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Author Topic: Complete WDNR Outdoor Report 7.27.17  (Read 149 times)

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Complete WDNR Outdoor Report 7.27.17
« on: July 28, 2017, 08:41:23 AM »
WDNR Outdoor Report as of July 27, 2017
Rain soaked major portions of the state for yet another week, with much concentrated in the southwestern region. This has kept area lakes and rivers high and flowing water moving fast. Several properties in the southwest are still dealing with storm damage. Badger State Trail has some closed sections and areas with standing water. The Sugar River State Trail is usable but needs resurfacing at various locations. Mountain bike trails remain closed at Blue Mound and horse trails and the horse camp at Wildcat Mountain remain closed. All roads have reopened at Wyalusing and Nelson Dewey state parks, but some trails in both parks remain closed.
Fishing pressure waxed and waned with the weather this past week. Northern pike, bass and musky continue to be caught on the Flambeau River. Anglers on inland lakes have been reporting success for panfish, bass and walleyes.
Anglers were out in force though the weekend on Green Bay many brought out by a walleye tournament. Walleye fishing was relatively consistent, with most boats catching at least a couple fish. The bass bite has slowed along Door County with the best success coming from piers, but perch anglers were having some luck over the past week with most boats harvesting more than 10 fish for half a day’s trip. Trout and salmon fishing was beginning to pick up off Marinette on the west shore of the bay but trout and salmon off the Door County side were struggling to find fish.
On Lake Michigan salmon fishing had been good early week but has since tapered off with changing winds and fronts moving through the area. A salmon tournament also brought out a lot of anglers over the weekend with various levels of success. Reports from southeast harbors indicate pressure fishing was relatively low due to poor weather conditions at times. Mainly rainbow trout and chinook salmon were caught, along with some coho salmon, a few lake trout, and two brown trout.
And while it is the middle of summer it’s also time to think about spearing through the ice next winter: the deadline to apply for an Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing license is quickly approaching on August 1. Spearing permits will be allotted to 500 applicants for the February 2018 season.
Some young wildlife, such as songbirds, are becoming more independent, while others, like fawns, continue to spend time with mom. Young Canada geese are beginning to test out their new flight feathers and swallows are flocking up. Some shorebird species are beginning their migration.
Prairie wildflowers are in bloom, including black-eyed-Susans, goldenrod, compass plant, cup plant, yellow and purple coneflower, rattlesnake master, blazing star, bergamot and sunflower. Blueberries are still in swing, with raspberries and blackberries ripening.
The public is reporting numerous sightings of sphinx moths. All sphinx moths are fast, powerful fliers. Sphinx moths that forage during the day are often seen hovering at flowers in the act of gathering nectar and may be mistaken for hummingbirds or bumblebees.
If you are interested in being more involved with deer management, various counties are still looking for qualified individuals to serve as stakeholder representatives on their local County Deer Advisory Councils.
This is the last weekend to see Shakespeare in the Parks with workshops and performances of “The Comedy of Errors” at Lakeshore State Park Friday, Kohler-Andrae on Saturday and Pike Lake on Sunday.


Wildfire Report
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fire control program is assisting in western suppression and protection efforts. Three fire engines staffed with three operators per unit, are headed to Lame Deer, Montana near the Cheyenne Indian Reservation and will be assisting in initial attack operations while local resources continue to be exhausted with steady fire activity. In addition, seven firefighters are also en route to aid in fire suppression efforts in British Columbia, Canada through an agreement Wisconsin has with Ontario and the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact. - Jolene Ackerman, wildland urban interface coordinator, Madison

Statewide Birding Report

 - Ryan Brady, Bureau of Wildlife Management research scientist, Ashland


Upcoming State Natural Area Workday
Observatory Hill: July 29, 9 a.m. - noon. A large-scale restoration is taking place here and new gaps in the canopy have been created. Native seed has been spread, but invasives like Japanese hedge parsley are threatening to take over. We will remove hedge parsley to encourage native plants to fill in the gaps. Bring a bag lunch to eat afterwards. No skills needed you will be trained onsite.
Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/naturalareas/volunteer.html page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane


Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - It has truly felt like summer this week, temperatures have been in the mid-80s, but the nights have cooled off to make for comfortable sleeping. Some rain has kept the river flow just above normal for this time of year, and at a perfect level for canoeing and kayaking. Anglers are reporting some lake-run brown trout are in the lower stretches of the river. Late July and early August is when fishing generally starts picking up. Campgrounds continue to be busy on the weekends, but are quiet during the weekdays. If you prefer to camp spur-of-the-moment, about half of the sites are first-come, first served. Looking ahead, there are very few Labor Day weekend reservations--so make plans for that end of summer camping trip. The public has a final opportunity to review and comment on proposed revisions to the master plan for the Brule River State Forest that proposes additional recreational opportunities for the property. Plan revisions include expanding the popular Afterhours ski area, including additional miles and developments, additional remote campsites along Lake Superior and the Brule River, and a small number of electric campsites. The revised draft Brule River State Forest master plan and associated documents are available for review on the DNR website by searching keywords "master planning," and clicking on the link for Brule River State Forest. The documents will also be available during a public open office scheduled at Brule River State Forest Ranger Station, 6250 South Ranger Road, Brule, on August 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and August 3 from 2 to 8 p.m. A 21-day public comment period runs through August 14, 2017. People can submit comments online, by email or by mail. Documents, maps, and contact information is available on the Brule River State Forest master planning web page. Following this final public review of the Brule River State Forest Master Plan, a draft revised master plan will be presented to the state Natural Resources Board for consideration and approval. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - Anglers continue to have success fishing the Flambeau River for musky, walleye, northern pike and bass. The water levels are moderate. Eaglets are fledging, jewelweed pods are ripening, blueberries and raspberries are ripe. Milkweed is blooming and so is basswood. Yellow and white water lilies are blooming in ditches and ponds. The lavender colored pickerel weed is also blooming. Horse flies and mosquitoes are out, so be prepared. The dragonflies are filling up on those pesky mosquitoes. Grouse coveys are being seen. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for Saturday to be sunny with a high of 80 and a low of 58, and Sunday, will be mostly sunny with a high of 80 and a low of 59. Monday will be mostly sunny with a high near 82 and a low of 58. This weekend there will be a Campfire Cookout at Connors Picnic Area on at July 29 at noon. Staff will be demonstrating how to cook different foods over a campfire and coals, and you can enjoy the results. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate

Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - If you are a berry picker, you probably already know that the blueberries are ripe, raspberries are starting, and strawberries are just about done! The lavenders of fireweed, milkweed and bergamot are adding to the summer pallet of colors of the summer wildflowers. Primrose and compass plant are also starting to show their lovely yellow flowers. Most birdsongs are absent except for the lovely evening song of the hermit thrush, and don’t forget the hum of those mosquitos! The big white water lilies are a sure rest stop for dragonflies, and the horse and deer flies will pester you while out swimming. Water levels in area lakes and rivers are still high providing many boating and paddling opportunities. - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate


Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Marinette County - Fishing the lower section to the mouth of the Peshtigo River has been producing drum, catfish, smallmouth and a few walleye both trolling and fishing on bottom with live bait. Reports of some very nice brown trout being caught out by the trout bar have been confirmed with one brown weighting 18 pounds. Anglers are fishing in about 40 feet of water crisscrossing the bar. Green has been a very productive color. Anglers on the Menominee River have been catching walleye, drum, catfish, and smallmouth bass from shore and from boats. Shore anglers are generally using live bait fished on bottom while boaters are both trolling live and stick baits and casting spinners and plastics. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Panfish and smallmouth bass are still being caught below the dam at Stiles on the Oconto River. Live bait has been working the best. The lower portion of the Oconto River has been producing some very nice catfish, smallmouth and drum. Live bait, spinners, and plastics have been working well. The perch and walleye bite from the mouth of the Pensaukee River to Oconto Park II has been slow although a few reports of walleye being caught out of the mouth of the Oconto River trolling with crawler/harness have been heard. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Off Geano Beach, fishing pressure was very high Saturday July 22 likely due to the walleye tournament taking place on Sunday. As for fishing, anglers found a pretty consistent bite on average bringing in about 2-3 keeper sized walleyes for the dinner table. Along with the keeper sized fish anglers were still reporting catching good numbers of short fish (less than 15 inches). This is a good sign of things to come in the future. Most anglers were using crawler harnesses and running up to Pensaukee shoal. Other fish caught were: freshwater drum, white bass, white perch, channel catfish, and yellow perch. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Brown County - Near Bayshore Park, fishing for walleye the past week has been relatively consistent. Most boats found themselves catching at least a couple fish for a half days trip. Around half the boats interviewed harvested fish. Only a few boats were fishing for perch out of Bayshore this week and they didn’t have much luck. As always the freshwater drum bite has been hot and anglers were catching plenty of them. Anglers also caught white perch, white bass, and catfish while out fishing for walleye. Anglers from shore were having a tough week hooking into anything. The parking lot averaged about 20-25 trailers at 1:00 pm throughout the week each day. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

