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Ice is finally off all the lakes in the north, but a mid-week snowstorm dropped 6 to 10 inches of snow from Bayfield to Douglas counties. Widespread rain and even snow in the northwest has lowered current fire danger but earlier in the week 89 wildfires burned 155 acres, destroying three buildings and most were caused by debris burning.
Although there have been continuous fluctuations in the weather, anglers were catching crappie and walleye on the east shore of Lake Winnebago. Crappies are just starting to move into the shallow water in central Wisconsin lakes to spawn. Near Shiocton, recent rain had the Wolf River up near record heights but now the water is beginning to recede and a few walleyes and white bass were being caught.
Some walleye continue to be caught on the Menominee, Peshtigo, Marinette and Oconto rivers but action has slowed from previous weeks. Suckers, northern pike, perch, and muskies were also reported as species caught.
High winds and rain at the start of the week kept a lot of boats off Green Bay. Temperatures rose, and conditions calmed considerably by the weekend and high numbers of anglers and boats were going out of the launches. Most anglers were interested mainly in walleye and bass but success was low. Success was a bit better along the bay side of Door County with anglers averaging two to three walleyes.
Anglers trolling Lake Michigan out of Kewaunee were catching brown trout on crankbaits and spoons. After a quiet week, the McKinley Marina in Milwaukee was fairly busy on the weekend with anglers coming in reporting browns and coho caught in the harbor. Anglers launching out of Racine and Kenosha were targeting coho salmon, with one boat bringing about a half dozen coho, along with a few brown trout as well.
Turkeys have quieted and gobbling activity has decreased with many hens apparently in nesting mode as they were wandering around by themselves. But grouse are drumming. Fawns should start to drop over the next week or so. Sandhill cranes, wood ducks, and Canada geese are fledging young across the south. Up north, young Canada jays were seen already in Ashland County.
Bloodroot and spring beauty were blooming in Ashland County before being covered with snow. Wild geranium leaves are out and may apples are fully emerged in the south, where morel reports have also started coming in; this weekend should be excellent for them to really pop. The invasive garlic mustard is bolting - if you pull it, bag it now or it will still have enough energy to produce seed.
Backyards across southern Wisconsin were alive this week with Baltimore and orchard orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, ruby-throated hummingbirds, as well as the first indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers enjoying orange halves, jelly dishes, and nectar feeders. Warbler reports out of Milwaukee were especially spectacular, including 24 species seen early in the week, a rare yellow-throated warbler among them.
The Horicon Marsh Bird Club is hosting the 22nd annual Horicon Marsh Bird Festival (exit DNR) May 9-13, the oldest bird festival in Wisconsin. Birding tours by boat, bus and on foot, bird banding demonstration, and many more activities are planned.
It's Mother's Day weekend and in honor of moms a special OutWiGo Girls event will be held Saturday in beautiful Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit, with wildflower hikes, inspiring talks, bike rides, nature crafts and more [PDF] , this day of fun is fit for OutWiGo Girls and families of all ages.
Backyards across southern Wisconsin are alive with Baltimore and orchard orioles, rose-breasted grosbeaks, ruby-throated hummingbirds, as well as the first indigo buntings and scarlet tanagers. Orange halves, jelly dishes, and nectar feeders are even drawing gray catbirds and a few warblers, including Cape May, Tennessee, prothonotary, and black-throated blue! Warbler action was decent in many areas but reports out of Milwaukee were especially spectacular, including 24 species seen early in the week, a rare yellow-throated warbler among them. Over 130 palm warblers in Ozaukee and large numbers of ruby-crowned kinglets were notable, as were the arrivals of sedge wrens, wood thrushes, bobolinks, eastern kingbirds, and warbling, yellow-throated, and red-eyed vireos. A big flight of 200-plus Swainson's and 60-plus gray-cheeked thrushes was reported in Madison on the morning of May 9.
