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WISCONSIN OUTDOORS
Wisconsin

CURRENT NEWS from the Wisconsin DNR

Preliminary spring turkey harvest registrations see slight decrease from 2016
MADISON - Preliminary totals show turkey hunters registered 43,341 birds during the 2017 spring turkey hunting season in Wisconsin, a slight decrease from the spring 2016 season. - Read Full Article

June public meeting will gather feedback regarding outdoor recreation in northern Wisconsin
MADISON - Department of Natural Resources staff will hold a June 19 public meeting to gather input regarding the draft Northwoods Region portion of the Recreation Opportunities Analysis. - Read Full Article


Outdoor Report - June 15, 2017

WI DNR

Find Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism

General | Northern Region | Northeast Region | Southeast Region | South Central Region | West Central Region

Rain and strong winds lashed across much of the state at the end of last weekend. The wind in particular had caused some trees down and trail blockages and the rain has lifted water levels yet again. The Lower Wisconsin River is once again running very high, nearly twice its flow for this time of year, and no sandbars are available for camping.

This is still prime time for wildlife, both young and adult, to be moving and shaking. Reports of goslings, pheasant broods, loon chicks, trumpeter swan cygnets, as well as the first wobbly elk calves are coming in. Young bald eagles are being seen on the edge of nests, and it won't be too long before they make their first fledging attempts. Turtles are also still crossing roads looking for areas to lay eggs, and the public is reporting an abundance of cotton-tailed rabbits this spring. If you see a young wild animal you think is injured or orphaned while outdoors, search the DNR webpage for keywords "Keep Wildlife Wild" to find out what to do.

Coyote activity has picked up in the past weeks. Bears are entering mating season. Don't be surprised if you see bears more frequently and out during the middle of the day.

There are reports from anglers across the state of a solid bluegill bite. Those in boats need to be aware of floating debris on the lakes from high water. There were also reports of more consistent trout success, but rains have thrown this into contention. Reports from the Wolf River mention solid catches of large and smallmouth bass.

In Green Bay, anglers reported landing walleye, freshwater drum, a variety of bass, northern pike and yellow perch. Bass fishing in Door County is in full swing. With the warm weather, smallmouth bass at Sturgeon Bay, Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor have nearly completed spawning with most females heading back to deeper water to recover and feed. Male smallmouth can be found protecting beds in the shallows and anglers have been targeting them with various baits.

A few perch have been caught in some of the harbors but action has been inconsistent. Musky anglers found mixed success but are reporting muskies still cruising the shallows looking for easy meals.

Along Lake Michigan, salmon fishing out of Kewaunee, Ozaukee and Manitowoc was mixed. The size of some rainbows coming in was impressive, with fish over 10 pounds. Anglers were starting to find kings more consistently fishing downriggers. Out of Sheboygan there were reports of solid catches of coho, chinook, rainbows and lakers.

Common milkweed will soon be flowering and attracting monarchs, dog violet, orange hawkweed, bellworts, marsh marigolds, columbines, are all in bloom, while blackberry, raspberry and bunchberries, as well as wood strawberries are blooming and will soon be fruiting. Wild blue lupine seems to be doing exceptionally well this year, which is great news for the Karner blue butterfly populations.

A myriad of birds continue to be seen, including: rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, a variety of wrens, red polls, bluebirds, golden finches, phoebes, nuthatches and woodpeckers to name just a few.

Shakespeare in the Park kicks off this weekend with performances of The Comedy of Errors on Saturday at Richard Bong State Recreation Area and on Sunday at the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit. Next Wednesday marks the summer solstice and there will be a solstice celebration at Aztalan State Park on Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. with viewing of the sunset -- weather permitting -- from the southwest platform mound. For details search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."

