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After southern Wisconsin received some torrential rains last weekend, the north finally had some rain this week, with a few thunderstorms rolled through Wednesday night. Trees are pretty much leafed out in the south and leafing out in their brilliant green of spring in the north.
Even through fields and forests are greening up, fire conditions remain very high across much of the north. In the last week, 68 fires burned 141 acres in DNR Protection Areas. The largest fire was the in Bayfield County burning 42 acres and was caused by a campfire.
Paddlers are starting to head out to rivers now that flows are dropping. These canoeists were out on the Bois Brule River.Photo credit: DNR
The Kinnickinnic, Bois Brule and South and North Fork of the Flambeau rivers are at more normal levels for this time of year. The lower Wisconsin River is high, running at 26,000 feet per second at Muscoda on May 17, but is slowly subsiding.
Canoeing, kayaking and camping are gearing up with the approach of summer. Some campgrounds are already filling up on weekends. Most modern facilities like shower buildings are now open.
Central Wisconsin trout streams are at slightly elevated levels with slight staining and are at perfect fishing condition and the fish are biting very well. Trout anglers fishing on the Kinnickinnic River have been finding success with several caddis fly hatches have been observed.
Peshtigo and Oconto river water levels have dropped about 6 inches over this past week. Anglers were having success catching walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. Fox River walleye fishing was slower this week with the cold front moving through. The walleye bite on Green Bay has been consistent over the past week despite the dip in temperature, with many of the boats catching limits.
Door County bass action has been picking up with the first bass tournament of the year off to a good start. Winning weight was 10 fish adding up to over 58 pounds with the biggest fish a whopping 7.4 pounds.
Fishing out on Lake Michigan has been difficult in the last week due to east winds and rain, but a few brown trout catches were reported along with coho salmon and the occasional chinook. The South Metro Milwaukee Pier is now open and anglers were catching salmon, steelhead, and brown trout.
Turkey hunters are in the fifth time period and many report seeing lots of birds and hearing gobbles on the roost. Lone hens have been seen picking grit in the mornings along highways.
Bear complaints are on the rise. If you live in an area with bears, keep attractants out of your yard. Refrain from putting out bird feeders, keep grills clean and locked up, and don't leave bags of garbage outside. Reducing these attractants greatly reduces the chances of a problem bear showing up in your yard.
Wildlife youngsters are being born daily. Elk cows are in their third trimester of pregnancy. Four separate moose have been spotted in Iron County in recent weeks including a cow with two calves. Does are starting to have fawns. Once again, adults does often leave their fawns unattended for long periods of time. Leave the fawn undisturbed for the best chance of its survival.
The warbler migration is continuing with many different warblers being seen, including black-throated green, yellow, black-and-white, golden-winged, Cape May, Nashville, magnolia, and more. Last week was another successful Horicon Marsh Bird Festival with 158 species seen over a four-day period.
Bloodroot, trilliums, wood violets, marsh marigold, trout lilies, bellwort's, spring beauties are blooming and leaks and fern fronds are popping. Morels are just starting to appear, but be aware that tick numbers are moderate in some areas.
Statewide fire danger ranged from Low to Extreme this week, depending on progression of green-up and rainfall received; 68 fires burned 141 acres in DNR Protection Areas. The largest fire of the week was the "White River Fire" in Bayfield County which burned 42 acres and was caused by a campfire. The main fire causes this week were debris burning (e.g., brush, leaves, trash, burn barrel, broadcast burning) and equipment (e.g., vehicle exhaust, sparks from tow chains dragging, farm disking machine). People are urged to continue to use caution with all types of outdoor burning, campfires, ash disposal and equipment use. Property owners are reminded to remain present when burning debris in a barrel or on the ground - should your fire escape, you can be held responsible for the cost of fire suppression and any damages resulting from the escaped fire. Clear an area around the pile or barrel and make sure a hose is attached to a working spigot. Wet down the burned area before leaving. Stay aware of the current fire danger for your area by checking our website, dnr.wi.gov, keyword "fire."
