fish were fouled hook. Catch rate of 50% foul hooked versus caught was commonly reported. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Heavy fishing pressure this week at the mouth of the Oconto River and in the bay. Anglers were travelling along the shoreline towards Oconto Park II when ice was not present. Reports of good catches of walleyes in the bay from earlier in the week were common with slower fishing on the weekend. Anglers casting jig and plastics and rippin raps were catching fish. Some large walleyes were caught and released by several anglers as most fish kept were smaller males. As of Sunday April 14, the launch at Oconto Park II (North Bay Shore Park) was still unusable because of ice. Upstream toward the Stiles dam on the Oconto River had heavy fishing pressure this week for walleyes with anglers seen from the Hwy. J bridge upstream to the dam. Highest concentration of fishing effort was from the dam to Hwy. 141 bridge. Most anglers were reporting catching a few fish with more being foul hooked. Most fish caught were smaller males with the larger fish being present but not hitting lures. Several larger walleyes were reported foul hooked and released. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Brown County - This week has been slow for anglers on the Fox River. The slowdown of the bite can be contributed to the cool temperatures and the wind. The walleyes that were being caught were mainly between 15 inches and 25 inches in length. Both jigging and casting were catching walleyes. At Voyageur Park shore fishing pressure was medium this week with most people casting lures. Duck Creek fishing pressure was very low. The bite was slow to nothing. The slow bite is probably contributed to the cold water temperature. The channel where the Geano Beach boat launch is located is still unavailable due to the ice that is still in it. On Sunday April 14, it was starting to open up, but the bay is open. There were a few boats using the Suamico Landing launch, so the fishing pressure was low. There was no pressure from shore anglers. There was no fishing pressure at the Longtail landings. Most people there were coming to look at the ducks that are in the area for now. - Steve Hogler, fisheries biologist, Green Bay

Door County - There was quite a bit of fishing activity on Whitefish Bay Creek, Hibbards Creek and Heins Creek on Saturday. Steelhead were seen in the streams that were running a little high, but clear. - Dave Boyarski, Fisheries program manager, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Anglers fishing the Kewaunee River had mixed results. Earlier in the week there were reports of decent fish being caught. However, as the weekend came to an end it slowed down. On average anglers came away with one steelhead if they were lucky. Spawn was the ideal ticket to catching fish. Suckers are starting to stack up now in the river. Anglers fishing for steelhead are catching upwards of 10 suckers on accident. There were no anglers fishing on the pier. One boater who went out of Kewaunee for browns ended up catching one brown trout. Stoney Creek received the most fishing pressure throughout the week. The majority of the fish caught out of Stoney Creek was by the mouth of the creek. Fish were being caught on beads and spawn. The Ahnapee River had the least amount of fishing pressure and the number of fish caught was the lowest as well. The few fish that were caught were by the Forstiville Dam, below the fish refuge. All the flows are ideal for the rivers in Kewaunee Co right now. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Oconto County - Walleye are running up the major tributaries such as the Oconto River. Individuals are catching them at stiles along with suckers right now. First week of Turkey season has started today and male turkeys have been seen moving frequently. There is hardly any snow cover on the ground and most lakes south of Hwy 64 don't have ice on them. - Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Kewaunee County - The area had a wet day for the spring turkey opener. All the ice is out of the lakes but no fishing from boats has started. Red-winged blackbirds can be heard everywhere. Loons can be seen making their way around some of the inland lakes.- James Moore, conservation warden, Green Bay

Potawatomi State Park - There is still some floating ice chunks around the boat launch area. Hiking trails are still very wet and muddy with a little snow in the well shaded areas. A limited number of sites, with electrical hookups, are open for camping. Drinking water is available year-round next to the campground shelter. Campers must register in the park office or through self-registration when the office is closed. The Work Play-Earth Day Volunteering Event is Saturday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate

