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Author Topic: Complete WDNR Outdoor Report for June 4, 2015  (Read 1119 times)

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Complete WDNR Outdoor Report for June 4, 2015
« on: June 10, 2015, 08:22:40 AM »
Complete WDNR Outdoor Report for June 4, 2015


This Saturday and Sunday are free fun weekend in Wisconsin. No fishing licenses or state trout stamps are required to fish waters of Wisconsin, no vehicle admission stickers are required for entry into state park or forest properties, no trail passes are need to bike or horseback riding on state trails and no Wisconsin all-terrain vehicle registration or non-resident trail passes are needed to operate ATVs or UTVs on state trails. Anglers must comply with all fishing regulations and bag and size limits, and campers must still register and pay camping fees in state campgrounds.
This Saturday is also National Trails Day and it will have special significance in Wisconsin with a 50th anniversary celebration of rail trails in the state. Wisconsin was the first state to convert an abandoned railroad corridor into a recreational trail--the Elroy-Sparta State Trail--in 1965. The celebration includes a tunnel tour a series of rides beginning at five different communities along the trail and an 50th anniversary ceremony at 2 p.m. at the historic Kendall Depot, which is the Elroy-Sparta State Trail headquarters. People can find out more about the event at www.50elroyspartabiketrail.com (exit DNR).

Both the north and south forks of the Flambeau are up with the recent rains and are providing some great paddling. The lower Wisconsin River is very high, with a flow nearly three times normal for this time of year and no sandbars in sight as of Wednesday.
Erratic and generally cool weather conditions in the last week made for some variable fishing success. In the north, panfish were the highlight of the week - with some good catches of bluegill, crappie and perch being reported. Bluegill are just beginning to congregate for spawning and some nice fish have been found the break lines and weed edges. Musky fisherman have been out in moderate numbers and success has been fair. Mayflies have begun to hatch on a few northern lakes and this has begun to upset the walleye bite on most of these waters. Largemouth bass action has been generally good, but the early catch and release smallmouth season has been hit or miss. The season remains catch and release for smallmouth in the northern zone until June 20.
The walleye bite on Lake Winnebago has been consistent, but not outstanding, with anglers finding walleye scattered throughout the area and fishing them with multiple techniques. White bass are still being caught on the Fox River and Wolf River areas, along with catfish, bass and walleye.

Cool, wet, and windy weather also kept fishing pressure low most of the week on Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Strong winds and high waves hampered fishing both from boats and off of piers this weekend. Though the rain slowed the increase, the water temperature has continued to rise in both Lake Michigan and Green Bay.
The Menominee River continued to produce musky this past week, with a few fish over 50 inches. Anglers out of the Pensaukee and Oconto have been catching walleye. Smallmouth bass have been seen in moving into the shallows in large numbers over the past week throughout the Door peninsula, many sitting on beds and getting them to bite has been more about triggering the defensive response than about triggering a feeding response.

Those trollers that made it out onto the lake from southeastern harbors were generally working the nearshore waters and reported good numbers of browns and a few rainbow and lake trout along with decent numbers of chinook and coho salmon.
Whitetail deer are continuing to drop fawns and elk are also now having calves. Black bear sightings with cubs are becoming more prevalent, with a sow in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest seen with four cubs this week.
Mosquitos have emerged in full attack mode in the Northwoods, but that has also thankfully been accompanied by a huge hatch of dragonflies.


Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - The month of June has arrived, bringing with it precipitation that has raised water levels above the average for this time of year. We are expecting scattered thunderstorms into the weekend, which will continue to assist our thickening forests of green. A couple of reports from fisherman on the river have been positive. We anticipate seeing an increase of people fishing this weekend as it will be free fishing weekend for everyone around Wisconsin. Ruffed grouse broods are starting to hatch. Often times the mother will be quite protective this time of year so if you see an adult grouse acting strange, chances are that they are distracting you from their young. Fringed polygala is blanketing the ground cover with its purple flowers. Native columbine, wood betony, false solomon's seal, wild sarsaparilla, and swamp saxifrage are just a few other plants that are showing up on the forest floor. As these plants begin flowering, you will see bits of color speckled over the predominant green. Bears are starting to court and as a result are kicking their young out on their own. You may notice an increase in the amount of trash cans tipped over in your neighborhood. Chances are, young bears, like the o ne pictured below, are the culprits as they are looking for an easy meal. Turtles are starting to lay their eggs. You will start to see them trying to cross the road. If it is safe, feel free to help them across the road. We cant emphasize enough how important it is to leave wildlife wild! The greatest way to keep yourself and the animals you will encounter in the wild safe, is to enjoy them from a distance. Please feel free to call your local DNR headquarters with any questions you may have. - Edwin F. Koepp, visitor services associate

