Campgrounds winterize as cold winds drive migrations south


AN OCTOBER INFLUX of common redpolls, as initially noted by birders last week, often means a good winter for viewing this periodic visitor from the north. - Photo by Ryan Brady AN OCTOBER INFLUX of common redpolls, as initially noted by birders last week, often means a good winter for viewing this periodic visitor from the north. - Photo by Ryan Brady Weather across the state went from mid 70s and calm to 30s and 40s and even some nighttime 20s in the north with a howling northwest winds. Small amounts of snow were reported in the far north, with more in the short-term forecast.

According to the Department of Tourism Fall Color Report (exit DNR) much of southern Wisconsin is now at or very near peak, while colors are beginning to fade in central Wisconsin and high winds caused a lot of the remaining leaves to fall. In the north, most of the leaves have fallen, and the woods have taken on the gray, brown and dark green, with the exception of the golden glow of tamaracks gracing northern swamps.

Whitetail deer are moving into the rut, or their mating season. Rutting activity will be nearing its peak now and into the early weeks of November- from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources . Buck scrapes are being found and deer movement has increased significantly so it is more important to be on the watch for deer crossing roads. If you see a deer cross, be prepared for more deer to be following.

On Green Bay, plenty of boats were out of the Bay Beach launch, but most were in search of ducks and geese. There were some out fishing walleye and yellow perch with a few walleyes per trip of average size. Along Door County, anglers targeting yellow perch at Sawyer Harbor came in with 10-20 total. Most bass action has been in northern Door County in Sister

Bay and Gills Rock. The chinook run is slowing down but they were still found around the mouth of Strawberry Creek and other streams.

The Lake Michigan tributary chinook run is also winding down. Fishing upstream on the Kewaunee River has been consistent, with most anglers catching at least one fish and many catching four or more. Fishing had been good on the Ahnapee and on Stony Creek, with anglers that were fishing in groups and sharing a cooler finding the cooler hard to close at the end of the day. The West and East Twin and Sheboygan rivers and Sauk Creek were also targeted, with many anglers finding success. Water levels were up on the Root River and fishing was still very good with most anglers catching at least one fish and many catching limits of salmon.

The Besadny and Strawberry Creek fisheries facilities have been busy. Five salmon processing days at Besadny yielded over 275,000 eggs. And over six processing days at Strawberry Creek 420 female chinook were spawned and over 2 million eggs collected, meeting the facilities goals. The Wild Rose Fish Hatchery held a Fall Migration Open House from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, with a fall migration journey through a maze and sessions on fish casting and fly fishing; fish identification and more.

Many state campgrounds are being winterized for the season. Water systems are being shut down and modern bathrooms and shower facilities are closing. Many campgrounds remain open with pit toilets and water available at main buildings. Docks and fishing piers are also being removed. Contact properties directly to find details.

Waterfowl migration is picking up at Horicon Marsh with each cold front and north wind. Reports of large numbers of Canada geese, sandhill cranes, pintail, gadwall and wigeon as well as a few greater white-fronted geese and swans. Crex Meadows is hosting 5,000-plus sandhill cranes, and trumpeter swans are also numerous. The season’s first two snowy owls were found in the north, along with an influx of winter finches, including both red and whitewinged crossbills, common redpolls, and a few pine grosbeaks.


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