Variable weather keeps state anglers guessing

Rain in the past week has continued to keep water levels high on river systems across the state.

In the north the Wild Pine and Popple rivers are providing some very good early summer paddling.

The lower Wisconsin River has come down some, and a few sandbars are beginning to reappear, but water levels could still rise from this week’s rain.

Many trails across the state are wet. The all-terrain vehicle trails in the Black River State Forest have finally dried out enough to open up, but mountain bikers should contact parks or forests directly to find out if off-road bike trails are open.

The variable weather has continued to keep anglers guessing- -but overall success has been good when they have been able to get out on the water.

In the north, the mayfly hatch and pressure has weaned off, prompting increased activity from walleye anglers. Musky success was also increasing as the fish start to feed more actively.

The smallmouth season opened in the northern zone following the completion spawning.

Largemouth have started to settle into their early summer pattern of cruising the weed beds and have been active on surface baits and soft plastics.

Though the smallmouth season is on, the larger fish seem to be taking their time moving to the surface and it may take another week or so before they start occu- pying mid-depth areas.

In the south, fishing activity slowed on Lake Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River due to higher water, though some walleye were still being caught.

Anglers on Lake Koshkonong have still been getting into good numbers of 12- to 14-inch walleyes. Bluegills are spawning along the shorelines. Some larger channel catfish were being caught on the Rock River.

On Green Bay anglers continued to catch walleye off Marinette and Oconto as well as off Bayshore Park on the east shore. Smallmouth bass fishing was moderate along the Green Bay side of the Door Peninsula, with the best action around Sawyer Harbor but slower at Sturgeon Bay and Little Sturgeon Bay.

On Lake Michigan, anglers were out in high numbers at the Kewaunee, Algoma and Manitowoc ramps, with good success being reported for a mix of steelhead and king salmon with the occasional lake and brown trout.

Trollers out of Sheboygan, Port Washington and Milwaukee have been catching a mix of chinooks and coho salmon, and rainbow and lake trout, with most boats landing at least two or three fish.

Trollers out of Racine and Kenosha continued to catch mostly coho. Despite the opening of the perch season last week, no perch were reported caught in the Milwaukee harbor.

Reports continue to come in of fawns and does spotted throughout the state, primarily in forest and woods-edge habitat.

Turtles may still be seen crossing roads near wetlands or area lakes and rivers.

More turkey broods are popping up in counties north and south.

The young from second clutches of rabbits and squirrels are venturing from their nests.

DNR crews and volunteers conducted annual goose banding this week. Statewide, about 4,000 nesting geese are leg-banded each June, while they are still flightless.

The prickly pear cactus, an inhabitant of remnant prairie areas and one of Wisconsin’s native cacti is starting to bloom exhibiting vibrant yellow petals. Along with that come dozens of wildflowers, springing up after the recent rains, including lupine and indigo.


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