Ashland DNR Service Center area
Big Bay State Park - All trails are open for hiking however, many trails are water covered or muddy in areas (including about 400 yards on the north end of the Lagoon Ridge Trail). Spring has arrived and the animals and birds are out and about. While at Big Bay State Park, keep your eyes open for some of the critters that call our park home, such as white-tailed deer, coyote, fox, beaver, loons, owls, eagles, woodpeckers, rabbits, mink, blue jays, chickadees, robins and black bears. Big Bay State Park is located on Madeline Island, one of the 22 Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Access to the island and the park is by way of the Madeline Island Ferry.
Amnicon Falls State Park - All trails are open. Enjoy the beautiful views along the Amnicon River as you hike the Thimbleberry Nature Trail. Trails are in good condition, but with recent rain and higher water there are some wet areas throughout the trail. Pets are allowed on all trails throughout the park except for the Thimbleberry Nature Trail. And please remember pets must be on a leash and please clean up after them. Water levels are still pretty high and water temp is still cold, so please exercise caution near the water. Bring your camera to capture the beauty of the falls! Don't forget your bug spray...the mosquitoes are out in full force! Come check out the hummingbirds at the park office or the snowshoe hare that lives in the campground! Trees have leaves and the flowers are blooming. The campground is open year around. Most campsites have dried up from the recent rains and are in great condition. Sites 1-6 are first come, first serve sites. - Natalie Brown, ranger

Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Sandhill Crane colts are hatching out. If you are lucky you may see a pair of parents with their babies in the sedge marshes. Trumpeter Swan Cygnets are hatched, and Common Loons are still on their nests. Many species of nesting ducks are present including mallard, green-winged and blue-winged teal and ring-necked duck. Canada geese goslings are growing. The red-necked grebe pair is nesting at Auto Tour Stop #3 on Phantom Lake. Phantom Lake is a good place to get marsh birds, such as yellow-headed blackbird and sedge and marsh wren. Whip-poor-wills are calling at dusk and throughout the night. Common nighthawks are nesting. Resident songbirds are nesting. Brown thrashers and gray catbirds may be found in the brush prairies, as well as eastern towhee, chipping, vespers, song, lark and savannah sparrows. many broods have hatched. Black bears are moving around looking for food. Sows with cubs are commonly seen in the area. Deer are dropping fawns. Watch for Blandings, snapping and painted turtles on the roads as they emerge to lay their eggs. Snakes and salamanders can be seen on the roads on sunny days. Please be wary of them so you don't run them over. Lupine, prairie phlox, hoary puccoon are blooming, along with many other early summer wildflowers. Karner butterflies have emerged. Many other butterfly species have been sighted, including a black swallowtail, eastern tiger swallowtail, Canadian tiger swallowtail, Olympia marble, clouded sulphur, western-tailed blue, silvery blue, northern crescent, American lady, monarch, northern cloudywing, dreamy duskywing, sleepy duskywing, juvenal's duskywing, persius duskywing, arctic skipper, hobomok skipper, dusted skipper, and common roadside-skipper.
Interstate Park - Nesting birds are active throughout the park. Great blue herons are easily observed near the rookery near the Camp Interstate Shelter. Eaglets are on the nest, best viewed from Eagle Peak. Blooming wildflowers include: wild geranium, Solomon's-plume, Virginia waterleaf and columbine. Fishing success has attracted anglers to the St. Croix River and also Lake O' the Dalles. All campgrounds are open. Water systems and the shower/flush toilet building are operational except for the beach area. Vault toilets are available.- Julie Fox, natural resources educator
Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - The erratic and generally cool weather conditions of the last week have made for some variable fishing success. Panfish have been the highlight of the week - with some good catches of bluegill, crappie and perch being reported. Crappie have still been found along the shallow weed edges and the best fishing has been in the early morning and late afternoon hours. The most productive rig has been a small fathead minnow fished a foot or two below a bobber. Bluegill are just beginning to congregate for spawning and some nice fish have been found the break lines and weed edges in 6 to 8 feet of water. Musky fisherman have been out in moderate numbers and success has been fair. Anglers have reported quite a few sightings and follows, but not many good hits. Smaller bucktails and slower glide baits have been the most productive baits and a couple of catches have been made by fishermen using live suckers. Mayflies have begun to hatch on a few northern lakes and this has begun to upset the walleye bite on most of these waters. The jig and minnow combinations are no longer the most successful method and better action is taking place on leeches and night crawlers. A few fishermen have even tried fly rodding with streamers and mayfly imitations with some success. Largemouth bass action has been generally good, but the up and down water temperatures seem to keep chasing the fish out of shallow water. Largemouth have completed spawning a few lakes, but quite a few nesting fish have still been observed on quite a few other waters. The most productive baits have been soft plastics which have to be fished slowly on the weed flats or along the first break lines. Smallmouth bass fishing during the early catch and release season has been hit or miss, and many smallies are still tending nests as well. Anglers are reminded that the catch and release season for smallmouth remains in effect until June 20 and fish should quickly be returned to the water after they're landed. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls

