Published June 21, 2018 by the Central Office
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
Heavy rains across northwestern Wisconsin last weekend and early this week have flooded some roads and caused washouts on some highways, roads, state parks, forests and trails. According to the National Weather Service the area has received 7 to 12 inches of rain from Friday through Monday.
Several park system property or portions of properties are closed due flooding. Amnicon Falls State Park, closed temporarily but has reopened, though some roads, trails and observation areas remain closed. Pattison State Park is open for camping only; all trails, observation areas, picnic and day-use areas are closed. There are washouts on the dam that forms Interfalls Lake and Highway 35 over the dam is closed. A campground and horse trail are closed at Governor Knowles State Forest and the day use areas along the river at Interstate Park are underwater.
All rivers in the region are running extremely high. The falls at both Amnicon and Pattison are roaring, but road closures mean observing the falls now is challenging. The Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers are high enough that some canoe launches and campsites are underwater. The water is making its way downstream and the Lower Wisconsin River is running very high with all sandbars submerged and canoeing and kayaking not recommended. The river is expected to crest Muscoda this weekend at 40,000 cubic feet per second.
Sections of the Tuscobia, Saunders Grade, Wild Rivers and Gandy Dancer state trails are currently closed. People should use caution as they recreate in the coming days and weeks. Stay out of areas, roads and trails posted as closed. Keep a safe distance away from the edge of fast moving water, streams and rivers. Slow-no-wake ordinances are in place on lakes Kegonsa, Monona and Waubesa in Dane County and likely other locations.
Thursday is the summer equinox, the astronomical start of summer and longest day of the year. A lot of people were out enjoying the hot weather last weekend but the storms that followed slowed lake activity and reduced fishing pressure and success in many areas. Trout streams through central Wisconsin are very high and unfishable but bass fishing on many inland lakes has been very good.
Anglers were still catching walleye on lower Green Bay but the only fish that was biting with consistency and ferocity were freshwater drum. Bass fishing has been excellent across the northern part of Door County but was slower out of Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor.
Lake Michigan anglers out of Kewaunee, Algoma and Manitowoc were coming back with chinook, some lake trout, and rainbows. The fish that are being caught are large, with a 34-pound king caught out of Manitowoc and two 31 pounders were caught on the same day out of Two Rivers.
Bucks now have velvet antlers 8-10 inches and are feeding in the alfalfa fields. Strawberries are ripe and blueberries are soon to ripen, so bears, people and other critters are enjoying the delicious fruit. Bears are highly visible right now as it is their mating season. The elk cows are moving into cow-calf groups for safety in numbers. The first wave of monarch caterpillars are being seen.
Blue flag iris, dog violet, orange hawkweed, wild columbine, ox eye daisy, wooly yarrow, bellworts and the false rue anemones are blooming.
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sunday, June 23, 2018
For all events search Get Outdoors
Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest - The big news this week has been the torrential rains over the weekend and the resulting flooding. The Brule River State Forest fared pretty well compared to many in the area. The Brule River crested at the Ranger Station on Sunday night at an impressive flow of 1,220 cfs and a river depth of 5.65 feet. Normal for this date is about 160 cfs and a depth at less than 2 feet. waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=04025500 (exit DNR) Canoe landings were flooded and two campsites at the Bois Brule Campground flooded. As the water recedes, assessment of the property for damage is being done. Campgrounds have remained open, but some canoe landings are flooded—or are very soggy, at least! There is no rain in the forecast until next week, giving us some time to dry out and get back to normal. Check the DNR website's Current Conditions page for information about closures and conditions at any of the state's properties. The first wave of "baby" monarchs have arrived! Actually these are the second or third larval stages (they have 5 larval stages) before pupating and emerging as an adult. Numbers of adults and larva appear to be significantly higher this year than in previous several years, at least locally. (anecdotally I have seen more adults and larva in past two days than I saw in an entire year about 4-5 years ago). It is the second or third "generation" that actually migrate back to Mexico (also Florida and California). These are common milkweed plants growing on our recently burned sites on the BRSF. The sites provide excellent bird and butterfly habitat as well as habitat for waterfowl nesting. - Diane Gobin, visitor services associate
Amnicon Falls State Park - The park closed to the public for two days this week due to flooding. Nearly 6 inches of rain caused the river to rise more than 5 feet above flood stage, threatening the two drivable bridges in the park. The Horton Covered Bridge was not at risk during this event. While all the bridges remain intact, the road to the Horton Bridge washed out. Pedestrians can now reach the historic bridge and the Upper and Lower Falls but caution is required in the washed out section. The campground is back in service. Thimbleberry Trail is still inundated in one section but Snowshoe Trail is open. Be aware, there are still some wet and slippery spots! Call the park office at 715-398-3000 if you have questions about current conditions. - David Lindsley, ranger
Pattison State Park - The park took a pretty good blow from Mother Nature over the weekend. We received 6 inches of rain and the surrounding areas received 7-12 inches of rain. The water levels rose significantly throughout the course of the day and the dam breached Sunday evening causing significant damage to the Highway 35 bridge at the park. The park and campground are still open, but Highway 35 bridge and the hiking trails are closed, as well as trails to both Big and Little Manitou Falls until further notice. We have had major damage to the trails in these areas due to flooding. - Gervase Thompson, ranger
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Governor Knowles State Forest - Several day use areas are underwater due to severe storms that passed through the area on June 17. The St. Croix campground is also closed due to flooding. Two trail sections are closed until further notice. These sections will reopen when repairs are complete: A 4-mile segment on the Lost Creek Trail, from Clam Dam Road (mile 33) to North River Road is closed due to a bridge needing repairs. This segment also includes a backpack campsite which is also closed. A 1-mile segment of the Cedar Interpretive Hiking Trails, from mile marker 25 to 26 is closed due to downed trees and damaged boardwalks.
