Torrential rains washed out northwestern outdoor life

DNR REPORT - Some areas of far northwestern Wisconsin received torrential rains early last week, with 8 to 10 inches reported in some areas causing major washouts of roads and even major highways.

Copper Falls State Park was closed temporarily but has reopened. A campground at Governor Knowles State Forest was closed, and as the water moves down through the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers, some facilities are closed or may be closed at Merrick and Interstate state parks.

Sections of the Wild Rivers, Saunders and Gandy Dancer state trails were also closed. Other state properties in the area including Amnicon Falls and Pattison state parks and the Brule River State Forest are open, but travel to destinations may take longer due to numerous road closures.

People traveling to the area should check the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website for details.

The waterfalls are roaring at both Amnicon Falls and Pattison with many visitors showing up with cameras to capture the images. Paddlers were being asked to stay off the Brule River for a few days until the extremely high flows recede.

The heavy rains were quite localized to northwestern Wisconsin and other northern properties such as the Flambeau River, Northern Highland-American Legion and Peshtigo River state forests were not affected by the storm and facilities remain open as is access to all these properties.

Angling pressure remains strong, despite pressure from changing winds and heavy rain.

Anglers in the Northwoods are seeing consistent success for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Warmer waters also seem to have improved the number of follows for musky, with some fish up to 45 inches. Panfish action has also been fair.

On Green Bay, the walleye bite has been good at the Menominee River in Marinette and from Pensaukee to Oconto.

Anglers out of Suamico were finding good numbers of walleye along with freshwater drum and catfish.

Shore anglers on the Fox River were having good success catching white bass, freshwater drum, channel catfish and some walleye.

Fishing pressure was far below average this past week along Door County with pleasure boat traffic far outweighing fishing pressure on the bay side.

Decent numbers of yellow perch are being caught off of Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor but most were on the smaller side.

Along Lake Michigan pier fishing picked up at Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Port Washington, Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, with chinook, coho and brown trout all being caught.

Perch action was also on the rise at Milwaukee. Out on the lake, trolling success was down some this week but some boats were still hitting their limits in just a few hours, with mostly chinooks being caught but also many coho and a few rainbows and lake trout.

Healthy looking fawns are plentiful now and moving about; bucks are still growing their velvet antlers with some becoming quite well developed.

Eagles and many other wildlife are fledging at this time, so don’t be too surprised to see them on the ground or hear them complaining from the nest as they prepare for their first flights.

Raspberries, blackberries, juneberries and blueberries are ripening across the state. Virginia mountain mint, marsh hedge-nettle and purple prairie clover are a few of the species that are flowering for the first time this year.

Cedar waxwings and whip-poor been feeding frequently on the insects. Up to 40 butterfly species have been counted at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area since July 1.

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