Flambeau River State Forest - Both the north and south forks of the Flambeau are up with the recent rains, but great for paddling. Walleye fishing is a bit slow, but folks are catching pan fish. We are seeing turtles, fawns and elk calves are dropping, and grouse are drumming. The monarch and yellow swallow tails are here. Trilliums, Fly Honeysuckle, forget-me-nots, and Wood Anemone are still blooming. Robins & sparrow fledglings are starting to spread their wings. We will be hosting our annual "Open House" this Friday, June 5th. We will be serving refreshments and giving tours of the new office headquarters that we are now occupying. Stop in and see us and take part in the discussions of future plans for 2015. - Judy Freeman, visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Oneida County - Fawns and being born and beginning to move around. Remember to leave them where they are because mom is not far away! Anglers are reporting good fishing with crappies and bluegill being found in shallow water. Good catches of walleye have been seen. - Tim Ebert, conservation warden, Woodruff

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - There have been all kinds of cool wildlife sittings this week. Hikers saw two beautiful wolves trotting along together in Vilas County, one dark and one silver. A wood duck with 10 little ducklings swimming along behind it swam right past some canoers. A ranger spotted a small sow bear with four little cubs. Speaking of bears, we have had some activity in a few of our campgrounds. Campers please store food in your vehicles at night, and get rid of any garbage before you turn in. The faster we take away their food source, the faster the bears will move on. Please don't contribute to the bears becoming a serious nuisance. Mosquitos and ticks are in full attack mode. Thank goodness we have had a huge hatch of dragonflies too. Some of the early spring flowers are already done blooming. Warblers are still migrating through the area. Painted turtles are everywhere trying to find safe spots to lay their eggs. Please drive carefully and let them go about their business. Campground use throughout the forest is currently pretty light. Now is a great time to come out and camp when there is less competition for the nicest sites and before things kick into full speed for the summer. We still have a couple of openings for volunteer campground hosts for this season, one at South Trout Lake and one at Firefly Lake. Contact Joe Fieweger at 715-385-3355 ext 113 or joseph.fieweger@wi.gov for more information. - Kimberly Krawczyk, Visitor Services Associate


Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Cool, wet, and windy weather kept fishing pressure low most of the week. The Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee Rivers all have gates open, with flood warnings for the Menominee River. Water clarity suffered as run off entered the rivers along with floating debris which is finding its way to the Bay of Green Bay.
Marinette County - Smallmouth and some pan fish are being in the upper stretches of the Peshtigo River. Smallies are responding to crank baits, spinners, and plastics. Pan fishermen are using slip bobbers and small jigs tipped with worms or minnows. The lower Peshtigo has been producing some nice small mouth and musky. Smallmouth are biting on jigs, cranks, and plastics, musky are responding to large spinners, plastics, and stick baits. Catfish and sheepshead are being caught at the Peshtigo Harbor fishing crawlers on the bottom. The Menominee River has been producing its share of musky this past week with a few fish over 50 inches. Boom Island to the 41 Bridge has been hot. Walleye anglers are catching fish mainly in the evenings trolling stick baits and jigging from Stephenson Island to the mouth of the river.- Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Panfish, smallmouth, and northern pike are still being caught by the dam in Stiles with anglers fishing the eddies created by the fast water. Live bait has been working best with sucker minnows being used for the pike and smallmouth and worms being used for blue gill. The mouth of the Oconto River is still producing some nice small mouth along with some large catfish. Catfish are being fished on bottom with night crawlers while smallies are responding to spinners, jigs and cranks. Anglers out of the Pensaukee Landing are catching walleye in 20 feet of water using crawler/harness and stick baits with fish suspending from 2 feet off bottom to 5 feet below the surface. Purples have been working well. Anglers out of Oconto Park II have been catching walleye in 8 to 11 feet of water using mainly crawler/harness. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Fishing pressure at Geano Beach was light this week. A pair of boats was interviewed on Friday. One reported no luck; the other landed a dozen walleye and a freshwater drum. The size of walleye kept ranged between 17.5 and 22.8 inches. Both cranks and crawler harnesses caught fish. One musky was seen in hot pursuit of a hooked walleye. When it got close to the boat, and seen the fishermen, it quickly changed direction. - Adrian Meseberg, fisheries technicians, Green Bay

Brown County - When the weather cooperated, fishing pressure at the Green Bay Metro launch was high this week. All boats were looking for either musky, walleye or both. While musky catch rates were low, one fortune angler landed a 52 incher late in the week. Spinner baits remained the most popular choice of lure. Soft plastics, cranks and buzz baits were also used. Casting in 6 feet of water, toward the shoreline, was the target zone. Walleye catch rates were high this week. Cranks and crawler harnesses were both used effectively. The average-size of walleye measured this week was 19.6 inches. The range was from 16.1 to 22 inches. Several smaller walleye were reported. Other fish caught by Metro boaters included northern pike, carp, white bass, catfish and lots of freshwater drum. Water clarity was low for most of the week. Water temperatures were reported around 68 degrees by weeks end. Most boats heading out of the Fox Point and Fairgrounds launches were fishing for musky. Catch rates were high early in the week and dropped by weeks end. Multiple reports of 50-plus inch musky were mentioned. Several boats landed more than one fish. Casting spinner baits and soft plastics towards the shoreline was the way to go. It is probably fair to say the spawning run is near its end. Jigging and reeling cranks landed walleye boats a handful or Fox River fish this week. Smallmouth anglers reported catching fish. The highest number was 10. Smallmouth size was not that large, with mostly 12-14 inchers mentioned. One freshwater drum boat caught 18 of their targeted fish. Other fish caught included carp, catfish, northern pike and white bass. Voyager Park shore anglers were casting for several different kinds of fish. Catfish, freshwater drum, walleye, smallmouth bass and musky were all mentioned as targets. Musky anglers were casting larger spinner baits. They reported no luck. Catfish anglers were primarily choosing live baits, including worms and shrimp, off of the bottom. Most caught five fish or less. Smallmouth fishermen were pitching mostly cranks. Many caught at least one. Most sizes were less than 14 inches. Freshwater drum anglers reported decent catch rates. Live baits as well as cranks both worked well. Later in the week walleye anglers mentioned catching a few river fish. One individual caught four. Crank baits and jigs were the popular choice of lures for walleye. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Fox River were casting primarily for freshwater drum. Live bait on a Wolf River rigs, about 18 inches off of the river bottom, was an effective approach. Catch rates were high. Several catfish were caught fishing live baits off of the river bottom. A few anglers were looking for walleye using crank baits. While catch rates were not high, a few were brought to shore. Carp were reported as incidental catches. Near Fox Point a number of fishermen were looking for freshwater drum. They had high catch numbers. Live bait on, or near, the bottom worked best. Shore anglers on Duck Creek were either casting live bait for walleye or bow fishing for carp. The walleye group did not have any luck. Those looking for carp fared better. The highest number shot was 12. Slowly wading near the shoreline, with bow in hand, was the way to find fish. Boaters launching onto Duck Creek were bow hunting carp. The highest number reported was five. Early in the week the Suamico Boat Launch had relatively high fishing pressure with around forty trailers in the lot Sunday night. Boaters were in search of musky or walleye. Musky boats did not report catching many fish. The most used lures were spinnerbaits and soft plastics. While walleye catch numbers were not high at the beginning of the week, getting out ahead of Friday's cold front landed good numbers of fish. A good number of walleye were under the legal size. At least one 29 incher was mentioned. Crawler harnesses and cranks were both used. Accidental catches included northern pike, catfish, yellow perch and good numbers of freshwater drum. - Adrian Meseberg, fisheries technician, Green Bay