Firewise Tip: Practice safe towing. Chains dragging on the road can ignite dry grass along the road. Use appropriate safety pins and hitch ball to secure chains. If you need to stop and check what you're towing, do not pull your vehicle over dry grass - hot exhaust and mufflers can start fires. - Jolene Ackerman, wildland urban interface coordinator, Madison
Statewide Birding Report
Many southern birders will long remember this as one of the best May migrations in years. For the second straight week large numbers of warblers, thrushes, orioles, grosbeaks, buntings, and other migrants provided outstanding viewing opportunities. Some, like yellow, Cape May, and Tennessee warblers, even graced oriole and hummingbird feeders, as did more scarlet tanagers than usual. Some of these species also wasted no time in nest building, with nests already documented for Baltimore oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak, ruby-throated hummingbird, black-and-white warbler, and others. Flooded fields and mudflats should be watched closely now for a good variety of shorebirds en route to the arctic, such as black-bellied and semipalmated plovers, dunlin, various sandpipers, and both sanderlings and ruddy turnstones, the latter two especially along sandy beaches and shorelines.
Black-bellied ploverPhoto credit: Ryan Brady
After a slow weekend up north, the mornings of May 14 and 16 both saw a good influx of migrants, including many warblers and thrushes, some vireos and shorebirds, and other long distance neotropical migrants like indigo buntings and bobolinks. Immature rough-legged hawks continue to linger up north, while this week saw multiple snowy owl reports around the state as far south as Sauk County. Some of the rare birds spotted were worm-eating warblers in Milwaukee and Marinette, snowy egret and marbled godwit in Rock, summer tanager in Bayfield, little gull in Marathon, black-billed magpie in Ashland, western tanager in Rusk, northern mockingbird as far north as Bayfield, American avocets in Dodge, and hudsonian godwit in Fond du Lac. The south will lose warblers over the week ahead but gain late arrivals like cuckoos, nighthawks, flycatchers, and shorebirds. The north will finally get some great warbler action and some shorebirds. Find out what others are seeing and report your observations to www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland
Upcoming events at Wisconsin recreational properties
Friday, May 18, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Sunday, May 20
Upcoming State Natural Area Workdays
Chiwaukee Prairie Workday: Scouting for and removing invasives May 19, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. - Help Chiwaukee Prairie Preservation Fund volunteers during our monthly workdays on the third Saturday and enjoy the beauty of this rich prairie in the process. We will scout for and remove garlic mustard and dame's rocket which threaten to outcompete native plants. We will remove these using a variety of techniques including herbicides, shovels, and our hands. Bring a bag lunch to eat afterwards.
May 19 & 26 9 a.m. and May 23 & 24 5 p.m. - Haskell Noyes Woods Workday - Please help remove garlic mustard during the peak season of this highly invasive plant. Haskell Noyes is a premier southern mesic forest. It's plant community is threatened by the invasion of garlic mustard. Haskell Noyes is located in the Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit.
May 24, 9 a.m.-noon: Bluff Creek Workday: Spraying or removing invasives - Enjoy the spring blooms and help control invasives at Bluff Creek SNA. Come see what's blooming and help volunteers during our monthly Southern Kettle Moraine SNA workdays on the second Saturday. Enjoy a short hike through the woods to rare fen areas, then use sprayers to treat invasive brush. This work will remove buckthorn, enlarging the woodland and rare plant communities.