On the Suamico River, fishing pressure was very high Saturday July 22 due to the upcoming tournament the next day. Walleye anglers reported having some success and bringing home an average of two to three fish per boat. Anglers were running crawler harnesses out with mixed success. Other species caught were freshwater drum, yellow perch, white bass, white perch, and channel catfish. On the Fox River, anglers targeting smallmouth were having no success likely due to the high water temperatures, around 81 degrees at the surface. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - Anglers were out in force though the weekend, with most reporting limited success regardless of the species sought. Anglers fishing with live bait, in particular leaches on small dark jig heads, found constant success with smallmouth bass off their piers at Rowleys Bay and Ephraim. Smallmouth bass anglers also found limited success from docks in Peninsula Park and the Egg Harbor Marina. Unfortunately for individuals targeting chinook and steelhead the bite decreased dramatically during the second part of the week. This left anglers from Ellison Bay to Baileys Harbor struggling to find fish in all depths of water over the weekend. This dramatic change can be linked shifting winds and fronts moving through the area. Anglers that were successful with both steelheads and chinook reported that they had the best luck with brightly colored spoons. Anglers reported that water temperatures changed significantly during the week, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 53 degrees in 55 feet of water. - Lydia Doerr, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

At Chaudoir’s Dock, walleye fishing has been inconsistent over the past week with some boats hooking into 25 or more fish while others struggled to land a fish. Walleyes harvested were from 17-25 inches long. Drum were biting hard and anglers were having a tough time keeping them off their lines. There has also been an increase in the number of white perch caught over the past week while out fishing for walleye. Other fish caught included catfish and white bass. Off Little Sturgeon Bay, bass fishing has died down considerably over the past week. Those who did go out for bass caught between two to 20 fish for half a day’s trip. A few anglers bass fishing also landed a northern pike or two. Perch anglers were having some luck over the past week with most boats harvesting more than 10 fish for half a day’s trip. The perch anglers also hit pockets of small panfish while out on the water. The round goby catch has decreased but is still present when jigging with live bait. At Sawyer Harbor, the perch fishing has been consistent. Every boat that was fishing for them found at least ten and had at least three for the freezer. A few fish were measured and had lengths around nine inches. Bass fishing is slow, most boats are only catching a few fish, but occasionally there was a group that would catch 15-plus bass for half a day’s trip. Anglers would also catch freshwater drum, white bass, white perch, catfish and round goby while out. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Kewaunee County - Salmon fishing was good early week but has since tapered off with changing winds and fronts moving through the area. The 150-200 feet of water range was producing fish but in the last few days anglers have had very limited success. Surface temperatures from Kewaunee up to the Bank are in the mid 60s. There seems to be cold water 50-plus feet down but the salmon don’t seem to be hungry. Many anglers have been out fishing longer hours than normal for the KD tournament with little to no success. Perch action in the canal has been decent with the occasional angler getting a 15 fish limit. They sort through a lot of small fish but 10- to 11-inch perch are being caught. Anglers have had success on worms, minnows and bugs. - Benjamin Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - The bite out of Manitowoc and Two Rivers wasn’t exactly hot over the past week. Most days the fishing was slow to the extent that bringing in two fish was a very successful trip. Days of easterly winds ensured that the water miles out from shore stayed near a balmy 70 degrees at the surface. Anglers using temperature probes did report that the water 50-60 feet below the surface cooled slowly over the course of the week, with some finding water in the mid to upper-40s. Many of the fish that came in were 5-6 pound rainbows, with chinooks coming in second place. Although not many chinooks were caught, a good number of them were in the mid to upper-teens in weight. Successful presentations this week were dominated by spoons. Most anglers reported catching close to all their fish on spoons of varying colors. Chinooks seemed to be hitting any color, when they were active, and rainbows were hitting on bright orange as well as green. Most anglers fished from about 90 to 140 feet of water and got chinooks down 40-100 feet, and rainbows were coming on a mix of deeper presentations or lures run higher in the water (with planer boards or lead core). The anglers that came in with the most fish throughout the week said that their successes were largely attributed to finding slightly cooler water which was much more likely to hold fish. Others just happened to come upon groups of fish that were active, with no apparent reason as to why they were there. Some anglers could troll back through waypoints and get hits, and some wouldn’t get another hit after going through one flurry of activity. Pier anglers are also having a rough go of things, as the water is only warmer closer to shore. Many almost-daily anglers find themselves leaving with a box of freshly-washed lures and nothing more. The occasional sheepshead or carp is caught and just as promptly returned to the water, but no trout or salmon have been reported this week. A few days of strong westerly winds looks to be about the only thing that may change the success of many anglers, as warm water temps seem to be the primary culprit behind slow fishing. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - The rivers in Marinette County are beginning to recede, but more rain and storms are in the short-term forecast. The Bay of Green Bay remains high and the boat landing at the end of Harbor Road at the mouth of the Peshtigo River has had a large pile of sand deposited on the ramp. Users with 4X4 trucks are able to launch, but other users may want to use another landing until the sand can be removed. Trout and salmon fishing has begun to pick up a bit on the bay. Inland lakes remain high too, but varieties of fish are being caught. Nice weather over the weekend saw a large number of tubers floating various stretches of the Peshtigo River. Mosquitos and ticks remain at tolerable levels; although, some spots may require you to use bug spray. The first monarch caterpillars showed up on milkweed in the Crivitz area. Blazing star, bergamot, sunflowers, and many other plants are blooming in open areas. Butterfly weed and other milkweeds have begun to form seed pods. A very interesting plant, Indian pipe (aka Ghost Plant), is flowering now too. This tall white plant draws its energy from a fungus that grows on neighboring tree roots rather than creating its own through photosynthesis! - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee


Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Manitowoc County - It is looking like it will be a beautiful dry weekend ahead of us for those living and visiting in Manitowoc County. Anglers have been reporting success on various fish throughout the county. I have seen panfish, bass, and walleyes caught this past week. Water levels still remain much higher than this time last year. For those visiting from out of the area or locals looking to see pelicans - Collins Marsh and some of the rest stops along Lake Michigan on Memorial Drive in Manitowoc have had a number of pelicans that can be seen along the water. If you are hiking or biking along the trails in the county bring along bug spray as mosquitoes and horse flies are out and about. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the great outdoors! - Alyssa Neff-Miller, conservation warden, Mishicot

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
The deadline for applying for an Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing license is quickly approaching on August 1. Interested applicants can either apply for a permit in the lottery drawing or can purchase a preference point. Spearing permits will be allotted to 500 applicants who will have to purchase their spearing license by October 31, 2017. The 2018 sturgeon spearing season on Lake Winnebago and the Upriver Lakes will begin on Saturday February 10, 2018. - Ryan Koenigs, fisheries biologist


Southeast Region
Milwaukee County - Young wild animals are traveling with mom or on their own throughout the county, and most songbirds have fledglings outside the nest. If you see a young wild animal you think is injured, visit the DNR webpage and search keyword “Keep Wildlife Wild” to decide what to do, or search keyword “rehab” to find a local wildlife rehabilitator. Remember that most young wild animals you see have mom nearby or are safely exploring their surroundings, a natural part of life. Prairie wildflowers such as blue vervain, gray-headed coneflower, and rattlesnake master are in bloom, with dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies all over during our warm summer days. Bring your favorite ID book out with you this weekend and see if you can learn something new! Also, keep your eyes open for raspberries and blackberries on your hiking trips. They are ripe and can provide a quick snack on the road. But leave some for the wildlife, too! On your travels this weekend, make sure to bring extra water. Your safety should always be your number one concern when in the field. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Waukesha

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee

Sheboygan County - Fishing pressure was relatively low during the week, with a greater number of anglers and boaters present over the weekend. However, there was more reported success during the middle of the week, possibly due to increasingly windy conditions as the week progressed. As in previous weeks, boaters still reported the bulk of the success, with anglers reporting little to no success off the piers. Of the success that was reported this week, the majority of the catches came off of the North Pier. A few brown trout and chinook salmon were caught, along with two rainbow trout. Only two catches of brown trout were reported off of the south pier on Saturday, July 22. The brown trout ranged in weights from 6.5-12 pounds, while the rainbow trout were slightly smaller, weighing 5.5-6 pounds. On the other hand, the chinook salmon were all considerably larger, weighing anywhere from 12.5-21.5 pounds. Most anglers were using spoons and alewives fished on the bottom, although the windy, wavy conditions over the weekend appeared to increase the difficulty of catching and using alewives as bait. The surface temperature of the water remained warm throughout the week, ranging from to 60-65 degrees. Success off of boats was limited this week, with some boaters reporting catches of a couple of fish while others returned to the ramp with none. Interestingly, more fish were caught in the evening compared to the early morning hours. Mainly rainbow trout and chinook salmon were caught, along with two brown trout, two lake trout, and one coho salmon. Most of the rainbow trout weighed about 6-9 pounds, although a couple of them were considerably smaller, weighing only 0.75-3 pounds. The chinook salmon had a significantly larger weight range of 1.5-24 pounds. Fish were caught in water depths ranging from 75-280 feet on spoons, flies, and dipsy divers.