The smallmouth bass bite improved slowly throughout the week for anglers fishing from boats. These anglers reported that they had the best success in slightly deeper water, using plastic baits. A few small to medium size northern pike were caught accidently by smallmouth bass anglers. Green Bay remains clear and has a water temperature of 59 degrees. The Bay Shore Park area continued to produce many good-sized walleye this towards the middle of the week. Once again, cranks have been the best producers. Large amounts of baitfish continued to travel the area causing the walleye to be a bit more finicky. Early morning and late afternoon have seen walleye in 10-14 feet of water, while midday depths are ranging closer to 22 feet. The poor weather into the weekend slowed the bite and reduced the number of fishermen using the launch. Water temps dipped to the mid 50s by Sunday and the water clarity has diminished to low. - John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - The inclement weather this week kept the angler pressure light in Southern Door County. Anglers fishing from boats reported the smallmouth bass bite improved throughout the week. Anglers are having success with shore fishing for walleye, particularly towards the end of the week. Though the rain slowed the increase, the water temperature has continued to rise in both Lake Michigan and Green Bay. The Sturgeon Bay City and Stone Quarry Ramps saw a fair amount of use. Anglers returning to these ramps reported good success with smallmouth bass. Shore anglers focused their attentions throughout the canal this week in an effort to catch walleye. Anglers have found the best success using stick baits at dusk and in the few hours after dark. The water temperature was 57 degrees this week. Smallmouth bass have been seen in moving into the shallows in large numbers over the past week throughout the peninsula, many sitting on beds. Despite the large numbers of bass being seen the bite continues to be tough. The best results have been fishing in 6 to 10 feet of water using tubes. Anglers have also been reporting the occasional northern pike and walleye. The bright spot has been Rowley's Bay. Anglers continue to produce good numbers of smallmouth and the occasional northern pike in the shallows, about 2-5 feet of water using primarily tubes.

The smallmouth in the Little Sturgeon Bay area are currently bedding and getting them to bite has been more about triggering the defensive response than about triggering a feeding response. White tubes and crank baits continue to be the hot number. Multiple musky are also being caught in the area with the biggest measuring 55 inches and some boats reporting 4 or more fish caught in a single outing. Brightly colored crank baits have been the most effective; however, black and yellow spinner baits have also brought in some fish. With the weather forcing fishermen to shelter, Sawyer Harbor has seen an increase in usage though the weekend, however the colder weather had slowed the smallmouth bite drastically. Many anglers reported seeing fish bedding but not being able to get a bite. Walleye fishermen had no luck in the area due to the heavy winds in the channel. Water temps in the area have dropped to mid 50s and the water clarity is good in some bays but low in others. The rain, wind, and colder weather into the weekend keep most fishermen off the water in the Chaudoirs Dock area. Good action was seen towards the middle of the week in 12-16 feet of water at daybreak and 18-22 feet closing to mid-day. Cranks are still the technique of choice, with most fishermen running at 1.8-2.2 MPH. Blue/silver and wonder bread colors produced the most fish. The weekend cold and wind had slowed the bite down and most anglers were reporting low catch rates. Water temperatures in the area are as low as 56 degrees and clarity has been low. - John Taylor, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Kewaunee County - The uncooperative weather this week kept angler pressure extremely light in both Kewaunee and Algoma this week. The rain this week slowed the bite throughout the county that said Lake Michigan's water temperature continues to warm gradually. Lake Michigan remained clear throughout the week with a temperature of 66 degrees. Anglers were brave enough to face the cold and windy conditions this week on the Kewaunee pier. Unfortunately they reported no success with either trout or salmon. They tried a variety of lures and baits ranging from spoons to night crawlers. One family was observed fishing for panfish along the shore this week in Algoma. Regretfully they could not entice any species to take either the worms or live bait they were using.