As usual, the action up north is lagging, especially in light of the largest May snowstorm in history across far northwestern counties. Nonetheless, the first rose-breasted grosbeaks have arrived, with orioles and hummingbirds not far off now. A few warblers, house wrens, whip-poor-wills, and other neotropical migrants have also appeared but in low numbers thus far. Only a few dark-eyed juncos and American tree sparrows linger now, while white-throated, white-crowned, clay-colored, chipping, Lincoln's, and other sparrows are on the increase. Purple finches are showing well, while on large water bodies common terns and Bonaparte's gulls can be found. Thousands of broad-winged hawks moved through the region over the weekend.
Sandhill cranes, wood ducks, and Canada geese are fledging young across the south. Up north, young Canada jays were seen already in Ashland County. Rarity season is rocking right now! Most outstanding were painted buntings in Washington and Rock counties (all but two of Wisconsin's 24 records have come in late April or May), western tanagers (all males) in Brown, Marathon, Sauk, and St. Croix, summer tanagers in various locations north to Bayfield, eared grebes in Marathon and Douglas, northern mockingbird in Dodge, yellow rails in Marquette, and American avocets in Dane. The week ahead looks great for birding. Expect active migration conditions and thus new arrivals Saturday and Sunday, and then again Tuesday and especially Wednesday. Find out what others are seeing and report your finds to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
In the past week 89 wildfires burned 155 acres in DNR Protection Areas; three buildings were destroyed and another 54 were threatened, but saved with firefighter assistance. More than half of the fires were caused by debris burning (brush & leaf piles, burn barrels, burning of household trash, etc.). Widespread rain and even snow in the northwest has lowered fire danger. As the vegetation dries out, fire danger will increase again in areas where vegetation has not yet greened up.
People are urged to continue to use caution with all types of outdoor burning, ash disposal and equipment use. Property owners are reminded to remain present when burning debris in a barrel or on the ground - should your fire escape, you can be held responsible for the cost of fire suppression and any damages resulting from the escaped fire. Clear an area around the pile or barrel and make sure a hose is attached to a working spigot. Wet down the burned area before leaving. Stay aware of the current fire danger for your area by checking our website dnr.wi.gov, for keyword: fire.
May 14 marks the 6th anniversary of the Germann Road Fire that burned 7,442 acres and 100 buildings (including 22 homes and cabins) in Douglas County.
Firewise Tip: Are there any branches or dead trees close to power lines near your property? Contact your power company to discuss removal options.
It's Mother's Day weekend and in honor of moms two special events will be held Saturday. OutWiGo Girls is a special event set in beautiful Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit, with wildflower hikes, inspiring talks, bike rides, nature crafts and more, this day of fun is fit for OutWiGo Girls and families of all ages. Newport State Park is holding a Mother Earth - Mother's Day Celebration with a spring ephemerals presentation by Door County conservationist and teacher Charlotte Lukes; morning hike with a naturalist; a milkweed plant starter to take home and more. It's a geocaching Saturday at the Northern Kettle Moraine with a learning workshop, a cache-in-trash-out competition and a Cold Cache on the Ice Age Trail. This Saturday is also the last chance to help at Work* Play* Earth Day events being held at Lapham Peak and Copper Falls. No events are scheduled for Sunday. Happy Mother's Day to all moms.
Click on the links below for highlighted programs this weekend or click on Get Outdoors," for a complete listing of events.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Saturday, May 11, 2019
For all events search Get Outdoors
Monday May 13, 1-4 p.m. Olson Oak Woods, Dane County: It's spring! Get out and enjoy it by making a difference and control garlic mustard at Olson Oak Woods (within the Madison School Forest). Come see what's blooming and help volunteers at this site. We'll team up to scan areas for of garlic mustard and remove it. Spring is the best time to enjoy this site with birds singing and few bugs. This work will help promote native woodland and savanna plants. Be prepared for some thorns. No skills needed you will be trained onsite. Click for more information.
Wednesday May 15, 9 a.m.-noon Rocky Run Oak Savanna, Columbia County: Help out at Rocky Run SNA! Help care for this site and learn something in the process. Rocky Run is a priority site because it is large, has rich sand prairie and oak savanna, and rare plants and animals live there. We are expanding the good areas by removing pine plantations, brush, and spreading native seed. We may be using herbicides to spray knapweed and brush or we will be piling slash in a pine plantation.