Check the State Natural Areas Volunteer Program page of the DNR website for details. No skills needed you will be trained onsite - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane. - Jared Urban, conservation biologist, Dane
Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - We have seen some warm summer days interspersed with cooler more spring-like days over the past week. Trees are leafing out in their brilliant green of spring, coloring the landscape. Marsh marigolds are in bloom, wood violets are in bloom, and ferns are starting to unfurl. A few thunderstorms rolled through last night bringing some rain, but the overall lack of rain over the past week as well as the warm temperatures and windy conditions have dried things out. Even through fields and forests are greening up, fire danger continues to be a concern and care needs to be taken to prevent wildfires. Get a burning permit, know and follow the rule of the day by checking the Wisconsin Burning Permits website or calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876). Information is updated each day at 11 a.m. Canoeing, kayaking and camping are gearing up with the approach of summer. The lack of rain has allowed the river flow rate to slowly drop as well. It is currently slightly below the seasonal average, but is more than adequate for enjoying a relaxing paddle trip on the river. Campgrounds are still pretty quiet—especially during the week, but the upcoming Memorial Day weekend is typically the kick-off for a busy camping season. About half of our campsites are reservable (you have to reserve at least 48 hours in advance), the rest are available on a first-come-first-served basis. You can make a reservation by calling Reserve America at 1-888-947-2757 or by going on-line at reserveamerica.com (search for Brule River State Forest). Give us a call if there is anything we can do to help you plan your trip. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate
Hepatica blooming along the BeaverTrai at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: DNR
Pattison State Park - Sometimes it feels like summer in May and sometimes we get a dose of reality. This week started with temperatures in the low 80s. Tuesday temperatures were back in the 50s, and Wednesday will be near 80 degrees again. Even with the fluctuating temperatures, our park is getting busy! Leaves are starting to pop, and wildflowers are starting to bloom, and people are anxious to get their first camping trip of the year in, or visit the waterfalls while there is higher flow, and hike the trails for the first time in a while without needing snowshoes. Come and visit us at Pattison State Park! - Gervase Thompson, ranger
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Iron County - Iron County has completely thawed out. Leaves are starting to pop, birds are nesting, eaglets are being fed, and gnats have blessed us with their presence. Greater yellow legs, trumpeter swans, ring-necked ducks and many more bird species have been spotted in the drawdown of the Little Turtle Waterfowl Production Area. Wood anemone, pipsissewa, wintergreen, and fiddleheads are growing up under the forest canopy. Birding has been excellent as bug densities are low and migrants have moved back while others are passing through. It's a great time to get out 15-45 minutes after sunset to listen to woodcocks and watch them sky dance. Although no fawns have been spotted, it is that time of year when mothers give birth. Always remember, a lone fawn is a safe fawn; do not approach or try to "save" the fawn as its mother is foraging and will return. Four separate moose have been spotted in Iron County within the past two weeks which includes a cow with two calves. A cow with two smaller calves were seen last year in the same location which may indicate year-round presence of this group. Early fishing has been successful with more and more folks flocking to the flowages and lakes in Iron County. Most trails have dried out making sightseeing and camping more accessible. Take advantage of the minimal insect activity and get out and camp this weekend! - Jenna Kosnicki, wildlife biologist, Mercer
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Crex Meadows State Wildlife - The songbird migration is picking up in the Grantsburg Area- we add new species to our list every day. Many different warblers are now being seen in the area, including black-throated green, yellow, black-and-white, golden-winged, Cape May, Nashville, magnolia, and more. The waterfowl migration is mostly over, but there are still many species around. Check out Refuge Extension Flowage on Main Dike Road to see some of the shorebirds that are passing through the area, including Solitary Sandpiper, Great and Lesser Yellowlegs, and more. - Lauren Finch, wildlife educator
