Resident birds cheering on the gradual change of seasons

Over halfway through February already, and it’s been a mixed bag weather-wise. The month started off cold with lows below zero nearly every night but the high temperature last week was in the mid-40s to low 50s.

Snowmobile trails remained open and in good to excellent condition in about 20 northern counties on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report.

Cross-Country Ski Trail Conditions remain good to excellent across the north, but the warm-up shut down much of the short-lived skiing in southern Wisconsin after just receiving the first decent snow last week.

Ice anglers in the Northwoods report approximately 20-plus inches of ice on inland lakes with some success for crappies and walleye.

Fishing has begun to pick up in central Wisconsin with some nice crappies being caught in deep water.

Along Green Bay anglers report catching a few perch and whitefish along the west shore. Fishing slowed at the Fox River at Voyageurs park for walleyes and whitefish.

Longtail Beach fishermen reported catching a few keeper perch. Anglers are also catching some decent sized northern as well on tip-ups with large shiners.

Along Door County most anglers were having pretty good luck over the weekend with some coming in with limits of whitefish while others had varying luck.

The sturgeon Up River lake season closed Tuesday after the eleventh adult female was harvested, reaching 100 percent of the harvest closure limit.

An 84.5-inch fish registered Tuesday was the longest fish confirmed on harvest records dating back to the early 1970s, but at least one longer fish was harvested prior to the 1970s. That fish was an 85-inch 168-pound sturgeon harvested during the 1957 season.

Regardless of the length of fish harvested during past seasons, fish records are based off weight not length. The current state record lake sturgeon harvested via spear was 212.2 pounds (84.2 inches) and taken during the 2010 spearing season.

The season will continue this week so spearers will have some time to get out and harvest a fish yet this season.

The deer and elk in the Flambeau River State Forest are conserving energy and aggressively browsing in logging areas.

Whitetail deer should be dropping their antlers in increasing numbers so it is a good time to get out in the woods and shed hunt.

Activities of bobcats, otters, turkeys, grouse and birdlife galore seems to have picked up in the warmer temperatures.

Daylight is noticeably longer than just a few weeks ago.

Migrating Canada geese have been moving through the area, looking for open water where they can rest and feed as they head farther north.

There have been several common goldeneyes bobbing in the waves near the shoreline at Whitefish Dunes State Park.

Breeding activity among resident bird species already signals the change of seasons including turkeys displaying, chickadees singing their seedee songs, increasing singing activity among cardinals and dark-eyed juncos, pairs of common ravens and pileated woodpeckers, displaying common goldeneye ducks and dueting barred owls.

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