Wednesday May 15, 5-8 p.m. Haskell Noyes Workday &Thursday May 16, 5-8 p.m. Haskell Noyes Workdays: help to remove garlic mustard during the peak season of this highly invasive plant. Haskell Noyes is a premier southern mesic forest. The plant community here is threatened by the invasion of garlic mustard. Haskell Noyes is located in the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit.
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
Brule River State Forest - The weather system that moved through our area yesterday overnight and into today dropped close to 8 inches of heavy wet snow. This was observed at the Ranger Station, and the snow accumulation equated to 1.4 inches of precipitation!
Over the past two weeks, the water level in the river had been on a steady decline. Prior to yesterday's rain and winter storm, the flow had dropped from 350cfs one week ago, to 247cfs Wednesday May 8th. The most recent reading at the monitoring site was 312cfs with a gauge height of 2.36' and rising. At the mouth of the Brule River on Thursday morning May 9, Lake Superior was a very distinct color. This river, along with the many other tributaries along the south shore bring silt and sediments from inland and deposit them into the big lake. This was especially noticeable May 9 as the new rain and snowmelt was making its way down the river. - 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, shorebirds, numerous sparrows, swallows, and a few warblers! Look for great varieties of waterfowl on Phantom Lake and on Refuge Extension Flowage. Trumpeter Swan continue to congregate on Phantom Lake, many in the northern part of the flowage. American white pelicans have also been showing up in the area. Keep in mind that they do not stick around long when they migrate through, so be sure to visit soon! (Most recent sighting on Phantom Lake on Monday, April 29). There are a couple of bald eagle nests that are showing activity. Try driving up Phantom Lake Road and looking to your left for a LARGE pine tree- you may find the nest way up at the top! There is also a nest on the north end of Crex Meadows, near Town Hall Road. Also, be sure to drive past the osprey platform off Abel Road- there is usually an active nest up there too. Highlights this week include: black bear, red fox, merlin, American white pelican, horned grebe, red-necked grebe, American woodcock, sharp-tailed grouse, orange-crowned warbler, and palm warbler. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - The forest is slowly trying to awaken to spring. Red maples are blooming, pussy willows are ripening and the ice is finally off the lakes, with just a few snow piles in the extremely shaded areas. All the migrants are returning to the Northwoods except for the hummingbirds at this point. They must know that there is not much out there for them to eat! Water everywhere is still the theme of the week, with more coming. Trails will be soggy. It is a great time of the year to pick up litter and recyclables before the grass and understory cover them up. A random act of kindness goes a long way. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - Menominee River had fair numbers of anglers this past week with most effort upstream of the Hwy 41 bridge early in the week. Most boat anglers were trying their luck in the bay during the week with more boats showing up in the river come the weekend. Overall walleye fishing was slow with best results below the Hattie Street dam in the beginning of the week. Over the weekend the fishing shifted downstream with walleyes being caught by boat anglers jigging from Marinette Marine down to the Turnbasin off the 6th street launch. A few boats were targeting brown trout and walleyes of the Little River launch with no fish reported. Peshtigo River fishing pressure was steady this week with boats being seen at all three launches fairly equally. Walleyes were reported caught out of all three areas but in low numbers. Suckers, northern pike, perch, and muskies were also reported as species caught. Sturgeon have made it upstream now and can be seen below the dam in Peshtigo.- Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Overall fishing pressure has slowed from previous weeks. Anglers were still fishing for walleyes in the Oconto River and in the bay. Rather slow fishing was reported all week. Wind and rain hurt effort early in the week. Anglers reported a few walleyes caught in the bay along with northern pike and a couple small muskies. Fishing in the Oconto River yielded suckers and a few pike. - Scott Poquette, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Weather conditions at the start of this week included high winds and rain. Midweek the launches along Green Bay were strewn with debris. The end of the week temperatures rose, and conditions calmed considerably. The weekend showed a high amount of angler effort and boat numbers at popular launches. Most parties reported quite low success, anglers were interested mainly in walleye and bass. Occasional small northern pike catches were reported. One case there were nine walleyes caught but the