Ozaukee County - Fishing pressure was relatively low this week, which was likely due at times to poor weather conditions. Success off of the piers was rare, and although more success was reported from boaters, the catches still remain extremely inconsistent. Only one catch of yellow perch was caught off the North Pier on Friday, July 21. It was caught with a crappie minnow. Most anglers were using spoons as there were hardly any alewives visible throughout the week. The surface temperature of the water was warm and ranged from 65-67 degrees. Boaters seemed to report more success when returning to the ramp in the evening rather than in the morning. Mainly rainbow trout and chinook salmon were caught, along with some coho salmon, a few lake trout, and two brown trout. The rainbow trout weighed anywhere from 1.8-12.5 pounds, while the coho salmon were more consistently in the 3-5 pound range. The chinook salmon had the largest weight range spanning 1.5-22 pounds. Catches were reportedly made in water depths ranging from 80-350 feet on spoons, flasher flies, and dodger flies.

Racine County - At the ramp, anglers caught between five and nine fish this week. Early in the week most fish were caught on spoons in 35-75 feet of water north of Racine. Later in the week anglers caught fish straight out from Racine in 100-220 feet of water. Most anglers reported catching their fish on spoons and running their lures from 50 feet down up to near the surface. Brown trout, lake trout, steelhead, coho and king salmon were all caught. The water temperature was 68 degrees at the surface. Off the pier, four perch and two brown trout were reported caught this week. One brown trout was caught on a blue and chrome spoon and the other was caught on a live alewife. Both were caught in the early morning hours. One perch was caught on a small white plastic jig and the other three were caught on live minnows under a bobber. A large number of sheepshead (freshwater drum) were also caught on worms, live alewives, spoons, crank baits, and plastic jigs. The water temperature was 70 degrees.

Kenosha County - At the ramp, most anglers reported catching no fish this week, but a couple of anglers did catch a few fish in 150-220 feet of water. Coho salmon, king salmon, and steelhead were all reported caught. Anglers reported catching their fish on spoons and ran them from 50 feet down from the surface up to 20 feet down. The water at the surface was 67 degrees. Four browns were caught from the pier this week. The anglers caught the browns late at night on white or pearl tube jigs, and blue/chrome spoons. The water temperature was 64 degrees when the fish were caught, but more recently the water was 70 degrees and fishing has slowed down with most anglers not catching anything. Off the shore, 13 brown trout were reported caught this week. The browns were caught on spoons of various colors, white and pearl tube jigs, and live alewives. Most of the browns were caught in the early morning hours and late evening hours when the water temperature was 64 degrees. More recently the water temperature was 70 degrees and fishing has slowed down with most anglers not catching anything.

Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Marsh viewing opportunities are excellent for egrets, herons, pelicans, wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese, black terns and a host of other wetland birds using the Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area sub impoundments located along Highway 28 just west of Highway 41. A pair of bald eagles are also frequently seen in the area. Another good bird viewing area is at the “Safari Club” ponds, located on Wildlife Road north of Highway K on Allenton Marsh. During the past two weeks we have done annual maintenance mowing of the grass service roads, dike tops, and other areas that people use as hiking trails on Theresa, Allenton and Jackson wildlife areas. Now is a good time to get out and hike and look at the wild flowers, since most of the prairie fields are at or close to peak bloom. Anglers have been having pretty good luck up and downstream of the Theresa Marsh dam catching northern pike and bullheads. If you are interested in being more involved with deer management we are still desperately looking for several qualified individuals to serve as stakeholder representatives on the County Deer Advisory Councils in Washington and Ozaukee counties. Other nearby counties have open member slots as well. Applications and information can be found on the “CDAC” section of the DNR website. At the first CDAC meeting in late August we will be looking at deer management unit and subunit boundaries, and recommending the deer population goal for the county for the next years, so now is the perfect time to get more involved with the CDAC program. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford

South Central Region
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area

Governor Dodge State Park - Portions of the exterior horse trail remain closed. Several of these sections are under water.