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - The South and North Fork are at a more normal level for this time of year. There has been success fishing for small mouth bass on the river. Wildlife youngsters are being born daily. Elk cows and deer does are in their third trimester of pregnancy. A few does have already had fawns. Grazing wildlife is prevalent throughout the forest. Bears and cubs are out feeding and filling up after the long winter we had. Tundra swans, geese, cranes and ducks are flying overhead. Robins, wood peckers, finches, indigo buntings, rose breasted grosbeaks, kingfishers, swallows, blue jays, grouse, woodcock and sandhill cranes are just a few of the birds being viewed by area residents and Forest staff. Spring flowers are blooming. Bloodroot, trilliums, wood violets, marsh marigold, trout lilies, bellwort's, spring beauties and leaks and fronds are popping. Most of the trees are in the bud or flowering stages and the leaves are just becoming visible. The Flambeau River's banks are thriving with water and animal life. Nesting, playing of furbearers and a haven for ducks and geese. The Flambeau River State Forest will be hosting an open house at the new office headquarters on Friday, May 25, located 22 miles west of Phillips or 15 miles east of Winter on Hwy. W. Staff will be there from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to answer question. The weather forecast for the weekend calls for Friday to be sunny, with a high of 79 and low of 51. Saturday, slight chance of showers, with a high of 74 and a low of 43. Sunday will be partly sunny, with a high of 71 and a low of 45. - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - Fewer anglers were out on the Menominee River this past week in part due to the cooler air temperatures, however some anglers were still having successful trips. The water temperatures on the Menominee ranged from 52-56 degrees over this past week. Anglers were reporting success catching 16-23 inch walleye throughout the week. Anglers also reported success catching northern pike, rock bass, crappie, and suckers. A few anglers were having some success catching brown trout this week. A moderate amount of fishing pressure was observed at the Ann Arbor Ramp this past week. Anglers were having success catching both walleye and some brown trout while trolling. Anglers did not report having much success on the shore of Stephenson Island this past week. Fishing pressure was much lower this week. Out of the Menekaunee Harbor anglers reported having success catching walleye, brown trout, and northern pike. Fishing pressure on the Peshtigo river was more concentrated on the river mouth area over the past week. The water temperatures ranged from 55-60 degrees over the weekend. The Peshtigo river water level had dropped about 6 inches over this past week. Fishing pressure is low along at the Peshtigo dam area. Anglers were only catching suckers this week. Good fishing pressure was observed at the Peshtigo river mouth ramp over the last week. Anglers were having success catching walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass this week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Oconto River fishing pressure was lower this past week. The water temperatures ranged from 53-61 degrees. The water level has dropped 6 inches over this past week. Fishing pressure has remained good at the Oconto Park II. Anglers were reporting success catching some walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass over the weekend. Oconto Breakwater Harbor Area fishing pressure decreased over the past couple of weeks, however, remains steady. Anglers on the pier were having a lot of success catching northern pike with the occasional walleye. Anglers using the boat launch were reporting success catching walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass. One angler reported catching a coho salmon. While fishing pressure has decreased at the Stiles Dam and Iron Bridge Area over the last few weeks, a handful of anglers were reporting success catching crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, and suckers week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Brown County - Suamico has seen a rise in boaters with most anglers coming back empty handed later in the week. Very few fish were harvested believed to be due to the cool water temperatures from the cold front. The only other species that were reported being caught was a few freshwater drums and northern pike. Shore anglers fishing at Suamico were unsuccessful. Longtail, Duck Creek and Geano Beach locations only had a few anglers. Fox River walleye fishing was slow this week with the cold front moving through, dropping water temperatures down to 56 degrees. Those that were catching walleyes were harvesting keepers and were finding them in pockets of warm water at the mouth of the bay. Few were harvested while jigging. Near Voyager park, boaters and shore anglers reported catching high numbers of white bass, carp and a few catfish. - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