party had put in a quite significant time effort. Metro boat launch at the mouth of the Fox River was very busy with all docks now installed for the season. Warm clear weekend weather showed high numbers of people utilizing the Fox River walk, a few people were even jet skiing and water skiing on the river. Shore angling was in moderate numbers with low success. One party harvested 12 white bass on Saturday launching near the mouth. Early week rough weather caused large waves to cast quite a bit of debris along the channel and launch at Geano Beach. This was cleared by the weekend and use of this launch increased from previous weeks. Although use and effort was increased, anglers reported slow fishing. The Suamico River launch was slow early in the week but became quite busy especially Saturday. Anglers reported low success; many people walking and using access for recreation. Longtail Point and Duck Creek accesses were still not currently used by anglers to launch. Foot traffic and bird watching was very common with the warm weekend temperatures. - Riley Schultz, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Door County - During the week there was nobody fishing off the Bayshore Park pier or from shore. The boaters were having luck and averaging one or two per boat usually. The water temperature was between 48 to 51 degrees. During the weekend the fishing pressure increased dramatically due to opening weekend of fishing. On Saturday there was 153 boats launching from this launch. A lot of the anglers were having luck and averaged two to three walleyes. The size range of the walleyes being caught were 16 to 22 inches. Trolling with night crawler harnesses and flicker shad raps were having the most luck catching the walleyes. The pier anglers on Saturday were not having any luck. The Red River boat launch had no boaters launching off of it during the week. On Saturday there was one person who launched off of it. They has been nobody shore fishing from this location either. During the week the fishing pressure was light with only a handful of boats launching off from Chaudoir's Dock. The anglers were not having the best of luck catching anything most of the time it was either one walleye or none. On Saturday the launching pressure increased drastically. All of the parking areas for vehicles and trailers were filled. The average catch was between two to three walleyes. With the average size being between 18 to 22 inches. They were being caught more on night crawler harnesses while trolling. There was nobody launching off Sugar Creek boat launch. There was nobody fishing from the shore either. The only people who used this launch was people walking the trails and picking shells on the beach part. The Potawatomi State Park launch had little usage during the week. The shore anglers were not having any luck either. During the week there was only a handful of boaters using the Little Sturgeon launch. - Brandon Wagester, fisheries technician, Green Bay
There was still someone still fishing along Hibbards Creek. Some yellow perch were in Heins Creek but that was it. Whitefish Bay Creek still has some northern pike hanging out around the road crossings. The only anglers going out on the bay were out of the Stone Quarry launch. The anglers were targeting walleyes and had mixed results. Some anglers fished nearly all day and managed to move a couple of fish. While other anglers only spent half a day fishing and managed to land 15 walleye. Walleyes were being caught using jigs. A few anglers that were fishing in the canal behind Stone Harbor resort that managed to catch some northern pike and even a smallmouth bass. The fish were caught casting crankbaits. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Suckers we're observed spawning in many of the tributaries and also saw several steelhead in Heins and Hibbards creeks. - Dave Boyarski, fisheries supervisor, Sturgeon Bay
Kewaunee County - A few Algoma anglers were fishing for brown trout. Fish were caught in depths ranging from 8 feet to as deep as 30 feet of water. Crankbaits and spoons were effective in catching brown trout. There were also a lake trout and rainbow picked up while trolling for browns. Fish were caught both north and south of town. Northern pike were being caught at Olson Park, on spoons. Carp were being caught in the Ahnapee River ranging from the Algoma Marina up to Heritage Road. - Cody Flavionl, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Peshtigo River State Forest - We are seeing turkeys and deer in large groups on the trails. Most days you can hear woodcock, drumming grouse, sandhill cranes, wood frogs and spring peepers. Spring wildflower are just starting to pop. The campgrounds are now open for the season. Please register at the park office. - Maggie Kailhofer, property manager
