Fall color is peaking all around us

DNR REPORT - Fall has come to the state in a rush as temperatures dropped this week. Fall color is variable across the state. A few northern counties are now reporting past peak on the Fall Color Report but many northern counties are at peak and areas in central Wisconsin are edging past 50 percent to near peak color, making it a great time to get out.

Anglers who withstood the rain and wind reported generally lowered success and decreased pressure. In the Northwoods, water temperatures have dropped into the mid-50s and musky anglers have been seeing the best action on live suckers, with fish up to 46 inches reported.

Along Green Bay, fishing pressure on the Bay was low due to high winds and dangerous wave conditions.

Perch anglers were finding some success this week catching upwards of 10 keeper sized perch with some anglers fishing Little Sturgeon Bay reporting many boats catching near their limit.

Fishing pressure increased substantially this past week on Lake Michigan tributaries with salmon concentrated in the rivers in good numbers.

The chinook run was near peak on the Manitowoc River. A lot of salmon have also been caught on Stoney Creek and on the Ahnapee River.

Brown trout have also recently worked their way up many of the rivers following the salmon migration to feed on the nutritious salmon eggs.

Anglers reported the brown trout have been very colorful and in great condition. The Sheboygan River has slowed down since last weekend. Sauk Creek was very busy over the weekend with many chinook caught and chinook, rainbows, and coho were caught in the Oak Creek.

In Milwaukee, brown trout have been stacked up in the Lake Shore State Park lagoon, and a few have been caught by anglers, and chinooks and browns were caught on the Milwaukee River.

Although the water levels are low, anglers have started to catch a few more kings than last week on the Root River.

Following a series of public meetings and review of comments submitted by stakeholders, state fisheries officials have decided to preserve Lake Michigan chinook salmon stocking at current levels while reducing stocking levels of other species such as lake trout and brown trout.

Last Saturday, Oct. 15, the pheasant season opened and the duck and goose seasons reopened in the southern zones. Several other game bird seasons also open ed Oct. 15, including bobwhite quail, ruffed grouse in Zone B and Hungarian partridge. Also open are cottontail rabbit in the southern zone and a number of furbearer seasons.

Turkey are also being spotted across the state, though grouse and woodcock hunters are still waiting for more leaves to fall.

Now that a few spells of cooler weather have moved through, deer are also becoming more mobile and one young hunter participating in the youth deer hunt reported a buck running and grunting after a doe in Wautoma. Participation was very high in the youth hunt and many young hunters reported success.

Preliminary registration numbers indicate a strong 2016 bear hunt, with 4,643 bears registered. The preliminary harvest of 4,643 is very close to the 2016 quota of 4,750.

Last weekend there were five fall Halloween events at state park system properties, including an Eco- Halloween event at Richard Bong State Recreation Area that is part of a Wisconsin State Parks and Department of Tourism 12 Gem Challenge, where people who take selfies at specific locations and events are entered into a drawing for a 2017 Wisconsin State Park admission sticker.

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