Whitefish Dunes State Park - Wood ducks and common mergansers have been very active along the shoreline this week. A lot of birds at the bird feeder by the office. Chickadees, nuthatches, red-winged blackbirds, juncos and also pileated woodpeckers have been spotted. There is still snow on the previous ski trails and the best option for hiking is the Black Trail at this time. Hikers may hike on all trails however you will still find snow and wet conditions on Red, Yellow, and Green Trails. At this time beach access is only available by hiking the Red Trail .75 miles to the third beach access. Please pick up a map or stop by the Nature Center for guidance. Leashed dogs are allowed on hiking trails. The Work Play-Earth Day Volunteering Event is Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waushara County - Looks like Friday and Saturday are going to be great days to get out and enjoy spring. The turkeys have been gobbling and out and about everywhere it seems like the last few days. Hunters have been reporting pretty good success too. Things are beginning to green up and buds are appearing on trees. Some early nesting birds have begun to create nests and lay eggs too. Frogs have been near deafening on some small ponds. Waterfowl have paired up and are starting to nest as well. There is a lot to see if you know where to look for it this time of year. Spring is always the awakening and fresh start after a long cold winter. Take some time and get out there and enjoy what Waushara County has to offer! - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma

Waupaca County - Chorus frogs now calling. Everything now ice free. Walleye run in full swing, tough fishing in very high water conditions. Slight greenup of the grass as far north as Waupaca. Have noticed some fishing pressure in the catch and release trout season, no reports have trickled back to me as to success or not. Deer are feeding very heavily on new growth right now. Only new bird arrival this week is a Meadowlark. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area

Lake Winnebago System

DNR fisheries staff and volunteers began the adult walleye stock assessment on the Wolf River on March 29, 2019. Water levels were very high throughout the Wolf River with gage heights in New London surpassing 10 feet during late March, which filled the floodplain and spawning marshes with water. As water temps climbed to the mid-40s in the marshes the first week of April, there was a good amount of spawning activity throughout the New London and Shiocton areas. On April 8, sampling crews handled 277 adult females and classified 26% of fish handled as being in the ripe (actively spawning) or spent (spawned out) stage. This indicated that the walleye spawn was well underway and survey crews generally stop tagging efforts once greater than 25% of adult females are classified as ripe or spent. Therefore, walleye tagging efforts on the Wolf River ended on April 8. In total, around 1,000 adult females and 2,000 males were tagged on the Wolf River in 2019, which meets the annual goal of tagging at least 1,000 adult females on the Wolf River. Water temperatures rose to 48 degrees by April 10 on the Wolf River in New London before last week's cold front caused water temperatures to plummet back down to the mid-30s. This likely halted walleye spawning activity on the Wolf River. It will be interesting to see if walleye spawning resumes as water temperatures begin to increase. Water levels have also varied on the Wolf River reaching a gage height of 10 feet in New London in late March before falling to 8 feet by April 10; however, the recent rain and snow have increased gage height to 8.6 feet as of April 16. Similar to the spring of 2018, 2019 has certainly been an up and down year with strong mid-April cold fronts hitting right during the peak of the walleye spawn. As for predictions on the 2019 walleye hatch, trawling survey results in August will provide a first glance. For now, DNR staff will focus on tagging immature female walleye during night electrofishing on the Upriver Lakes and Lake Winnebago. Remember, anglers who happen to catch a tagged walleye, yellow perch, bass, or northern pike are asked to either mail the catch information to the Oshkosh DNR office (625 East County Road Y, Oshkosh WI 54901), email it to DNRWINNEBAGOSYSTEMTAGRETURNS@wisconsin.gov, or call 920-303-5429. - Adam Nickel, fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

Sturgeon update

Fisheries staff anticipate that the lake sturgeon spawning run on the Winnebago System (upper Fox River, Wolf River, Embarrass River and Little Wolf River) will commence at some point over the next week. Water temperatures are still a little cold, but forecasted warmer temperatures later this week and weekend should get the fish more active. They do not anticipate spawning on the Wolf River this weekend, but there could be spawning activity as early as next Monday or Tuesday. Time will tell though, these fish have made liars out of us in the past! -Ryan Koenigs, fisheries biologist, Oshkosh

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Sheboygan County - Wednesday morning was windy and cold. Michigan waters were rough, with waves crashing over the north pier. A few anglers fished from the south pier, but were unable to catch anything due to the difficult conditions. Pigeon River waters were cold, 43F, and had no anglers fishing it. Saturday morning was cloudy, windy, and chilly, with water crashing over the south pier. A few anglers fished on the nearer end of the south pier and on the Pigeon River, particularly at the County Y bridge. No fish were recorded caught. Sunday evening was windy and snowy. Michigan waters were rough, with significant waves and whitecaps. The Pigeon was running slightly faster and colder, 40F. Difficult conditions prevented anglers from fishing. - Tim Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee

Ozaukee County - Wednesday morning was windy, cold, and drizzling, with anglers fishing at the power plant discharge and at Sauk Creek (43F). No catches were recorded. Saturday morning was windy and chilly, with some sun attempting to get through the cloud. Outflow from the power plant and Michigan waters were turbid. Water levels on the Sauk were substantially up, running fast, and cold at 40F. More anglers were fishing than earlier in the week including a couple boaters. Although rainbows and suckers were seen, no catches were recorded. Sunday evening was windy, cold, and snowing to near white out in some areas. A few anglers were fishing on the Sauk, still up and cold at 40F. No catches were recorded. - Tim Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee

Milwaukee County - The resurgence of winter this week did not allow for much angling effort. The few anglers that were out on the Milwaukee River did not report any fish caught. High winds, rain, and snow over the course of the week limited Menomonee River fishing efforts, but a few anglers near Miller Park braved the weather and one steelhead was reported caught. With huge waves crashing over the break walls and pier, fishing efforts at McKinley were nonexistent because it was too unsafe. No anglers were out for a majority of the week. Weather also limited fishing efforts along the shoreline. Major flooding near Lakeshore State Park and under the Hoan made some spots inaccessible - while other spots were getting battered with high winds and precipitation. The South Shore and Bender Park ramps did not get much use this week, again due to weather conditions. Oak Creek saw the most action this week. Though the creek did see heavy rain and snow accumulations, the surrounding woods blocked a lot of the wind and gave anglers an opportunity to catch some steelheads. Two good-size steelheads were reported on Thursday. The pier at the Oak Creek Power Plant was closed most of the week due to unsafe weather conditions. - Jessica Jenkins, fisheries technician, Milwaukee

Waves crashing over the Racine breakwater last week. - Photo credit: DNR
Waves crashing over the Racine breakwater last week.Photo credit: Andrew Krecak

Racine County - Fishing pressure was fairly low on the shores and piers as well as at the boat ramp. This was due to fairly bad weather most of these days. It was very windy and cold, with snow falling on one of the days. Fishing pressure on the Root River remained fairly high. Even though the fishing pressure was high both above and below the steelhead facility, fish catches were few and far between. The decrease in fishing success may have been affected by the rising water levels and murky water due to inclement weather. The water temperature in the river was about 46 degrees. The most popular bait being used among the anglers is still spawn sacs. Suckers are abundant in the river at this time. Fishing pressure along the shorelines and piers in Racine continues to be very low. The weather was overall poor over the last several days. It was very windy causing waves to break over the tops of the pier walls. Heavy snow was reported on one occasion. Fishing pressure at the ramps in Racine slowed down this week. There were very few trailers reported. This is again due to the inclement weather. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant

Kenosha County - Fishing pressure along Lake Michigan in Kenosha remained low. There were very few people fishing the shores and piers. Not many boat trailers were reported either. The water along the piers were very wavy due to the wind. Fishing pressure along the Pike River remained low as well. Inclement weather decreased visibility and raised water levels in the river. No catches were reported. Fishing pressure along the shorelines and piers has still been fairly low compared to past weeks. The water was wavy due to high winds. Tube jigs and spoons were the popular bait. Brown trout are still the most targeted species. Fishing pressure at the Kenosha ramps has still been very low. Only a few boat trailers were reported over the course of several days. - Andrew Krecak, fisheries technician, Sturtevant

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South Central Region

No reports.

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West Central Region

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Chippewa River State Trail - Flood Warnings are posted along the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, Dunn, and Pepin counties. Expect sections of the Chippewa River State Trail to be flooded and impassible. River forecasts are showing flooding potential through April 24.

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - The lake level has been rising every day but is not high enough to put floating piers out yet. 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 Work & Play Day is scheduled for April 27 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Call the office at 608-565-2789 to sign up for this volunteer park clean up day so activities and lunch can be planned. The 60-unit campground is open and non-reservable until May 1. Some of the walk-in sites are open and non-reservable until April 22. - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The main gate and camping remain closed until the beginning of May. Visitors can hike through the woods to the petroglyphs and stairway. Turkey vultures have returned to the park. Carter Creek has been high at times with water on the Spring Peeper Trail. The Work & Play Day is scheduled for May 4 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Call the Buckhorn office at 608-565-2789 to sign up for this volunteer park clean up day so activities and lunch can be planned. - Heather Wolf, park manager



Last Revised: Thursday, April 18, 2019

Contact information

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