The walleye bite at Bayshore has been consistent over the past week despite the dip in temperature. Many of the boats caught their limit worth of fish for half a day spent on the water. Harvested fish had lengths from 15-21 inches. Anglers found success on both flicker shad/minnow and crawler harness. Anglers also caught the occasional northern pike. From shore there was a large increase in the number of anglers out with it peeking around dusk. Despite this only one northern pike was observed to be caught. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Door County - Bass action has been picking up with the first bass tournament of the year off to a good start. Winning weight was over 58 pounds (10 fish) and big bas was a whopping 7.4 pounds. Anglers are finding bass as they move into the shallows in search of dark bottom areas and warm temps. All bass are still prespawn, finding warmer water is key to finding active fish. The walleye spawn seems to be underway in the canal but action has been hit and miss. Some good catches have been had in the evenings from Barge Road and the shoreline areas through town. Swim baits, crankbaits and jigs have all produced fish. Trolling the flats out of Stone Quarry has produced a few walleyes and some brown trout. Cool water temps in Green Bay ranging from 40-50 degrees have kept the browns biting. Pike action in the canal has been good with many anglers catching pike while fishing for walleye or bass. Water temps in the canal have been hovering around 50 degrees. There has been little to no effort for browns or salmon on the Lake Michigan side since the season opener. In the northern Door, anglers are starting to venture north looking for smallmouth with mixed results. Water temps remain cool in the low 40s and the fish seem to be very sluggish. Bass can be seen working their way into the harbors looking for warm water and a few have been caught by shore anglers. Rowleys bay has warmed up the fastest with water up to 60 degrees in the Mink River. Over the weekend anglers reported good catches of bass including some large individuals. The steelhead run is over in streams but a few remnant fish are still holding upstream and will likely stay until water temps warm up and push them back into the lake. A cold front late last week slowed down the warming trend but the forecast for this week looks promising. Look for bass and walleye action to keep getting better across Door County as the water temps rise. - Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
All the boat anglers out of Chaudoir's Dock were after walleye with many of them catching their limit of fish. Harvested fish ranged from 15 to mid 20-inches in length with larger fishing being thrown back into the water. Walleye fishing has been dismal over the past week at Little Sturgeon with only a few fish making in into the boat. For half a day on the water, anglers were lucky to catch between one or two fish with no harvest being observed. Smallmouth bass fishing has been inconsistent with some anglers saying they netted 40 or more fish while others were lucky to get one or two in the boat. Carmody Park was consistently near full by mid day with many anglers having to park in the overflow lot. Sawyer Harbor walleye fishing hasn't been good and bass fishing was slightly better but very inconsistent. Some bass anglers caught 40-50 fish for a full day on the water while others only caught a few. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Kewaunee County - The limited number of parties that made it out on to the lake from the Kewaunee ramp came back with a few brown trout and lake trout catches. The fish cleaning station is now open. Most of the debris and detritus from the storm and brown water that cluttered the shore has disappeared. The evening east winds and late week rain made it hard for anglers. Very few anglers or fly anglers were out on the Kewaunee River this week. Water was a clear rusty color and has lowered significantly from the last. The steelhead run has slowed considerably though the fish can be seen on occasion though frequently spooked. The folks hooking the fish are hitting them with the first cast. Good luck was had with spawn sacs. The fish cleaning station at the Algoma ramp is now open. A few brown catches were had but many boats had to return due to rough evening east wind conditions and rain on Friday. Anglers hit the shore late in the weekend as the weather earlier in the week had prevented trips. Stoney Creek water was still fast, high, and fairly murky early week but cleared to a dark rust color that made sight fishing possible. Rainbows were being caught up in the deeper pockets between S and U. Ahnapee River water level was high early in the week and lowered by Wednesday. The deep rust color set in with very few anglers seen casting out. Sucker numbers have dramatically decreased though a few can be spotted downstream from the Forestville dam. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - East Twin River water levels have started to decrease and return to a fishable level. Some anglers were fishing in Village Park with little success. Some smaller steelhead were caught, as well as a few smallmouth bass. There is a lot of sand deposits throughout Village Park and along the river bank, covering up some of the normal fishing spots. Very few people were fishing the Two Rivers piers this week. Windy and wet conditions were the main cause for the decrease in fishing pressure. Catfish are still being caught in the Two Rivers Harbor but at a slower rate. However, the number of bullheads that were caught has increased. West Twin River water levels are receding and some anglers tried their hand for steelhead again, although with no luck. There were a few steelhead that could be seen from the bridge by the Shoto dam, but those fish would not take anything thrown in their direction. The few anglers who braved the elements and went out for brown trout of of the Two Rivers ramp tended