Shawano County - Warden of Shawano County reports that the Sturgeon Spawn has ended. There will likely be a smaller second spawn that will last about a day as the water temperatures increase. The high water conditions made the sturgeon spawn different from years past. Some commonly used spawn areas on the Wolf River were not used this year due to the change in currents. There was plenty of visible spawn activity below Shawano Dam despite the high water levels. Shawano Lake water temperatures are in the high 40s, and get up to the low 50s during the day. Crappie spawn has been impacted by the fluctuating temperatures. Once the weather stabilizes and water temperatures reach closer to the mid 60s we will see the bluegill start to bed up and prepare to spawn.` - Clark Delzer, conservation warden, Shawano
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Newport State Park - Trails have been cleared of winter treefall. With the cooler than normal temps and significant rainfall, there are wet and muddy spots on some trails. Fern Trail is currently under water and impassable in spots. The nearby eagles nest is occupies again and many birds are returning to the area. There have been reports of kingfisher, bluebirds, phoebes, white throated sparrow, purple finch, pelicans, mergansers and sandhill cranes. On warmer days, we are starting to see garter and western fox snakes. Campsites are in good shape. The water pump at Lot 3 is also open for the season. - Beth Bartoli, naturalist
Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Calumet County - Although there have been continuous fluctuations in the weather, the fish bite continues. Fishermen are mainly catching crappie and walleye on the east shore of Lake Winnebago. There have also been lots of wildlife out in fields including turkey, deer, sandhill cranes, ducks and geese. - Vong Xiong, conservation warden - Sherwood
Outagamie County - Recent rain had the Wolf River up near record heights in the Shiocton area but now the water is beginning to recede. With water levels going down and weather warming up the fishing has gotten a little bit better. A few walleyes and white bass are being caught in the Shiocton area. Farther down river near Fremont and Oshkosh the white bass bite has been pretty good recently. We saw a lot of activity with sturgeon spawning this year but the major spawning activity is over. The fish spawned this year from approximately April 22 to April 30. A few fish can still be seen swimming along the rocks where they had been spawning. - Zack Seitz, conservation warden, Appleton
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - Thursday was windy and chilly with a light drizzle. Michigan waters were cold at 48 degrees within the harbor, relatively calm, and turbid with debris within the harbor. The Pigeon River was turbid, 48 degrees, and water levels were up. Boat numbers in the marina were marginally up and the cleaning station and bathrooms have been opened. Evergreen Park has also been officially opened. The majority of anglers were fishing at the south pier for trout, but no catches were reported. Saturday was sunny, slightly hazy, with relatively calm Michigan waters (52 degrees). Boat numbers at the marina remain low. The Pigeon River (52 degrees) was slightly down and mostly clear. Anglers took advantage of the good weather to fish all along the shore and on the Pigeon River. Many boaters were also out. Although waters were calmer in the morning, they became choppier as time went on. Most boaters came in at this point. A few browns were caught by boat. A smallmouth was caught on the Pigeon River. Sunday evening was breezy and sunny with a few clouds but became windier, chiller, and cloudier as a storm front moved in. Michigan waters (56 degrees) were muddy within the harbor and crashing over the south pier. The Pigeon River (60 degrees) was clear. A few anglers fished at the south pier and at Pigeon River Park. A brown was caught, with reports of more browns being caught earlier in the week. The Sheboygan River (48 degrees) was slightly higher, clear, and running swiftly. Due to difficult conditions no anglers were fishing on the Sheboygan or at Weedens Creek. - Tim Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Ozaukee County - Wednesday morning was windy, chilly, and rainy moving to a drizzle by midday. Waters were especially turbulent at the power plant outflow and 58 degrees. Boats were being put in at the marina, porta potties placed, and the cleaning station at the marina was opened. Sauk Creek's water levels were up, still mostly clear, and cool at 46 degrees. Few anglers were out, trying many different tackle, and there were no recorded catches. Thursday evening was chilly, drizzling, and with a fog rolling off the water (58 degrees). Sauk Creek was higher, slightly more turbid, and 48 degrees. A few boats were being put in slips at the marina. A few anglers put their poles in to test the waters, but no catches were recorded. Saturday morning was sunny, cool, and warming up. Michigan waters (56 degrees) were calm. Sauk Creek water levels were reduced, mostly clear, and cool at 48 degrees. More boats were being put in at the marina. Most anglers were boating, with a few at the outflow and on Sauk Creek. A steelhead was caught at the outflow. Sunday was warm, sunny, and getting cloudier as time went on. Waters were choppy but warm (60 