Southern Wisconsin floods while woods in north dry out

Torrential rains last week in southern Wisconsin washed out or flooded roadways in Dane and Iowa counties and have caused closures on some state trails.

Sections of the Military Ridge and Badger trails are closed and the entire Sugar River State Trail is closed until further notice.

With up to 15 inches of rain reported, some southern lakes and rivers are at or near flood stage. All four Madison chain of lakes have risen to near or above the 100-year elevation.

The boat landing piers at the popular Governor Nelson State Park boat launch have been removed because of high water levels.

The gates of Tenney Dam in Madison are fully opened to allow water to pass down the chain.

Dane County has issued a slow-no-wake ordinance for all four lakes and Rock County has issued a slow-no-wake ordinance for long stretches of the Rock River.

The rain also caused the Lower Wisconsin River to rise dramatically. The river doubled in flow at Muscoda from 4,500 to 9,500 cfs in two days. The rise means that there will be many fewer sandbars and that the river flow will make paddling more challenging.

Meanwhile rain has been scarce in the north and the dry conditions are stressing some trees. Some leaves are falling already, some fall color is starting and the ferns are turning yellow as well.

Several of the harbors along the west shore of Green Bay saw heavy use from walleye anglers due to a walleye tournament on Sunday.

Suamico and Geano Beach remained the heaviest fished spots on the lower bay west shore.

Most boats were coming back with walleyes but the bite has slowed down from previous weeks.

The catfish catch over the past week has skyrocketed with almost all the fishing boats catching at least one.

Along Door County, Egg Harbor boasted some good action over the weekend.

Walleye anglers had success around the harbor, with some decent perch action also reported.

On the Lake Michigan side, anglers had some decent shore action for smallmouth fishing at Baileys Harbor. Salmon anglers also had action landing some chinooks and rainbows.

Anglers going out on the lake out of Manitowoc had mixed results.

Rainbows dominated the fish coming in but some chinook were being caught that have started to change color.

Poor weekend weather with higher winds, waves, thunderstorms and even water spouts limited anglers from heading out on the lake from Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha.

Those that tried their luck landed mostly rainbows and lake trout with the occasional brown trout or chinook.

Fawns’ spots are beginning to fade and turkey poults are nearly the size of their parents.

Bull elk are losing their velvet. All velvet should be off by the end of August and bugling will commence.

Blackberries are still producing in some areas but other report the harvest has dropped off.

There seems to be a decent acorn crop for the red and black oaks this year, which should bode well for early bow season and turkey hunting.

Common nighthawks are on the move!

These acrobatic fliers are gracing Wisconsin’s skies as reports of dozens and even hundreds of the birds came in this week.

Look for flocks weaving overhead near dawn and dusk, their erratic flight patterns and bold white wing bars making for fairly straightforward identification.

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