Geese moving in, chinook getting ready

Hunters had some very good weather for the opening of the archery deer, fall turkey and small game season. Good numbers of deer were reportedly registered in central Wisconsin.

Many bucks are still being seen in velvet antlers and hunters are reminded to contact a conservation warden if they want to keep the antlers.

The Canada goose season also opened, just as the very first reports came in of migratory Canada geese starting to move into the state. Good numbers of teal, mallards, and wood ducks are also being observed and should provide a good opportunity for this upcoming weekend’s youth waterfowl hunt.

Water levels have receded on most river systems following rain in central and northern Wisconsin.

Camping activity has decreased at state parks and forests following the Labor Day weekend, and some campgrounds have now returned to first-come sites, with many sites available on weekends.

Fishing success was generally good on most waters across the Northwoods. Water temperatures have remained in the upper 60s to low 70s and this has maintained some consistent feeding activity for most species.

Nearly all musky anglers are seeing fish and having follows, and numerous catches of mid-size fish have been made. A few anglers have started using large suckers, but most continue to use artificial baits.

Sturgeon season is proceeding and many anglers were having mediocre success catching these ancient fish. A few 60-plus-inch legal-size fish were reported and a 13-year old angler caught and released an 87- inch sturgeon in Burnett County.

Bass fishing has started to become erratic, with largemouth a bit more consistent than smallmouth. Walleye success continues to improve with some decent catches reported from on and around mid-depth structure and gravel bars. Panfish success has been generally good.

The waters of Green Bay were busy with two bass tournaments going on and another following.

Smallmouth bass fishing remains good, with some of the boats last weekend catching 10 or more fish. Perch fishing was spotty this week but anglers reported catching fish at Sawyer Park piers in Sturgeon Bay and at Egg Harbor, Bayshore Park and Chaudoir’s Dock.

On Lake Michigan, chinook salmon continue to stage at the mouth of rivers, but there have only been a few reports of fish being seen moving up rivers. Anglers have been catching fish near the mouths of the Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Milwaukee rivers.

Sandhill cranes, egrets, herons, and other birds are abundant for viewing at the Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area.

Elk in the Clam Lake herd have been bugling. Like their diurnal counterparts, gray fox and red squirrels, the large-eyed, nocturnal southern flying squirrels are also busing preparing for winter by caching large quantities of seeds, nuts, and mushrooms. Decreasing daylight triggers this behavior, and they spend much of the night time hours hoarding food.

This past weekend, many parts of the north experienced the first frost of the season. Golden rod, asters and bottle gentian are blooming. More intense reds are showing through in maples and some oranges and yellows are also starting to show now in the Northwoods.

Some areas of the north are reporting 30 to 35 percent color change on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Fall Color Report.

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