Central trout rivers are in perfect condition and morels are appearing

An orchard oriole is among many migratory birds now back in the newly-warming area. - Beacon photo by Les Tension An orchard oriole is among many migratory birds now back in the newly-warming area. - Beacon photo by Les Tension After southern Wisconsin received some torrential rains the north finally had some rain.

Trees are pretty much leafed out in the south and leafing out in their brilliant green of spring in the north.

Even through fields and forests are greening up, fire conditions remain very high across much of the north. In the last week, 68 fires burned 141 acres in DNR Protection Areas. The largest fire was the in Bayfield County burning 42 acres and was caused by a campfire.

Paddlers are starting to head out to rivers now that flows are dropping. The Kinnickinnic, Bois Brule and South and North Fork of the Flambeau rivers are at more normal levels for this time of year. The lower Wisconsin River is high, running at 26,000 feet per second at Muscoda on May 17, but is slowly subsiding.

Canoeing, kayaking and camping are gearing up with the approach of summer. Some campgrounds are already filling up on weekends. Most modern facilities like shower buildings are now open.

Central Wisconsin trout streams are at slightly elevated levels with slight staining and are at perfect fishing condition and the fish are biting very well. Trout anglers fishing on the Kinnickinnic River have been finding success with several caddis fly hatches have been observed.

Peshtigo and Oconto river water levels have dropped about 6 inches over this past week. Anglers were having success catching walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. Fox River walleye fishing was slower this week with the cold front moving through. The walleye bite on Green Bay has been consistent over the past week despite the dip in temperature, with many of the boats catching limits.

Door County bass action has been picking up with the first bass tournament of the year off to a good start. Winning weight was 10 fish adding up to over 58 pounds with the biggest fish a whopping 7.4 pounds.

Fishing out on Lake Michigan has been difficult in the last week due to east winds and rain, but a few brown trout catches were reported along with coho salmon and the occasional chinook. The South Metro Milwaukee Pier is now open and anglers were catching salmon, steelhead, and brown trout.

Turkey hunters are in the fifth time period and many report seeing lots of birds and hearing gobbles on the roost. Lone hens have been seen picking grit in the mornings along highways.

Bear complaints are on the rise. If you live in an area with bears, keep attractants out of your yard. Refrain from putting out bird feeders, keep grills clean and locked up, and don’t leave bags of garbage outside. Reducing these attractants greatly reduces the chances of a problem bear showing up in your yard.

Wildlife youngsters are being born daily. Elk cows are in their third trimester of pregnancy. Four separate moose have been spotted in Iron County in recent weeks including a cow with two calves. Does are starting to have fawns. Once again, adults does often leave their fawns unattended for long periods of time. Leave the fawn undisturbed for the best chance of its survival.

The warbler migration is continuing with many different warblers being seen, including black-throated green, yellow, black-and-white, goldenwinged, Cape May, Nashville, magnolia, and more. Last week was another successful Horicon Marsh Bird Festival with 158 species seen over a four-day period.

Bloodroot, trilliums, wood violets, marsh marigold, trout lilies, bellwort’s, spring beauties are blooming and leaks and fern fronds are popping. Morels are just starting to appear, but be aware that tick numbers are moderate in some areas.

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