to come back to the landing with no fish. Some of the boats didn't even have a hit. Water temp is still around 50 degrees out in 30 feet of water. Manitowoc River water levels and flow have started to decrease from the rain fall that was received late last week. Anglers fishing at Manitou Park have had success fishing for catfish. Some bullheads are also being caught in the river. Overall the fishing pressure has been low. Anglers are still trying their hand for northern pike by Cato falls. Branch River water levels are still above average but are still fish able. Fishing pressure is low over the past week and half. Brown trout were still being caught occasionally off the Manitowoc North Pier using smelt and spawn sacs. Few people have tried for smelt and had no luck. Anglers have had decent success fishing for catfish in the Manitowoc harbor. Fishing pressure was lower compared to last week due to colder than normal temperatures and higher winds. - Cody Flavion, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Marinette County - Trees are leafing out, trilliums are in full bloom and morels are starting to appear. Orioles, hummingbirds, and rose-breasted grosbeaks are now quite common to see at backyard feeders. Turkey hunters are in the fifth time period and many hunters report seeing lots of birds and hearing gobbles on the roost but then the birds seem silent until later in the day. Lone hens have been seen picking grit in the mornings along the highway—keep an eye out when driving. Bear complaints are on the rise. If you live in an area with bears, please keep attractants out of your yard. This means refrain from putting out bird feeders (seed, nectar, and suet all attract bears, keep your grill clean and locked up, and don't leave bags of garbage outside. Reducing these attractants will greatly reduce the chance for a problem bear showing up in your yard. Fawns have been seen in other parts of the state and will likely appear in Marinette County soon too. Please be aware that adults does often leave their fawns unattended for long periods of time. Leave the fawn undisturbed for the best chance of its survival. - Aaron McCullough, wildlife technician, Wausaukee
Oconto County - I have started to see baby birds hatching and I'm sure deer are soon to come. I have started to see a lot more bugs including butterfly's. Trees are finally leafing out and grass is getting very green. Fishing is still slow but with this warmer weather it may change. Trails are also starting to dry out and appear nice to walk or recreate on. ATV trails are now open in Oconto County. I haven't seen many male turkeys out in the open strutting as much, I have only seen hens moving around for the most part. - Paul Hartrick, conservation warden, Oconto Falls
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Indigo bunting at Whitefish Dunes State ParkPhoto credit: DNR
Whitefish Dunes State Park - This is a great time for birding along the Lake Michigan shoreline. This week there were sightings of red-breasted mergansers, long tail ducks, goldeneyes and buffleheads. The bird feeder has been busy with indigo buntings, orioles, and red-breasted grosbeaks. Spring wildflowers are starting to come up. Yellow trout lily and trilliums are starting to bloom. - Jaclyn Moeri, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - Perfect weather - mid 70's with low humidity and sunny. Very few flying biting bugs yet, that will change as we have a fair amount of standing water. Tick numbers are moderate right now so be careful. Have not heard of anyone finding a morel yet. Trees are half to two thirds leaved out. Trout streams are at slightly elevated levels with slight staining. In a word they are at perfect fishing condition and the fish are biting very well. Have not heard any reports of bluegills spawning yet. Found a killdeer nest in the middle of a DNR parking area and a turkey nest at the edge of a DNR parking area. We at the peak of fawning season, but have not seen one yet. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Milwaukee County - The fishing cleaning station located at McKinley is now open. Anglers out of the McKinley ramp targeting brown trout continue to find success in 20-30 feet of water using a variety of spoons. Those anglers targeting coho salmon and the occasional chinook are finding success in 30-40 feet of water using a variety of flickers. Despite seeing large schools of baitfish, mainly alewives, at the surface lakeside, anglers targeting salmon and trout both on the lakeside and harborside of the McKinley pier continue to see little to no action. Large schools of baitfish, mainly alewives, were seen at the surface near the mouth of the Milwaukee River. Anglers targeting brown trout were observed by the Summerfest grounds, Lakeshore State Park and McKinley Shore, with little success using crank baits, spoons, artificial lures or minnows. With lower than normal May temperatures and the additional thunderstorm, Milwaukee River water temperatures range between 52-54 degrees. Water levels and flow are higher than normal with lower water clarity. Anglers are seeing few if any steelhead. Smallmouth bass in Estabrook and Kletsch Parks continue to be caught by anglers using a variety of artificial lures and live bait. Those anglers targeting