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Upcoming events at Wisconsin recreational properties

Friday, June 16-18, 2017

Friday, June 16

Saturday, June 17

Sunday, June 18

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Upcoming State Natural Area Workday

Pope Lake Workday: June 17, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Since 2014 we have been removing cattails from large areas and seeing native vegetation respond well in the channel between Pope Lake and Manomin Lake. There are thousands of plants still clogging the channel and we can use all the help we can get. The work will involve cutting the plants at least three inches below water level. This is hard work! Access to the plants will be from both the shore and from boats. Please RSVP

Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane

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Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest - Next week marks the first official day of summer, and the woods and roadsides reflect that. The daisies, columbines, bunchberries, raspberries and more are in bloom. Birds are hatching their young, and fawns are following their mothers. If you see a doe crossing a road, keep an eye out for her little one that may be trailing behind. Bears are entering mating season. Don't be surprised if you see bears more frequently and out during the middle of the day in places that you would not expect to see them. You may see an increase in turtles trying to cross the road or on sandy road sides. June is their peak nesting time. If you can do so safely, feel free to assist these guys on their journey. The campgrounds have been busy, especially on the weekends. But so far this summer, we have not yet had a night with both campgrounds completely full. Chances are you'll be able to get a site if you get here early. Give us a call if there is anything we can do to help you plan your trip. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate

Hayward DNR Service Center area

Sawyer County - Water levels are high due to recent heavy rains. Expect them to stay high with the forecast for more rain this week and into the weekend. Rivers and streams are really tough to fish at this point until the water starts to receded. Lake are high as well, but fishing is easier due to no fast currents. Those in boats need to be aware of floating debris on the lakes from high water. Bluegill are biting real well and are shallow. Most fish are in 1-3' of water. Limits are being caught on most waters in Sawyer County. Small works, pieces of night crawler or wax worms seem to be doing the best. As a note, those fishing lakes in Sawyer County for panfish need to check the regulations as there are special limits on a number of lakes which vary for daily bag limits. Motorist should be alert as turtles are out the roads laying eggs now. - Thomas Heisler Jr., conservation warden, Winter

Spooner DNR Service Center area

Crex Meadows State Wildlife - Highlights of the last few days: First sightings of common loons with young, first sightings of sandhill cranes with colts, many sightings of swan pairs with cygnets, and a killdeer nest that was built right on the road. Nesting birds are being spotted everywhere, and there are many young emerging every day. Those numbers are going to continue increasing within the next few days. Young bald eagles are being seen on the edge of nests, and it won't be too long before they make their first fledging attempts. Look for them on North Refuge Road and Phantom Lake Road. Many wildflowers are in bloom, and are covering the prairies with all of their beautiful colors. Wild blue lupine seems to be doing exceptionally well this year, which is great news for the Karner blue butterfly populations in the Glacial Lake Grantsburg Area. Also within the last week, the Karners were spotted in their first flight of the season. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator

Straight Lake State Park - Finishing touches on park improvements will be completed in the new few weeks. The campsites will still be closed for use until later this year due to hazardous trees that have developed at several of the campsites. In the meantime, feel free to look at the sites. Bathrooms will be open for use by July 1. Park Stickers will soon be required at Straight Lake. Passes can be purchased at self-registration stations, with cash or check, once this change goes into effect. Improvements to the trail system at Straight Lake will continue throughout the summer and into the fall. This includes improved trail signage and an additional new trail. The mosquitoes and ticks are out, so be sure to use bug spray. Check out the new walk to access to Rainbow and Straight Lakes along with the fishing platform on Rainbow. Rainbow Lake was stocked with trout and anglers have been reporting success. Families of swans, ducks, cranes, and geese can all be seen on Straight Lake and the surrounding wetlands. Several different species of frogs, turtles, and snakes can be found in the park as well. Be sure to check for bald eagles around the dam as the nest is active again this year. - Matthew Densow, ranger

