Prairie flowers, panfish, mosquitoes flourish in warmth

DNR REPORT - Large portions of the state experienced heavy and punctuated rains over the Memorial Day weekend but that did not stop people from getting out, especially when skies cleared on Monday. The rains did wash out a section of the Tuscobia State Trail and flooded parts of the Chippewa River State Trail, so sections are closed on both trails.

In the Northwoods, panfish action is improving dramatically. A slower rise in water temperature has extended the spawning activity of some crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass.

This has also prompted a few bluegill and rock bass to begin their nesting periods. With the northern musky opener musky fishing was the highlight of last week, but while anglers reported sightings and follows there were relatively low numbers of hookups.

Anglers were catching walleye on the Menominee River, and the walleye bite along the west shore of Green Bay continues to be good with anglers reporting limits of fish being caught off Oconto. Walleye fishing along the Door County side of the bay was also good, especially at night.

Smallmouth bass fishing was proving to have its ups and downs early this season for many anglers, but bass fishing reports continue to get better throughout the peninsula.

Rough water conditions, heavy fog, and a strong southerly wind hampered Lake Michigan fishing activities and fishing pressure was relatively low. As the weather conditions improved and the lake settled down, fishing pressure increased and many anglers were reporting success in Kewaunee, Algoma, and Sturgeon Bay. Mostly rainbows were being caught, also an occasional chinook, coho salmon and lake trout.

The forests and fields are full of new wildlife. Numerous reports of fawns, young rabbits, foxes and bear cubs have come in.

Elk cows are having calves, so the yearlings are being displaced from mom and are frequently seen along the sides of the roads. Many songbird species are fledging their first nestlings and grouse and turkey broods should be starting to hatch.

As a reminder state law requires dogs to be on leash until July 31 on state-owned lands to protect fledglings and young animals.

Numerous prairie flowers such as: prairie smoke, golden alexander, and lupine are competing with invasives such as yellow sweet clover and dame’s rocket.

Bug populations have arrived in much of the state, particularly in wet conditions. Mayfly hatch has begun and ticks and mosquitos are out in force in the woods.

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