Lake Winnebago ice good, as ‘Wolf Moon’ beams on

DNR REPORT - Recent snows across the northern half of the state and colder temperatures statewide have improved winter recreation conditions in many areas.

Snowmobile trails are now open or partially open in roughly the northern half of the state on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report.

Cross-country ski trails are also open in about the northern half of the state, with recent snowfalls of up to 10 inches creating some very good ski conditions.

Cold temperatures have firmed up ice conditions statewide, but there are still some highly variable conditions, with reports of vehicles going through the ice in the last week. There have been reports of some walleyes, crappies and northern pike caught on northern and southern lakes and anglers have been targeting panfish on many waters.

Temperatures were cold enough to provide good ice on most of Lake Winnebago, with reports of over a foot of ice. Ice fishermen have been catching some perch with white bass being caught at some of the deeper locations.

Along Lake Michigan the ice formations in and around the mouth of the Peshtigo River resemble dragons teeth and are very difficult to navigate at this time. Anglers report catching panfish, walleye, and some whitefish out of Marinette.

A few perch, white fish and pike are being caught at and around the mouth of the Oconto River. In Brown County, anglers at Voyageur Park in De Pere report some success catching walleye, whitefish, and some perch.

Many anglers flocked to the Little Sturgeon Bay area last weekend with mixed success reported for whitefish and perch. There is really thick ice in some spots from the ice shoves. The Sawyer Harbor area produced good reports for perch and whitefish with some smelt being caught.

The hardier birds such as the juncos, snow buntings, woodpeckers, blue jays, crows and eagles are eating seeds, insects under the tree bark or carrion along the roadsides.

The great horned owls continue to hoot and claim territories. Roughlegged hawks continue to be prevalent and sporadic reports of snowy owls are coming in with recent sightings in Dodge, Douglas, Dunn, Outagamie, and Brown counties.

Large winter roosts of American crows numbering up to several thousand crows have been reported in the Viroqua area. As dusk approaches, crows begin gathering in communal roosts, and may be very active and noisy as these social birds take time to settle into the roost for the night.

A section of the Trempealeau River remains open and some migrating trumpeter swans and other waterfowl are still being seen, while open water at Lakeshore State Park is currently home to scaup, goldeneye, buffleheads, mergansers and the occasional long-tailed ducks.

January’s full moon occured Thursday and is known as the Wolf Moon. This month’s full moon was named for the howling wolf packs that could be heard in the long, cold mid-winter nights. For a complete list of events search the DNR website for “Get Outdoors.”


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