Monday, June 1, 2015

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report

Smallmouth Bass caught on the Missouri River i...

Musky action good for northern zone, Green Bay opener; fawning nearing peak in Wisconsin

Rain across the entire state in the last week has raised river systems across the state and dampened some outdoor activities at times. Memorial weekend campers were treated to a mix of beautiful weather at the beginning of the weekend to soggy steady rains in the middle, back to some nice, but windy weather to close out the holiday.

The Flambeau, Chippewa, Black and Wisconsin rivers are all running well above their long term median flow. Many of the sandbars on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway are currently back underwater.

The constantly changing and variable weather kept anglers guessing on most waters. In the Northwoods, the musky opener was the highlight of this past weekend. Pressure was mostly moderate but anglers reported many sightings and follows, and a fair number of hook-ups. Walleye fishing success has been sporadic with reports of some good catches being made. Some warm temps in the last several days bumped water temperatures back into the low to mid-60s, spurring on a slug of bass and panfish activity. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass should be in the middle of their spawning periods and many dished out areas can be observed in the shallows, with the males often sitting tight and guarding the nests.

Musky action was also the highlight along Green Bay tributaries, with boaters fishing the lower Peshtigo River reporting excellent action, with many fish in the low to mid 40-inch class being caught and anglers on the Menominee River boasted some impressive catches with fish over 50 inches being caught. Musky was also popular target this weekend on the Fox River with multiple boats reported boating four or more fish of good size.

Smallmouth bass fishing was mixed on Green Bay with some anglers having to work at finding fish, while others reported catches of 20 or more. Walleye action was best along Larson's reef, Egg Harbor, Chadoir's dock and around University Bay.

Walleyes are still biting on the Winnebago system, and white bass were biting on the Wisconsin River near Lake Wisconsin, with smallmouth bass active upriver from Portage up through Pine Island.

The final spring turkey period ended this week and overall, the preliminary results show a there may be a very slight decrease from last year's harvest.

Most coyotes have given birth to their litters, and the young are either still in the den or starting to be active around the den sites. We're right at the peak of the deer fawning season with most fawns born between mid-May and early June. Please remember, a lone fawn is not abandoned. Fawns are scent-free this time of year and a does' defense mechanism is to keep the fawns hidden so predators don't find them. The mother will come back to feed hidden fawns every few hours. If you see a fawn in the wild, don't touch it - leave it alone and back out of the area slowly.

Great horned owlets have left the nest and are branching -- hopping from tree to tree while learning to fly and begging for food. Resident giant Canada geese are dotting the landscape with broods of goslings, some of which are already several weeks old. More "mature" adults tend to adopt goslings from younger, less experienced breeding pairs, which is why you may see two adults with up to 30 or 40 goslings. Snapping turtle hatchlings are emerging from their underground nests, trying to find their way to neighboring wetlands.
Plants in bloom include wild geranium, rue anemone, jack-in-the-pulpit, and shooting star. Monarch butterflies have now reached Wisconsin and yellow swallow tails are also being seen.