Warblers flood into state but morels slow to appear

Despite much of the state receiving at least some rain in the last week, fire danger levels have reached high to very high in far northern and northwestern Wisconsin, prompting Gov. Scott Walker to declare a precautionary state of emergency.

People are urged to continue to use caution with all types of outdoor burning, ash disposal and equipment use and to search the DNR website for keyword “fire” to check on conditions and restrictions in their area.

Sunshine and warm temperatures brought out lots of anglers for the opening of Wisconsin’s inland game fish season. Anglers took to in- land trout streams and lakes, with trout fishing reported as excellent on some inland streams with water levels perfect for fishing.

Some lake anglers reported water temperatures were still cool keeping fishing slower, but walleye anglers across the north and on Green Bay found good success with many boats coming back to the dock with fish.

There were some reports of bluegills biting on area lakes and crappie fishing was starting to heat up on some of the smaller lakes in central Wisconsin

Fishing pressure on Lake Michigan has been low due to large waves and strong winds off the lake. Small craft advisories were in effect on several days over the last couple of weeks.

The water along the shoreline was cloudy/turbid nearly half a mile offshore the majority of the week. Alewives have moved in along shorelines and some rivers and cormorants and terns were diving to feed on them at various locations along the lake.

The Saturday opener brought many bass fishermen out along Door County but high winds influenced anglers to not stay out too long. Some still found success catching 10-plus bass for a half days trip.

Lake Winnebago system fisheries biologists reported that after a fairly short sturgeon run on the upper Fox and Wolf rivers this spring, sturgeon were again observed spawning at locations on the Wolf River in late April.

Second runs likely occur annually, but are so short and never as large as the first so are not always observed or reported. This year it was reported and fisheries crews were able to capture and tag an additional 46 fish.

The spring turkey season is in full swing, with many turkey hunters successful so far this spring. Third period hunters reported modest early morning gobbler activity that ended abruptly about two hours after sunrise, then picked back up from late morning into early afternoon. Most hens appear to be on their nests, incubating their clutch of eggs, which averages about 10-12 eggs.

Sharp-tailed grouse have begun their mating dances seen in the early morning at Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area.

After a long stint of northerly winds kept the bulk of spring migrants at bay, the flood gates opened a bit, ushering in the first major push of warblers, orioles, grosbeaks, and more.

Birders in southern parks and woodlands tallied 25-plus warbler species, while 13- plus species were tallied north to the Lake Superior shore. Orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks are widespread now, with hummingbirds and indigo buntings less common yet.

On Lake Superior blue jay migration is nearing peak with more than a thousand tallied in northern Bayfield County on May 10.

Spring beauties, large flowered bellwort, trilliums, bloodroot, dwarf ginseng, Dutchman’s breeches, marsh marigolds, jack-in-the-pulpits, bellwort, trout lily and hepatica are blooming.

A few morels are up, but experienced mushroom pickers say the weather has been too cool so far this year for the morel mushrooms to grow.


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