Blackberry crop has potential to set records if rains oblige

Summer is in full-swing across Wisconsin. Rivers have been busy with canoers and kayakers and campgrounds have been busy too.

Northern rivers are still running a bit above average from all the rain earlier in the month.

The Lower Wisconsin River has finally dropped to below its long-term average at Wisconsin Dells and Muscoda and many sandbars have re-emerged. Water levels have finally receded enough in the Dane and Rock county area for the slow-no-wake ordinance to be lifted from the Yahara chain of lakes and the Rock River.

Most central Wisconsin trout streams are now very low and could use a drink.

The hexagenia mayfly hatch is still ongoing on, which generally makes for great evening fishing.

With the beautiful weather weekend, lots of people were out on the water.

Pleasure boaters outnumbered fishing boats at many Green Bay launches, but many anglers continued to have success.

Anglers are catching greater numbers of walleye all along Marinette and Oconto shores. Additionally, a lot of people were targeting brown trout in Marinette over the past week with decent success.

Anglers fishing the west shore of Green Bay reported fair walleye catches with many reports of people catching numerous freshwater drum.

Those fishing the east shore reported slower walleye fishing but still reports of high numbers of drum and catfish being caught.

Pleasure boaters were out in force across the Door Peninsula but fishermen are still finding some post spawn smallmouth, with Fish Creek, Ephraim and Sister Bay the most popular areas.

Many smallmouth bass were also being caught this week off Stone Quarry with high numbers of drum also reported. Anglers fishing the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal reported consistent success for perch.

On Lake Michigan, reports were good for chinook and steelhead out of Sheboygan and Manitowoc, with decent amounts of fish being caught. However, as the Manitowoc derby rolled around it seemed like the fish developed lock jaw. There was a 32-pound chinook caught on the Fourth of July. The largest fish caught in the derby was a 29.8-pound chinook.

There was heavy fishing pressure out of Algoma, Two Rivers, Sheboygan and Port Washington with folks coming back with mostly chinook and steelhead, with early morning anglers having the best luck.

Farther south, trollers out of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha were also having the best luck getting out early and reported more of a mixed bag with chinook, coho, rainbow and lake trout all landed.

Deer are super active in the mornings lately. Fawns are the size of springer spaniels now and are getting lightning fast.

Two bucks were seen this week with velvet racks just outside the ears.

Bears continue to be highly visible yet, as their mating season continues.

Blackcap raspberries are now ripe in the south and blackberries are two to three weeks away, and it looks like it could be a crop for the ages if we get timely rains.

The southbound shorebird migration has started with reports of willet, black-necked stilt, lesser and greater yellow legs, godwit and more at Horicon Marsh.

Forests are very fragrant with daisy fleabane, milkweed, oxeye daisy, yarrow, common mullein, yellow buttercup, birds foot trefoil, fireweed and clovers.

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