Blue Mound State Park - All mountain bike trails remain closed. Indian Marker hiking trail is closed.

Wyalusing State Park - All the roads in Wyalusing are open. Day use areas open. All sites in campground are open. The Sugar Maple Nature Trail, Sand Cave Trail, Mississippi Ridge Trail, and Sentinel Ridge Trail remain closed but could possibly reopen by the weekend. - Chad Breuer, property supervisor


Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Native prairies are in full bloom! Compass plant, cup plant, yellow and purple coneflower, rattlesnake master, blazing star, bergamot and sunflower are just some of the beautiful natives in full bloom in the uplands. Canada Geese young are beginning to test out their new flight feathers and are taking small practice laps around the marsh. Young fledglings of many species are now being seen and swallows are already flocking up. Some shorebird species are beginning their migration. Highway 49 and the auto tour are your best spots for shorebirds at this time. Don’t forget to visit the Horicon Marsh Explorium located at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center on Hwy. 28. Visit www.horiconmarsh.org for a list of all the upcoming special events such as an open Outdoor Skills Day to be held on Saturday, August 5 from 9:30 a.m.-noon. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Columbia County - Many does can be spotted out and about with their fawns in tow. Sandhill colts are nearing the size of their parents. Mosquitoes, deer flies, and ticks are making it hard to spend much time in the woods. Now is the time to take a walk through the prairies. There’s a plethora of color with goldenrod, yellow coneflower, Culver’s root, bergamot, black-eyed-Susan, milkwort, spiderwort and blazing star all in bloom. Unfortunately, the purples of invasive species like crown vetch and spotted knapweed also are adding their colors to the landscape as well. - Sara Kehrli, wildlife biologist, Poynette

Badger State Trail - The section between Purcell Road to Basco Road is closed. This section will require engineering and emergency funds to repair erosion damage. This section currently has standing water on it. Melvin Road to Town Center Road is also closed. Closure is expected to last two to three weeks to repair erosion damage. Everything else is open and useable but needs a lot of additional cleanup work

Sugar River State Trail - The trail is open and usable but needs some resurfacing work at various locations, mainly the Monticello area.

Yellowstone Lake State Park - The entire park it is open for public use, but beach sand has been lost due to flooding.

West Central Region

La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Vernon County - The public is reporting numerous sightings of sphinx moths. Some sphinx moths are nocturnal; some are diurnal. Sphinx moths that forage during the day are often seen hovering at flowers in the act of gathering nectar with their long proboscis and may be mistaken for hummingbirds or bumblebees. All sphinx moths are fast, powerful fliers. A short horn typically adorns the posterior end of their caterpillars, and they are known as hornworms. Instead of spinning cocoons, most sphinx moth caterpillars pupate in underground earthen burrows or cells. One of the most common species of sphinx moths in southwestern Wisconsin is the white-lined sphinx, a beautiful, large, stout-bodied moth with a furry brown body crossed by six white stripes. It has long, narrow, triangular forewings and shorter hindwings, with a wingspan of 2½ to 3½ inches. Each dark olive brown-colored forewing has a broad tan band going from the base to the tip of the wing, crossed by a series of thin white stripes along the wing veins. The black hindwings are bright reddish-pink in the middle. Watch for these and other species of sphinx moths as summer begins to wane. Red raspberries are now at or just past their peak. Blackcaps are mostly dried up, but blackberries will probably be ready in about a week or so. Wild flowers currently blooming in Crawford County include Culver’s root, bee balm or bergamot, hemlock water-parsnip, butterflyweed, and black-eyed-Susan. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua

Perrot State Park - Portions of Brady’s Bluff and Perrot Ridge Trail remain closed. - Lois Larson, park manager

Wildcat Mountain State Park - The horse camp and all horse trails remain closed. - Robert E. Ramsey, park manager

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - We do not have any flooding at the park and trails and campsites are open. Another round of storms is predicted for Friday-Saturday. If camping, keep an eye out for changing weather conditions. Arts and crafts also on Thursdays through August 17. On Friday, July 28, join our astronomy students at the amphitheater at 8:45 p.m. and then check out the stars with a telescope for Universe in the Park! - Heather Wolf, park manager

Roche-A-Cri State Park - We do not have any flooding at the park and trails and campsites are open. - Heather Wolf, park manager

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