Stage is set for hatch of biting insects

DNR REPORT - Wisconsin has received plenty of rain lately, some heavy, which has kept water levels on lakes and flowages at a high level and rivers and streams at above average flows.

The North and South forks of the Flambeau River and the Chippewa River remain higher than normal. Water levels are also high on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway with fewer than normal sand bars for this time of year.

The variable conditions and windy weather across the Northwoods made for some tough fishing conditions—though success has been pretty good when anglers were able to get out.

The mayfly hatches have subsided quite a bit, allowing for a more consistent walleye bite. Musky success has improved, with anglers reporting quite a few catches and some multiple fish days.

Panfish have once again been the highlight of the week—with some good catches of bluegill, pumpkin seed and crappie being reported.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass action has been pretty good when anglers have been able to get out in between the rain and thunderstorms.

Although fishing was good in the beginning of last week for walleye anglers on Green Bay, it slowed down significantly on the weekend due to a storm that brought high winds and cold rain, lowering water temperatures.

One species that was biting heavily was freshwater drum with boats reporting 10 to 12 fish and some boats catching upward of 40.

Along Door County, trout and salmon fishing continued to be good out of both Sturgeon Bay and Baileys Harbor. The catch earlier in the week was mostly dominated by rainbow trout but more chinook salmon were reported as the week progressed.

This week was hit or miss for smallmouth bass anglers throughout Door County with bass everywhere one day, and nowhere to be found the next.

On Lake Michigan, fishing pressure in Kewaunee and Algoma was high later in the week. Anglers were primarily catching chinook salmon and rainbow trout.

The Sheboygan Salmon Cup tournament had several anglers landing kings around 20 pounds. Near Milwaukee, success for browns increased but the coho catch rate tapered off.

In Kenosha and Racine, anglers were landing coho, kings and lake trout. Many alewives, both dead and alive, are being seen around piers and along the shoreline in many locations.

Bucks are rapidly putting growth on their new velvet antlers. Elk calves are being seen in the Flambeau River State Forest.

Some fawns are becoming more mobile and starting to move around with does. Turtles are still actively nesting and being seen along roadways.

Many upland game bird species are starting to hatch if they haven’t already, so keep your eyes open for young ruffed grouse and turkey.

The woodland bird chorus continues with American robin, rose breasted grosbeak, scarlet tanager, eastern wood pewee, yellow-throated and red-eyed vireos and indigo buntings, among others calling.

Rain and sun have brought on a wave of growth, cementing the lush green of the forests and the various hues of the prairie. Lupine, Canada anemone, buttercups, wild strawberries and lady slippers are all blooming.

Spiderwort plants are also in bloom. These beautiful violet-blue flowers have a very short life—only a single morning with the petals quickly wilting as the day progresses, turning into a jelly-like fluid.

And, as expected, the wet conditions have set the stage for a good hatch of biting insects, so be prepared for an onslaught of mosquitos and deer flies as the weather warms.


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