Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report

Transparent PNG of Smallmouth bass (Micropteru...

Rain continues to keep water levels high across state

Water levels across the state are abnormally high, as rains continue to drench counties north and south. Water levels have dropped some on the lower Wisconsin River but most sandbars remain submerged, which may inconvenience potential campers. Rainfall has dropped surface water temperatures on lakes and in some areas these heavy rains have reduced clarity in lakes, streams and rivers while increasing water flow.

The rain and fast water have put a slight damper on fishing efforts. Regardless, fishing activity has picked up significantly on lakes across the state. In the north, most largemouth and smallmouth bass have completed their spawning period, though some males can still be found guarding their schools of young fish. Anglers are reminded that the smallmouth bass season opens in the Northern Zone this Saturday, June 20. Musky have proved tricky to find and reports of perch success paint a "hit or miss" picture. Despite several reports of fair success with walleye, mayflies continue to hatch on many northern lakes and this has upset the walleye bite on most of these waters, with most of the action taking place on leeches or night crawlers.

Green Bay anglers continued to have some success with walleye farther north along with west shore with some action also on the lower bay. Smallmouth bass action remained fair to good along Door County. At southern Lake Michigan harbors there are reports of chinook and coho salmon along with some rainbow and lake trout. Alewives remain plentiful along some shoreline areas.

Rains are also affecting area trails and, despite recent and consistent management, washouts are possible. Finally, with rainfall comes an abundance of growth in flora and fauna around the state. Blue flag iris, bunchberries, starflowers and columbine are adding to the summer bloom of oxeye daisies, hawkweed and trefoil in the north. Violets, trillium, pink lady slippers and wild strawberries are popping up in Door County woods White wild indigo, pale purple coneflower, spiderwort, compass plant and coreopsis are blooming in prairies.

There continue to be many reports of turtles on roads this week. Numerous whitetail fawns have been spotted in fields around the state. Black bears are on the move as they are now in their breeding season and young of last year are being driven off. If you have nuisance bear problems remove bird feeders, trash and any other sources of food.

Birds of all kinds are exploding in activity and number, with a strong Canada goose population on the rise and increasingly common sightings of young sandhill cranes with their parents. Waterfowl broods are also becoming more common and active and turkey poults are beginning to appear. Those looking for winged specimens of another kind will be excited to know that a variety of dragonflies are now in flight, from common whitetails to eastern pondhawks; monarch butterflies and common butterflies such as the black swallowtail and pear crescent join them on the wing. Finally mosquitos have come out in force in many areas, so if you're headed into the woods or water, go prepared.