degrees) at the power plant outflow. Sauk Creek (60 degrees) was lower, clear, and swift. Many anglers were at the outflow, on Sauk Creek, and boating. An alewife was caught at the outflow, with reports of browns earlier in the week. Several steelhead were caught at Sauk Creek. - Tim Urbaniak, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Milwaukee County - Not many Milwaukee River anglers were out during the week due to all the rain, but a few anglers were seen over the weekend. Most anglers were targeting smallmouth bass at Kletzsch Park and near North Ave but did not have much success. Water temperatures during the week were reading at about 48 degrees. Very few anglers were seen on the Menomonee River during survey times, due in part to weather and the end of the trout run. Water temperatures on the river averaged around 54 degrees on Sunday. After a quiet week, the McKinley Marina ramps were fairly busy this weekend with anglers and pleasure-boaters. The boats coming in on Saturday reported browns and coho that were caught in the harbor. Additionally, some small coho were being caught off the pier. Good news: the cleaning station is finally open at McKinley! With the yellow perch season closed as of May 1, shore fishing on the north end of the city has decreased significantly. A few anglers could be seen near the red lighthouse and around the harbor. All were targeting browns but no fish were reported. Not many boats launched from the Riverfront Ramp this week, likely due to weather conditions. Shore fishing has been slow this week, likely due to the weather. A few anglers were seen at Jones Island over the weekend, but reported no fish. There were reports of some small browns being caught during the week but overall fishing has been slow. After a slow week due to rain, the South Shore and Bender Park Ramps saw some action on the weekend. Boats reported catching some browns, lakers, and coho near the power plant. One angler also caught a good-size steelhead. The cleaning station is now open at South Shore! Fishing pressure on Oak Creek have continued to decrease, with just a few anglers testing their luck with the remaining steelhead. Only one steelhead was caught during survey times. Some families had fun catching suckers near the dam over the weekend. Angling efforts were relatively slow on the Oak Creek Power Plant pier - but those that were out reported catching some small browns and coho on crankbaits.- Jessica Grace Jenkins, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Racine County - Fishing efforts were very sparse earlier in the week due to bad weather conditions. Nobody was reported fishing on the piers, shorelines, or ramps in Racine. Activity on the Root River was low as well but there were a few people seen trying their luck. Activity picked up later in the week at both locations as the weather improved. Root River water levels went up significantly over the past week due to a few rainy days. Previously walkable areas along the riverbanks were underwater. With the higher water levels meant decreased water clarity and increased water movement. The water temperature was about 58 degrees. The bad river conditions caused fishing efforts to be low. A few anglers tried their luck in the rough weather, with all the fishing activity occurring above the steelhead facility. A few steelhead were reported hooked with one being caught. A few suckers are still being caught as well. The weather improved later in the week with more anglers trying their luck. The improved weather brought less fish though, as only a few suckers were caught. The fishing activity was mostly reported above the steelhead facility, with a few people fishing below the facility. Fishing efforts were nonexistent on the Racine Harbors and Piers earlier in the week due to the poor weather. The good weather later in the week brought a few anglers along with it. A small handful of people tried their luck at the pier along Christopher Columbus Causeway. Spoons and crankbaits were the popular bait, but it wouldn't matter in the end as no fish were reported being caught. Just like at the piers, Racine Ramps activity was absent early in the week because of the bad weather. Several trailers were reported later in the week though. Success was kind of hit and miss. The most targeted species was coho salmon, with one boat bringing about a half dozen coho, along with a few brown trout as well. The bathrooms and cleaning station at the Pershing Park Boat Launch are now open. - Andrew Krecak fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Kenosha County - Fishing efforts were very low early in the week due to the bad weather conditions. A few people were spotted fishing along the piers and shorelines early in the bad weather, with no fishing success. There were no boat trailers spotted in the week either. Fishing efforts on the Pike River have still been nonexistent regardless of the weather conditions. The good weather later in the week brought many anglers to the lake. Pike River fishing efforts have still been very low on the river regardless of whether the weather was