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Flambeau River State Forest - Loon chicks are hatching, turtles laying eggs, songbirds nesting, fireflies are out and strawberries are ripening. Blooming plants are everywhere. Especially the yellow and white blossoms. Cherry trees, highbush cranberries, the white blossomed dogwoods, basswoods with their bell shaped flowers and soothing fragrance, the forest floor is bursting with newness. Geese and ducks are followed by goslings and ducklings. Song birds are defending their territories where some of the females are still sitting on their nests or re-nesting. The roads are full of snapping turtles and painted turtles crossing to lay their eggs. Horse flies and mosquitoes are out so be prepared. The dragonflies are filling up on those pesky mosquitoes. New wobbly elk calves and deer fawns are out and about following their mothers, soon to be gallivanting around like teenagers. The weather forecast for the remainder of this week calls Friday to be mostly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms after 1 p.m. with a high of 82 and a low of 58. Saturday, there will be a chance of storms with a high of 79 and low of 56, and Sunday, again has a chance of t-storms with a high of 68 and low of 50. Tuscobia Trail from Price County line through to Park Falls is closed due to washouts. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate

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Northeast Region

Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report

This report is for the week of June 4 through June 10. Fishing pressure was low this past week because of weather. Rain, wind, high dirty water, all contributed to a very slow fishing week.

Marinette County - Smallmouth, walleye, and a few pike are being caught in and around the mouth of the Peshtigo River. Anglers are targeting the deeper holes between Klingsborns Landing and the mouth of the River. Most boaters are having success drifting live bait through the holes or casting tube jigs. Anglers report many small walleye being caught in the Menominee River from the Rail Road Bridge to the mouth of the river. Jigs tipped with crawlers drifted or trolled slowly have been working well. Musky fishing in the Menominee River has been slow but some fish are being caught using large spinners and crank baits. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Oconto County - Anglers below the Dam at Stiles on the Oconto River are catching a few smallmouth, pike, and panfish using everything from live bait to spoons and plastics. The mouth of the Oconto River is still producing small mouth and pike using live bait and tube jigs, a few very large small mouth are being caught. Walleye fishing has been slow with very few interviews from the Pensaukee Ramp to Oconto Park II. No reports from the perch anglers. - Kevin King, fisheries technician, Peshtigo

Anglers were targeting walleye with inconsistent success over the past week out of Geano Beach launch. Some boats were finding fish and putting one to four walleyes in cooler while others struggled to get a bit. Other species caught were freshwater drum, white bass, and catfish. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Brown County - Weather once again hindered fishing for anglers with either high winds or severe storms. Anglers that made it on the water continued to find a good walleye bite. On average walleye anglers were catching five to six walleyes per trip with three to four of those fish being of legal size. The best bait continues to be trolling flicker shads in 12-18 feet of water. The key right now is to find the warmest water possible, that is when you are finding the feeding fish. Other fish being caught are freshwater drum, white perch, white bass, and channel catfish. - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Anglers near the Metro Launch took advantage of the warm weather over the past week with many shore and boat anglers out. Anglers by boat were mostly targeting walleye with moderate success. Most boats were bringing in 1-8 fish and keeping between zero and three. Shore anglers were out mostly for fun but there were a few that were targeting fish like black crappie. The crappie anglers came up empty with none of them landing the fish they were after. All the anglers found themselves catching white bass, freshwater drum, and catfish. Few anglers launched out of Fox Point over the past week. Most of them were targeting walleye but there were a few catfish anglers out. The walleye anglers did ok bringing in between zero to four fish but they were lucky to take any home. Other fish caught includes catfish, freshwater drum, and white bass. Few boaters interviewed off the Fairgrounds, but most of the ones out were just cruising the Fox on a good day. Anglers interviewed were targeting walleye, bringing in a handful of fish and putting a couple in the cooler. At Voyager Park, most people out fishing weren't targeting anything specific, they were just trying to appreciate the warm weather. They found themselves hooking into white bass, freshwater drum, common carp, round goby, catfish, and bluegill. There was a mixed variety of people out at Duck Creek over the past week. Most were either pleasure boating or kayaking with few anglers on the water. The anglers that were out were targeting carp and bass with mixed success. The carp anglers found the fish bringing in over 25 for half a day's trip. While the bass angler didn't hook into any fish. Anglers were targeting walleye and a good time over the past week out of Suamico launch. Boat anglers were catching between zero and eight fish and putting at least one in the cooler. Shore anglers were out to have a good time even though most struggled to bring in a fish. Other fish caught included bullhead, catfish, freshwater drum, and white bass. There has also been an increase in pleasure boating with increase in temperature. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Green Bay

