Friday, August 28, 2015

Wisconsin Outdoor Report 8/28/2015

English: Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Chinook salmon, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dove and early teal and Canada goose seasons open next week; first tinges of color showing in the Northwoods

Wisconsin continued to receive some additional rainfall in the last week, especially in the north, which has kept northern river systems in good late summer paddling conditions. The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway is running at about normal seasonal levels with plenty of sandbars available.

The variable and almost constantly changing weather patterns, along with some windy conditions, made for some erratic fishing success in the Northwoods. Water temperatures have cooled down a bit, which seemed to spur on musky activity, with musky anglers reporting a lot of sightings and follows, as well as quite a few hook-ups and catches of fish in the 34- to 42-inch size. Bass fishing has been fair and relatively consistent. Action for northern pike has picked up a bit in the last several weeks with the dropping water temperatures. Walleye fishing has shown the most variability in the last week, with some anglers using leeches and crawlers along the weed edges and in weed pockets. Panfish action also continues to be fair.

On Green Bay, walleye were still being caught from Pensaukee down to Oconto, as well as out of the Green Bay metro launch outside of University Bay, and along the east shore off Larson's reef, along the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal and at Little Sturgeon Bay. The yellow perch bite was good from both the shore and boats this week around Sturgeon Bay and at Sawyer Harbor. On Lake Michigan, the chinook salmon and steelhead trout bite remained good this week out on the Bank Reef. Pier fishing was slower this week, although there was the first reports of chinook salmon caught from Algoma's north pier. Although heavy winds at time limited fishing in the last week, those trollers who went out were reporting a mix of chinook, coho, rainbow, and browns.

Next Tuesday, Sept. 1, marks the opening of the mourning dove, early teal and early goose hunting seasons. This is the second year of a three-year experimental early teal-only duck hunting season that runs through Sept. 7 and hunters are urged to check the DNR website for details. The early Canada goose season runs through Sept. 15 and is targeted at locally breeding giant Canada geese, taking place before migratory Canada geese begin to move through the state.

White-tail bucks are still being seen in velvet antlers. Turkeys are starting work the ditches in search of bugs and numerous poults are being seen. Nighthawks are currently migrating through central Wisconsin; evenings are a good time to watch them.

Birds are beginning their migrations with many shorebirds being seen at Horicon and other area marshes and many species of warblers seen at local bird feeders. Sandhill crane flocks with between 60 and 80 birds have been gathering in the fields. Many monarch butterflies are being seen.

Mushrooms of all colors are starting to pop up in the woods. Wild rice is beginning to ripen. Plumes of Indian grass stand tall, surrounded by a sea of gold from sunflowers, yellow coneflowers, and compass and cup plants. Tinges of color are starting to show up on a few of trees in the north along with staghorn sumac showing early fall red colors and bracken ferns and spreading dog bane are starting to turn.