Manitowoc County - The carp are ready to be caught in Two Rivers for this weekend's Carp Fest. Aside from that the piers, and ramps have remained slow early this week. With the wind calming down a few anglers have gone out on the piers in Manitowoc. Most people are using spoons, including spoons of various colors. One angler reported missing three brown trout in a two hour period off the south pier near the wastewater treatment plant. The water is clearer near the south pier, but still brown. The harbor water temperature is 64 degrees. More boaters have used the ramp this week with one to three trailers present throughout the day. Fishing is still a little challenging as one pair of boaters spent four hours on the water without luck. Two anglers hooked into massive carp early this week Two Rivers Harbor, but the trout remained elusive. Only three people were seen using the piers and harbor on Monday and Wednesday. The water is still dark brown with a temperature of 64 degrees. People are fishing the West Twin River near the Vet's Park Ramp, but nobody seems to be launching their boats as of Wednesday this week. - Jason Ruckel, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Gorgeous weather this week, sunny and around 70 with little wind for a change. Still have not seen nor heard of anyone finding a morel mushroom. Wild asparagus is about done. Have not talked to any trout fisherman in the last week, but the streams look perfect for fishing right now with slightly elevated levels and mild staining to the water. Tis the season for baby animals - Staff have seen about everything but a fawn so far. Sure they are there, but haven't found one yet. Despite some heavy rains last week, bugs aren't bad. A couple deer flies, some mosquitos and some wood ticks. Should be a nice weekend to be out and about. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area
Calumet County - Walleye anglers have been catching fish along the east shore of Lake Winnebago in Calumet County. Most have been trolling in 10 to 12 feet of water with crank baits. Several large walleyes were recently weighed at a local tournament, and many anglers are reporting larger fish this year. Water temperatures are slowly rising. Paired geese have been seen with large groups of goslings around the Chilton area. Photographers and wildlife watchers are reminded not to pick up baby animals and to leave wildlife in the wild. Larger groups of deer have been observed around the Killsnake Wildlife Area. Most have been moving from lowland to upland areas in the evenings to feed. - Michael Disher, conservation warden - Stockbridge
High Cliff State Park - Horse/bike trails are in need of mowing. Crews are currently experiencing mechanical problems with the mower used on these trails. We hope to have to problem resolved as soon as possible. High Cliff offers approximately 16 miles of trails. Most trails are looped, and vary in length and difficulty. Pets are allowed on all of the park's trails. Remember, your dog must be kept on a leash and under control at all times, and you are responsible for removing and properly disposing of your pet's waste. The 7.5 mile bridle trail is shared with mountain bikers and open May 1 through Nov. 15. Lakeflies started to hatch May 2. Hatches usually go for about 10 days. - Cynthia Mueller, naturalist

Outagamie County - Anglers have been catching walleye nearly all over on Lake Winnebago, both using crank baits and crawler harnesses. Anglers along the Fox River have been doing well on catfish, bass, and walleye. Those wishing to bow fish can find good numbers of carp in the area, particularly on the Fox River in Kimberly and the north end of Lake Winnebago. Many wildflowers are in bloom, making for a nice opportunity to enjoy nature and go for a hike or bike ride. Due to the large number of baby animals around, the DNR would like to remind people to Keep Wildlife Wild and leave these babies alone. It can be dangerous and harmful to handle babies or remove them from their habitat. - Ryan Propson, conservation warden, Appleton

Winnebago County - The walleye bite on Lake Winnebago has been consistent, but not outstanding. Many anglers are finding walleye scattered throughout the area and fishing them with multiple techniques. White bass are still being caught on the Fox River and Wolf River areas. This weekend is designated as free fishing weekend. June 6th and June 7th. People are encouraged to take advantage of the free fishing period by getting someone involved in fishing. This weekend is the perfect opportunity to get someone that doesn't fish, hooked on fishing. - Jason Higgins, conservation warden, Oshkosh

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Milwaukee County - Young wild animals such as deer fawns, rabbit and coyote kits, bird nestlings (still in the nest) and fledglings (have left the nest but still rely on their parents) and raccoon kits are out and active all over Milwaukee County. If you see a young wild animal you think is injured or lost, contact your local wildlife rehabilitator or the DNR Customer Service Hotline (1-888-DNRINFo; 1-888-936-7463), or visit the DNR webpage and search keyword "Keep Wildlife Wild". Most wild mothers watch their young from a distance, and what you think is an abandoned young animal may be perfectly fine. Spiderwort, wood phlox, false solomon's seal, and Canada mayflower are in bloom, and dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies are all active. To see some of Wisconsin's Winged Wonders, join me on Winged Wonders Hike at Jackson Marsh on Saturday, June 20 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Contact Dianne Robinson at Dianne.Robinson@wisconsin.gov or at 262-424-9827 to register and for more information. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist

Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report - Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Strong winds and high waves hampered fishing both from boats and off of piers this weekend. The following reports from trollers were from late last week, when better weather allowed boats to get offshore.

Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan trollers were catching chinooks and lake trout, although not in great numbers. Typically boats reported one or two of each species. Most trollers were still working in shallow water, generally from 30 to 40 feet. Most fished with spoons in silver and white colors, but one boat reported catching lake trout on J-plugs in white and black. Coho, lake trout, and browns have all been caught by shore anglers fishing off of Sheboygan's south pier. Spoons with silver color have taken the majority of fish. On the north pier, anglers have been catching a few browns with lake whitefish mixed in as well. Golden shiners fished off the bottom have taken fish, as well as spoons. Recently, more alewives have been seen in the Sheboygan harbor than in previous weeks.

Ozaukee County - Port Washington trollers were working the nearshore waters around the harbor. Good numbers of browns and a few rainbows, chinooks and lake trout were caught on spoons and crank baits in 20 to 30 feet of water. Increasing numbers of chinooks have been caught on the lake side of the breakwall. Alewives soaked on the bottom have taken the most fish. Anglers fishing near the Port Washington power plant have caught fair numbers of rainbows, with the majority taken on spawn sacs with one or two hitting plastics as well. Fishing near the power plant has been most productive in the morning, even as early as 4 a.m.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee, trollers were averaging one to three fish, with a mix of coho, chinooks, and rainbows being caught. Some boats trolled between South Shore Park and the green can reef, while others fished straight east of the harbor in 50 feet of water out to 100 feet. Fishing off of McKinley pier slowed this past week with poor weather and a drop in water temperature from the 50s back into the 40s both in the harbor and on the lake side of the pier. A few coho have been caught along the shoreline behind the Summerfest grounds on fathead minnows fished under a bobber. On the south side of Milwaukee, shore anglers fishing in Grant Park have caught a few coho and browns while bottom fishing with alewives and casting spoons in blue and silver or green and silver. Anglers fishing off the Oak Creek Power Plant pier have been catching browns and a few coho. White tube jigs tipped with shrimp fished under a slip bobber has produced the most fish. The power plant pier closed early on Saturday and remained closed on Sunday due to the rough weather.

Racine County - Racine trollers have reported catching decent numbers of coho early in the morning off of the south breakwall. Bright pink and green baits have been producing well, and limits of fish have been taken. Pier fishing has been hit-or-miss over the past week. Small coho and rainbows have been hitting mostly in the early morning hours, and fish have taken both artificial and live bait.

Kenosha County - In Kenosha, when lake conditions have been good, boating pressure was quite high and anglers reported decent catches of rainbow trout and coho, with the occasional lake trout and chinook mixed in. Most rainbows and coho were taken between 6 and 8 AM, with the chinook bite turning on slightly later in the morning. Many fish have been fairly high in the water column. Shore fishing in Kenosha has been slow overall, but some coho and rainbows have been taken near the ends of the piers. Success has been best in the morning, and most fish have been taken on spoons.
Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area - Kayaking conditions are great right now on some local rivers and streams such as on Cedar Creek from Jackson Marsh east toward Cedarburg), with river flows still fairly high due to the heavy rains a couple weeks ago. You can find some good local kayak routes online at http://midkettlemoraine.uwex.edu/recreational-opportunities/canoekayak-routes/, and other websites. If you go out please be safe and smart; wear life jackets, take sunscreen, a phone, and water to drink. Nuisance coyotes have been in the news a lot not only around Washington County but also in southern Ozaukee, Milwaukee and other SE counties. Their pups are either still in the dens or still near the dens and the adults are searching for food and protecting the pups, so please be watchful of your pets and keep them on leashes. Local DNR Wildlife Management staff are seeding new grass plantings this week at Theresa Marsh Wildlife Area, and are doing some invasive plant control work. A lot of male wild turkeys are still strutting and gobbling and very visible in the fields. Deer seem to be running around everywhere. Wildlife Educator Dianne Robinson will be leading a "Hike for Winged Wonders" on Saturday, June 20th from 10am to noon at the Jackson Marsh Wildlife area. Please contact Dianne at Dianne.Robinson@wisconsin.gov or 262-424-9827 to sign up and for more details. - Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford


Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - "River very high. Not a sandbar in sight." Executive Director Mark Cupp Lower Wisconsin Riverway Video Report for June 3 (exit DNR).
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Columbia County - Water levels on the Wisconsin River are still high with sandbars and most islands covered with water yet due to recent flooding conditions. Elks Club Kids Fisheree is this Sunday at Pauquette Pond in Portage starting at 10 am. - Paul Nadolski, conservation warden, Portage

La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Vernon County - Many songbirds are fledging their first clutches of nestlings. As these young birds leave their nests, it will take several additional weeks before they become proficient flyers. Until then, they are vulnerable to many predators, such as crows, raccoons, coyotes, fox, cats, and dogs. Young rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks, and foxes have also been reported. Spiderwort is starting to bloom along roadsides, woodland edges, and fields. Spiderwort gets its name from the angular arrangement of its leaves, suggesting the posture of a squatting spider. This plants showy blue-violet flowers with hairy yellow stamens characteristically open in the morning, close by the afternoon in sunny weather, but remain open longer on cloudy days. There is no floral scent. Bumblebees are important pollinators of this plant, and animals that eat spiderwort include white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbits, and box turtles. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest - This is a great weekend to come to the Black River State Forest. It is free fun weekend where no vehicle admission stickers are required, you can ride your ATV and UTV without being registered for public lands, you can fish without a license and more. Temperatures this weekend are expected to be in the mid-70s with a chance of storms on Sunday. All trails are now open except for the wildcat loop. Trails were groomed and in good condition, although there may be a few rough or muddy areas. This May and June we will be working on upgrading the wetland crossings on this section of trail. The Wildcat loop will re-open for July through Labor Day and then close again while we continue the upgrade work. These upgrades are the last stage of a multi-year project to bring all wetland crossings up to code. Improving these wetland crossings make the trail system less susceptible to closures after large rainfall events and decreases the long term maintenance costs of the trail system. - Emily Alf, visitor services associate

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Chippewa County - During the upcoming free fishing weekend there are many opportunities in Chippewa County to come try the sport without the hassle and cost of buying a license. There will be a learn to fish event along Duncan Creek, near Irvine Park, on Saturday from noon until 4. We will have the poles, bait, and even fish to try your hand at filleting! There will also be prizes for the youth! The bluegills are starting to bite well, so this should be a really exciting weekend. - Bryan Harrenstein, conservation warden, Chippewa Falls

Eau Claire County -Anglers have been catching some nice sized crappies along the south shoreline of the Eau Claire River at Big Falls County Park. Catfish have been taking the bait at several popular "holes" downriver of the I-94 Bridge. Check out the Porterville Road Boat Landing for a very scenic park along the south shoreline of the Chippewa River just south of the City of Eau Claire. The Chippewa River State Trail parking lot at Jopke Road provides access to some great fishing along the Chippewa River. Take Highway 85 to the Dunn County Line and then north on Fuller Road to catch perch in the unusual landscape of quarry ponds on the Chippewa River State Natural Area - please don't park in front of the gates. Take someone fishing! - Scott Thiede, conservation warden, Eau Claire
Wausau DNR Service Center area

Rib Mountain State Park - Lots of deer, woodchucks and even an occasional turkey can be seen. Lots of song birds and late spring early summer wildflowers are in abundance. Several whitetail deer and woodchucks are also around. Trails are open and in good condition for hiking. Please note that due to recent heavy rains the Turkey Vulture Trail suffered some washouts, the trail is open and we are working to fix the washouts. We recently completed upgrades to the road system within the park, please be aware that traffic patterns have changed slightly. - Bill Bursaw, park manager

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Buckhorn State Park - Due to cooler weather, the mosquitoes have not hatched yet! There are still ticks, be sure to check self and pets. Free park admission and free fishing is coming up this Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7. - Heather Wolf, park manager

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