Door County - Bass fishing in Door County is in full swing. Bass can be found on the beds in many places. Ephraim has been a very popular spot but bass can be caught from boat or shore in every harbor town up the Green Bay shore. By this point many fish have seen a lot of baits so getting them to bite can be tricky. The standard tube jig will still work when the fish are aggressive but often times things like rubber worms or live bait are needed to catch the more finicky fish. A few perch have been caught in some of the harbors but action has been inconsistent. No word about walleyes from Northern Door since everyone is still bass fishing. Action on the Lake Michigan side has been good with some large rainbows being caught. - Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Chaudoir's Dock walleye anglers continue to find a consistent bite, with many fish being in the 16-18 inch range. Trolling flicker shads has been the bait of choice but anglers have been experimenting with crawler harnesses with limited success right now. Off Little Sturgeon Bay, with the warm weather this past week the smallmouth bass have nearly completed spawning with most females heading back to deeper water to recover and feed on schooling baitfish. Male smallmouth can be found protecting beds in the shallows and anglers have been targeting them with various baits including: tube baits, hair jigs, jigs, and senkos. Walleye fishing has been slow for anglers fishing during daylight hours. After dark has been the best time to target walleyes with anglers reporting a few limits being caught with big fish (28-plus) mixed in. Muskie anglers have found mixed success with a few anglers catching fish in the mid 40s using blade baits. Anglers are still reporting muskies being in the shallows cruising looking for easy meals. Other fish being caught are rock bass, round gobies, northern pike, yellow perch, and freshwater drum. Just like in Little Sturgeon, the smallmouth bass in Sawyer Harbor are nearly, if not already, done spawning. Females can be found in 10-15 feet of water recovering from spawning and feeding on baitfish. Males are in the shallows protecting their young. Anglers are catching fish with drop shots, tubes and jigs. A few anglers were targeting yellow perch with little success (only 2-3 fish). - Derek Apps, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Smallmouth anglers around Sturgeon Bay have been able to find fish with more consistency now that they are reportedly following the typical spawning pattern and are currently around bedding areas. Reported catches haven't been spectacular in size or number, but more anglers are able to catch fish compared to the previous weeks. Some shore anglers have been able to land on some smallmouth as well, particularly at stone quarry landing. The best lure was a green pumpkin tube fished extremely slow on bottom, but some crankbaits have been hit as well. Not many walleye anglers were interviewed, but two boats did brave the gale to put in some hours, unfortunately with no success besides a single sheepshead. Some anglers have also headed out in search of perch, but no boats have reported any catch of them yet. Some shore anglers at the stone quarry landing were also able to land some rock bass and small perch fishing with worms. - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County - Salmon fishing in both Kewaunee and Algoma has been up and down over the past week, due largely in part to bad weather. Before the wind and rain, catches remained consistent with reports of coho and rainbows primarily, with a few chinook and an occasional lake trout mixed in. After the bad weather, anglers struggled to find the same consistency as earlier in the week, and catches diminished, with just a few coho and rainbows coming in. When weather was consistent, anglers fished anywhere from 50 feet deep out to 300 plus, and most preferred to stay between about 80-160 feet, which has been the most productive reported depth so far. Rainbows are still coming on high lines, with 3-5 color lead cores, and other set-ups that achieve similar depths, producing fish on flashy, orange (or other brightly-colored) spoons, but they have also been caught farther down on flies. The size of rainbows coming in is still impressive, with many fish over 10 pounds coming in almost daily. Coho continue to come in the top 50 feet of the water column, with flies behind small red/orange dodgers taking the most fish. Anglers were starting to find kings more consistently fishing downriggers at 50-100 feet down, and more fish have been reported on spoons, particularly blue, than on flasher/flies like past weeks. The kings coming in are sizeable, with fish up to 25 pounds caught over the weekend! - Jacob Steckmesser, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay

Manitowoc County - Fishing pressure continued to be high during the week of June 4. Many boaters interviewed reported great success with coho salmon. Anglers were also reporting rainbow trout and king salmon. Surface water temperatures along the lake shore have been around 60 degrees. On Sunday, June 11, fishing pressure was very low. High winds and stormy weather farther north appeared to be a concern for boaters who did not want to be on the lake. Anglers in the early afternoon on the piers in Two Rivers by the Seagull Marina were targeting salmon and had no success. - Mallary Schenian, fisheries technician, Mishicot

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - Another rainy morning is adding to the already high water in the rivers and lakes of Marinette County. Oyster mushrooms are still popping out of dead aspen. Wild strawberries are in bloom. Bluegill spawning is winding down on area lakes. Spotted knapweed (an invasive plant in open areas) has bolted and will soon be blooming. Common milkweed is now about to flower as well and a few monarchs have been reported. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Whitefish Dunes State Park - A few fawns have been spotted along the trail. The bird feeder has been busy with downy, hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers, along with goldfinches and juncos. This week a pair of red-headed woodpeckers have been sighted. Standing on the overlook you can see buffleheads diving in the lake. Wildflowers in bloom are columbine, pink lady slippers, and the last of the trillium. All trails are open to hiking. The best trails at this time for hikers are the Red Trail (2.8-mile loop) and the beach shoreline (1.5 miles-no pets). Water levels are typically at the lowest levels right now and the beach is a great place to hike. A lot of frog sounds have been heard in the afternoon by visitors hiking the Green Trail. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate

Wautoma DNR Service Center area

Waupaca County - Snapping turtles currently nesting. Fawns are now hanging out with mom during the day. Trout were biting well last weekend on spinners, rain has likely made streams unfishable. Some areas around Wautoma have had 10+ inches, Waupaca area had 1.5 inches. Waushara streams now unfishable. No inland fishing report. Ticks have pretty much died down for the summer, have not seen one for 10 days now. Mosquitos are locally nasty, not may deer flies. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma

Prairie flowers are just starting to bloom. Recent rains to the area should promote additional flowering. Anglers have been doing well catching both large and smallmouth bass in 6-12 feet of water. Most have had success with plastic worms and live bait. Catfishing is just starting to get good on the Wolf River as well. Pollen from primarily White Pines have many people irritated. The pollen count should go down soon. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma

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Southeast Region

Milwaukee DNR Service Center area

Milwaukee County - With the excellent summer weather upon us, visit one of your local outdoors hotspots, such as Havenwoods State Forest in northern Milwaukee County, Lakeshore State Park near the Summerfest grounds, or hike along the Hank Aaron State Trail through the central part of the county. Kayaking opportunities also abound along the many rivers that run through Milwaukee; for more information visit this website. If you see a young wild animal you think is injured or orphaned while on your outdoor excursion, 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. Most wild mothers watch their young from a distance, and what you think is an abandoned young animal may be doing what is natural. Please contact an expert before doing anything with the young wild animal besides observing. Within Milwaukee County, we have seen an increase in coyote activity this past month. Coyote pups are becoming more active, and the parents are traveling more in search of food for their young. Although coyotes rarely cause a problem for people, keep a close eye on your pet or keep them on a leash when you are outside, even in your backyard. Contact Dianne Robinson at Dianne.Robinson@wisconsin.gov or at 262-424-9827 if you see any coyote behavior that seems unusual or threatening. - Dianne Robinson, wildlife biologist, Waukesha

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

Sheboygan County - Off the Sheboygan Harbor, a few anglers tried their luck on North and South piers this weekend with very limited success. A few coho salmon were reported to be caught off both piers by anglers casting or jigging spoons or using live alewives on bottom rigs, but none were seen while interviewing anglers. Water temperature has been around 52 degrees. The Sheboygan boat launch was busy during the week last week, but saw fewer boat traffic by the weekend due to the strong winds. Anglers had been doing quite well on coho salmon, rainbow trout as well as a few chinook salmon and the occasional lake trout. Best baits have been flasher/fly combos or trolling spoons ran 20 to 80 feet down in 40 to 200 feet of water. Water temperature here has been around 48 to 50 degrees near the surface.