northern pike were hit or miss and those that did find success were using minnows. Menomonee River had low fishing pressure through the weekend. Water levels and flow are higher than normal and water continues to be clear with temperatures ranging between 49-52 degrees . Very few steelhead are being seen throughout the river system at this time. The South Metro Pier is now open. Fish generally caught at this location include salmon, steelhead, and brown trout. The fish cleaning station at South Shore is open; however currently it is not working condition. Very low fishing pressure occurred throughout the weekend from Jones Island through South Shore. Low fishing pressure continues for anglers targeting brown trout or steelhead along Grant Park Shoreline and the mouth of Oak Creek. Oak Creek water levels and flow have remained low in this water system with clear waters. Through the weekend, with lower fishing pressure, the few anglers that found success with catching rainbow trout did so near the falls with crank baits or jigs, and most of the trout were undersize and thrown back. - Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit - Horse trails from County H north to New Prospect have been re-opened, and riders may use the trails up to Highway 67. However, the horse trails north of Hwy 67 will remain closed until further notice. The mountain bike trails at Greenbush and New Fane are also open. - Deb Harder, visitor services associate
South Central Region
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - Weekly Riverway Report - The Wisconsin River is slowly subsiding but based on the upriver flow, the river should go down in the coming days. River is running at 26,000 fps at Muscoda on May 17. - Mark Cupp, executive director Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Wyalusing State Park -Weather has been up and down with the temperatures, but the birding has been wonderful at the park. Lots of birds that have been reported by hikers including scarlet tanager, yellow -rumped warbler, Blackburnian warbler, palm warbler, cerulean warbler, prothonotary warbler, red-eyed vireo, Nashville warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, golden-crowned kinglet and eagles. Lots of photographers have been taking pictures of the humming birds and orioles at the park office. Water is high at the boat landing and has risen into the parking lot. Fisherman have been casting from the boat landing parking lot and catching bass and northern pike. Flowers are just starting to bloom. The native prairie has shooting stars blooming. The shower building is open in the Wisconsin Ridge Campground. Concession stand is open weekends until Memorial Day and then open daily. The concession stand has not been renting out canoes due to the high water at Glen Lake.Trails are all open except for Old Immigrant due to the high water. - Pam Dressler, visitor services associate
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area - Last week was another successful Horicon Marsh Bird Festival with 158 species seen over a four day period. Warblers were abundant in large numbers and best locations were Ziegler Park in Mayville, Northern Road and Ledge County Park. Shorebirds were few and far between but over the last few days a number of American Avocet and a White-faced Ibis were seen on the north end of the marsh off of Highway 49. On Saturday, May 19, the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center is hosting the Wildflowers for Wildlife event from 9am-1pm. This is a native plant sale with quality native plants at an affordable price. Taylor Creek Nurseries has partnered with us for this event. At 10:30am, DNR staff will lead a Woodland Wildflower Walk as well. Please contact Liz Herzmann for questions at email@example.com. - Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
West Central Region
Baldwin DNR Service Center area
Kinnickinnic State Park - Trees are filling out with newly sprouted leaves and the grass is growing fast. Some early blooming bushes are adding color to the landscape and other spring flowers should soon be following suit. White-tailed deer fawns should be arriving any day and newly hatched clutches of pheasants and turkeys are on their way. The spring mushroom season has been delayed because of low soil temperatures, but improving conditions will have mushroom hunters searching for their new secret spot. Blue birds, humming birds and Baltimore orioles have all been spotted in the area. All park trails are open to foot travel. Trail surfaces are generally dry. Mountain bikes and/or fat tire bikes are not allowed on park trails. Anglers fishing on the Kinnickinnic River have been finding success with pink squirrels, caddis larva and soft hackles. Several hatches have been observed in the area. Warmer temperatures have kayakers enjoying the scenery along the lower Kinnickinnic River. Snowmelt and Spring rains have impacted river levels. The river has fallen below the 683-foot slow no wake threshold. However, boaters should monitor river levels and conditions prior to venturing out on the river. The hill from the St. Croix parking lot to the beach is closed to vehicle traffic. It is still accessible to foot travel and is the most convenient access to the St. Croix River. - Eric Klumb, ranger