Storms move across the central part of the state midweek dropping up to 2 inches of rain in some locations, with strong winds knocking down trees and power lines. Fortunately only minor damage was reported at state parks in Door County and other areas that were in the path of the storm.
The weather is looking great this weekend to enjoy DNR Park at the Wisconsin State Fair. Kids can go on a scavenger hunt and stop and create a wearable souvenir of at the t-shirt printing tent. A new outdoor pier gives everyone a better look at big rainbow trout in the stream. And be sure to check out live native animals at the Natural Heritage Conservation display.
Except for the storm, most of the state remained dry much of the last week and water levels on river systems continue to drop. This was the first time this summer that conservation wardens had to caution boaters on the Mississippi River to watch out for wing dams, with several interactions between propellers and the rock dams reported. The Flambeau and St. Croix rivers have also continued to drop but paddlers were still out in good numbers with the nice weather.
Largemouth and smallmouth bass continue to provide the consistent action on Northwoods lakes. Musky were providing anglers with a lot of follows, swirls and porpoise'ing with some 40-plus-inch fish reported. Walleye and panfish action has continued to be fair.
With the dog days of summer setting in, walleye fishing has slowed considerably on Lake Winnebago and most anglers have switched from trolling to jigging. Smallmouth bass and northern pike have been biting well on the Wolf River. Good catches of catfish and smallmouth were also reported on the lower Wisconsin River and throughout the Mississippi River.
Some nice walleye were being caught on the Menominee and Oconto rivers. Perch fishing picked up at some locations along the east shore of Green Bay. Salmon fishing has been pretty good off Door County with a mix of king, coho, steelhead and lake trout reported. Rough water kept trollers close to shore many times this week at southern Lake Michigan harbors. Action slowed, but some nice chinook were still coming in at Milwaukee and brown trout were being caught right in the Kenosha harbor.
Canada geese are done molting their feathers and have come out of hiding. Trumpeter swans should be beginning to molt. Eastern Bluebirds are on third clutch of eggs for the year.
The shorebird migration is in full swing. With the above-average rainfall in the spring and early summer there are a number of flooded fields or portions of crop fields providing quality shorebird stopover habitat. Common migrants include yellowlegs, least sandpipers, pectoral sandpipers and solitary sandpipers. Birders have reported a few more uncommon species like buff-breasted sandpiper, Wilson’s phalarope, and stilt sandpiper.
Insects are loving the dog days of summer with visitors to Havenwoods State Forest in Milwaukee being able to watch cicadas crawl out of their underground homes, climb up tree trunks, and emerge from their exoskeletons. At Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area in Barron County, Karner blue butterflies are in the middle of their second flight.
Prairies are ablaze with royal catch fly, pale purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, swamp milkweed, Joe Pye-weed, white indigo, culver’s root, thimbleweed, prairie onion and black-eyed Susans.