Ozaukee County - At Port Washington's harbor and shoreline, fishing effort has stayed steady as a few coho have still been caught recently from Coal Dock park and the South Pier. Baits of choice have been alewives on bottom rigs, casting spoons, or jigging a variety of spoons or jigs. Water temperature in the harbor has drastically varied from mid-70s to low 50s depending on if the power plant has been discharging warmer water. The boat launch at Port Washington was a little less crowded this weekend as strong South to Southwest winds kept anglers off the water starting Saturday afternoon. Anglers reported catches of fish from 60 to 200 feet of water with the best action being from 80 feet of water to 180 feet of water with the best amount of fish coming 20 to 60 feet down. More boats struggled to catch fish with this weekend's full moon and windy conditions. The full moon periods can provide great fishing, but anglers report that the fish often feed in smaller windows because they also feed all night long. There really has been no consistency of the right depth of water to find fish, but more just finding a school and continue to pass over that school of fish. Most anglers have still been catching the coho and the occasional rainbow trout have come on typical coho flies ran behind an orange dodger with an inline weight behind a planer board. A few more chinook have come aboard some boats using some trolling spoons or flasher/fly combos down 40 to 100 feet on down riggers or using 5 or 10 color lead core behind planar boards. Surface temperature has been right around 53 degrees.

Milwaukee County - A nice stretch of dry, sunny weather moved into the Milwaukee area during the week. Small craft advisories were in effect on June 5 with 20-25 mph north/northeast winds, gusting to 30 mph, and on the weekend with 25-30 mph southwest winds, gusting to 39 mph. Daytime temperatures climbed from the 60's and 70s to the 80s and 90s by the end of the week. A 3-mile long school of baitfish was stacked up in 20 feet of water from the Milwaukee harbor north to Atwater Park on Sunday, June 11, according to a charter boat captain. The number of alewives seen on the lake side of McKinley Pier increased with anglers reporting no problem finding bait. Anglers fishing on the pier during the week and the weekend landed mostly coho and some whitefish and kings. The water temperature on the lake side of the pier increased from 51 degrees last week to 54-55 on June 11. Bluegills, largemouth bass, and rock bass were landed in the Lakeshore State Park lagoons by anglers fishing with nightcrawlers under slip bobbers. Boats out of McKinley continue to target coho and kings between the Milwaukee harbor and the TV towers off Capitol Drive. A few coho salmon and brown trout were landed recently on the Grant Park shoreline by anglers fishing with alewives. One angler hooked into a 3.5-4 foot long sturgeon in the discharge Oak Creek chute on June 1. The sturgeon broke the line as the angler pulled the sturgeon toward the surface. Boats out of Bender reported that the trout and salmon are starting to move closer to shore. Nice size kings and coho were landed this week in 70-80 feet of water with large piles of baitfish being marked on the bottom 20 feet of the water column. One of the Bender boats reported good luck landing a limit of kings before sunrise. The perch season will open on Friday, June 16.

Racine County - Fishing was tough this week for the anglers that fished out of Racine. Only a few boats were interviewed this week and they averaged six fish per boat. Anglers fished from 60-100 feet and caught mostly coho salmon on dodger/fly combos and spoons. Water off the pier was 55 degrees. Rock bass were reported caught from shore this week. The angler only caught a few on live bait in the harbor.

Kenosha County - Fishing was tough for anglers fishing this week.Anglers reported catching between two and eight fish. Anglers caught mostly coho salmon on dodger/fly combos, but a few lake trout were also caught on larger dodger/fly combos in 100-130 feet of water. Most of the coho salmon were caught in 50-90 feet of water. The water temperature off the pier was 59 degrees.