good or bad. Nobody was reported on the river early in the week, but two people were seen trying their luck over the weekend at the mouth of the river, but with no success. Kenosha Harbors and Piers fishing efforts were very low earlier in the week due to the bad weather, but a few anglers were still spotted. No catches were reported though. The good weather over the weekend brought out a few more anglers, but not as many as expected. Brown trout or coho salmon were the preferred fish to catch. No fish were caught though. Throwing spoons or crankbaits is the most popular fishing method. The bad weather early in the week left all anglers away from the lake, as there were no boat trailers reported at the launch. The good weather over the weekend brought many boats back to the lake as there were several boat trailers spotted at the launch. Coho salmon was the most preferred catch, with several coho being caught between only a few boats. The bite on the lake appeared to be slow along with the coho caught being small. - Andrew Krecak fisheries technician, Sturtevant
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Ultimate Birder Adventure: bird enthusiasts can experience the sights, sounds and natural beauty of birds in peak spring migration as the Horicon Marsh Bird Club hosts the 22nd annual Bird Festival at Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center May 9-13. From the backyard birder to the world traveler, four days of adventure awaits by foot, boat, bus and bicycle at Horicon Marsh, one of the largest freshwater marshes in the United States. The Horicon Marsh Bird Festival is the oldest bird festival in Wisconsin. Highlights of this year's Bird Festival include a keynote speech from Karla Bloem, director of the International Owl Center in Houston, MN; 'Mom and Me, Dissecting Together,' a new event where we'll discover what local owls are eating through hands-on pellet dissection (a truly unique way to spend some time with mom on Mother's Day) and a new 'Who Says Hoo?' program, featuring live owls! At over 33,000 acres, Horicon Marsh provides habitat for endangered species and is a critical rest stop for thousands of migrating songbirds and waterfowl. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance and as Globally and State Important Bird Areas. More than 300 bird species are on the Horicon Marsh checklist. The festival begins with the Birding Adventure Boat Tour. Popular favorites include the Hot Spot Birding Bus Tour, Beginning Bird Hike, Bird Banding Demonstration, and 20-plus other tours and activities planned by the Horicon Marsh Bird Club. For the early morning birder, First Light Birding offers a glimpse of the birds at sunrise. At sunset, a Night Sounds Bus Tour is offered. Throughout the festival, the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Marsh Haven Nature Center and Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center will be buzzing with interactive displays, programs, and opportunities for viewing birds at their observation areas. To plan your birding adventure, visit www.horiconmarshbirdclub.com and click on the Bird Festival link for a complete list of events, descriptions and registration information. For additional registration information, contact Liz Herzmann, DNR wildlife conservation educator, at 920-387-7893. Partners for this event include the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marsh Haven Nature Center, Horicon Marsh Boat Tours, Friends of Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, and Friends of Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County - The first goose broods of the year are being seen with two broods observed last weekend at Mud Lake Wildlife Area. The woods are starting to green up with honeysuckle leaves being fully emerged and other tree and shrub species following suit. Geranium leaves are out and may apples are fully emerged. Violets and other early bloomers are showing off their flowers. The invasive garlic mustard is bolting - if you pull it, you must bag it now or it will still have enough energy to produce seed. My observation was that turkeys were again very quiet after hitting the ground during the third period. Many hens are apparently in nesting mode as they were wandering around by themselves. Bugs aren't too bad yet with this cool weather, but ticks were definitely out and active. Morel reports are coming in, this weekend should be excellent for them to really pop. - Sara Kehrli, wildlife biologist, Poynette
Dane County - We're getting lots of reports of nesting mallards (often in interesting places), our first big goose hatch, and many reports of nesting turkeys. Fawns should start to drop her over the next week or so. - Andy Paulios, wildlife biologist, Fitchburg
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Dunn County - Crappies just starting to move into the shallow water to spawn. Many of the hen turkeys are on their nests and gobbling activity has decreased. Rose breasted grosbeaks are now present. No reports of morels just yet, but that should be soon. - JJ Redemann, conservation warden, Menomonie