Plymouth DNR Service Center area

Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - Heavy storms this week have left several downed trees throughout the forest, and portions of the hiking, biking and horse trails may be impassable through next week. Staff are working diligently to remove these obstructions, but trail users should use caution and be aware of hazards on and above the trails. Road construction continues on County G through the rest of June. Paving should be completed by June 16, and access is open to Headquarters and Auburn Lake. County Road S through New Fane will be closed beginning the week of June 19. Visitors to Mauthe Lake from the south should plan an alternative route. - Deb Harder, visitor services associate

Point Beach State Forest - The beach is OPEN and in fair condition. Expect a smaller beach area this year due to the higher water levels in Lake Michigan. Keep an eye out for pelicans that have also been frequenting our area of Lake Michigan. Please visit www.wibeaches.us for the most up-to-date information. For the most updated water temperature, please visit http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/twomichigans.html. - Melanie Kozlowski, visitor services associate

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South Central Region

Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - Weekly Riverway Video Report At the Melville landing in Grant County. The river still has high water with the boat access and fishing pier under water. The water was rising as of June 15. The river is about twice the normal flow for this time of year. The river will be seeing high water for the near future. That means no sandbars. Check with outfitters to ensure trips are still on. Camping will have to be off the river. - Mark Cupp, executive director Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board

Dodgeville DNR Service Center area

Wyalusing State Park -The canoe trail has reopened as water levels have finally returned to their normal levels. The Bluff trail has also reopened after it was closed for washout repairs. There have been lots of warbler sightings, as well as hummingbirds, oriols, tanagers, vireos, thrushes, finches, woodpeckers, and cuckoos. A good array of wildflowers are blooming as well. The mosquitos have been really good so far this year but the knats are pretty bad but nothing that a little fly spray won't take care of. The park is celebrating its centennial year and we hope to make it a great one with programs coming up this summer that will vary from nature hikes to kid games. This weekend is the Annual Prairie du Chien Rendevous! This is a very popular event in the area and always draws a large crowd to take part in all of the historical activities. - Becky Mumm, naturalist

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West Central Region

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Vernon County - The public is reporting an abundance of cotton-tailed rabbits and their associated nuisance problems. Keep your eyes open for wild turkey and pheasant broods, which will be showing up soon if they have not already. Hayfields are especially good areas to spot these animals. The public is also reporting many deer fawn observations throughout the area. Fawns do not typically travel with does for the first several weeks of their lives. Does are very protective of their fawns and tend to be intolerant of other adult does during the majority of the summer. By autumn, does become less protective of their fawns and will associate with offspring of the previous year and other family groups. A fawn's coat coloration pattern of white spots on a reddish-brown background enables the animal to blend with patterns of sun and shade. Two rows of spots run along each side of a fawn's backbone. Spots in the neck area appear as two almost continuous lines. Additional spots occur elsewhere on the body trunk, flanks, and sides. How many spots does a fawn typically have? About 250-350. Spots are lost when a fawn molts its summer coat, which usually happens in late summer or early fall. - Dave Matheys, wildlife biologist, Viroqua

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Lake Wissota State Park - Species of birds seen or heard include: rose-breasted grosbeaks, belted kingfishers, ruby throated hummingbirds, scarlet tanagers, a variety of wrens, red polls, bluebirds, lake gulls, golden finches, mallard ducks, common loons, great blue herons, red winged blackbirds, phoebes, Canada geese, sandhill cranes, robins, mourning doves, nuthatches, ravens, black capped chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, barred owls and bald eagles. The Canada geese goslings are quite numerous this year and are growing quickly. The whitetail does are having their fawns. Blue flag, dog violet, orange hawkweed, wild columbine, ox eye daisy, wooly yarrow, grove sandwort, marsh marigolds, trillium, wild columbine, bellworts, and the false rue anemones, blackberry and raspberry vines, and common and wood strawberry are in bloom. The wood strawberries are beginning to produce fruit. The milkweed plants are up but not flowering yet. Fireflies, mayflies, swallowtail butterflies and a variety of dragonflies have shown up in great abundance. This year's raccoon population is above average. Campers are advised to store all food in their vehicles. Park trails are generally dry and in very good condition. We would like to remind everyone that when you observe or come across young birds or animals do not touch them and please leave them as they are. Their parents are very likely to be close by, and are quietly waiting for you to move on. Generally, they will wait until you leave the immediate area before attending to their young. - Dave Hladilek, park manager




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