Interstate Park - The day use areas along the river are underwater due to severe storms that passed through the area on June 17. - Matthew Densow, ranger
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest - After the heavy rainfall of last week, most of the trail systems have some standing water and some washouts. The ATV/UTV system directly on the Flambeau River State Forest have been inspected and cleared and are all travelable. There is a segment on the Tuscobia Trail system, north of the Forest that is closed and a detour has been put in place. Drive the trails with caution. Because of the heavy rainfall folks who are interested in paddling the river should be sure to use caution, as the river is still in flooding stages. It is moving fast and you are unaware of debris flowing down river. Each day the river has been receding. A few of the river camp sites are under water. When traveling down-stream, be aware that you may have to move on to a dryer camp site as you paddle south. Strawberries are ripe and blueberries are soon to ripen. Bears, people and other critters are enjoying the delicious fruit. Bears are highly visible right now as it is their mating season. Many of this springs' youngsters are growing rapidly. Some loons, ducks, geese, grouse, birds of many varieties, mammals such as fox and bear cubs are getting to that adolescent stage. Mothers of many species, trying to keep them in line. Blooming plants are everywhere. The forest floor is bursting. The deer and elk are near completion of birthing their young. The elk cows are moving into cow/calf groups for safety in numbers. Some nesters may have lost their nests in the flooding that has occurred. Some may re-nest, some may not. The weather forecast for the weekend, calls for Friday to be sunny, with a high of 80 and low of 54. Saturday, mostly sunny with a chance of t-storms late evening and Saturday night, with a high of 81 and a low of 54. Sunday, partly sunny with a high of 76 and a low of 53. Be safe, and come see us at the Flambeau! Universe In The Parks will be held Friday, June 29 at 9 p.m. at Connors Lake Picnic Area. Learn about astronomy and gaze at the stars! - Diane Stowell, forestry technician advanced and visitor services associate
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - Approaching the longest days of the year has the forest inhabitants battling high water while feeding babies. Keep eyes on duty for that little fawn, bear cub or flock of geese, grouse or turkeys that are trying to cross the road! Mom is usually not far behind. Daisies, orange and yellow hawkweed, yarrow and spreading dogbane dot the roadsides with color. Some blackberry are still blooming, and ripe wild strawberries are becoming more common. Hikers need to be wary of high water and soft spots. Campers can look forward to being awakened shortly after 4 a.m. by singing robins! Bring your mosquito and tick repellant! - Rosalie Richter, visitor services associate
Antigo DNR Service Center area
Council Grounds State Park - The park escaped damage from the recent heavy rain, but visitors should be aware that the water is very high and moving very quickly below the dam. Wildlife in the park remains unfazed by the weather and we have sighted fawns, a woodcock, and turkeys. - Sarah Gilbert, ranger
Northern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Marinette County - A lot of people were out enjoying the hot weekend out on the water. Anglers were having success catching some catfish and walleye. A handful of anglers were having success catching brown trout this weekend using spoons while trolling. Walleye were being caught at water depths of 10 - 18 ft using crankbaits. The water temperatures on the Menominee ranged around 68 - 70 degrees over this past week. Fishing pressure was lower throughout this past week out of the Boom Landing Ramp. Some anglers were having success catching brown trout, catfish, crappie, drum, northern pike, rock bass, and smallmouth bass. Ann Arbor ramp anglers were having success catching northern pike, smallmouth bass and some walleye. Fishing pressure was increased on Stephenson Island this week. Some anglers were catching freshwater drum and some catfish. Anglers reported having success at Menekaunee Harbor catching drum, northern pike and walleye this week. Fishing pressure on the Peshtigo River was more concentrated on the river mouth area over the past week. Walleye were being caught at water depths of 10 - 18 feet using crankbaits. The water temperatures ranged from 70 - 75 degrees over the weekend. Fishing pressure was low along at the Peshtigo dam area. Anglers were catching some drum, suckers and smallmouth bass this week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Oconto County - Fishing pressure was lower overall this past week. Perch were being caught using nightcrawlers at water depths between 5 and 10 feet. Walleye were being caught using crankbaits at water depths of 10-18 feet. The water temperatures for the Oconto river ranged from 68-76 degrees over the weekend. Fishing pressure has remained good at the Oconto Park II area this week. Anglers were reporting success catching some perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye over the weekend. Anglers on the pier were having some success catching catfish, northern pike, perch, and smallmouth bass this week. Anglers using the boat launch were reporting success catching channel catfish, northern pike, perch, smallmouth bass, and walleye. A good number of anglers used the Pensaukee River boat ramp this week. Anglers were reporting success catching northern pike, perch, and walleye. While fishing pressure has decreased this week at the Stiles Dam and Iron Bridge Area. Anglers were reporting success catching crappie, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. Fishing pressure was overall relatively low over this week. - Ben Olsen, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Geano Beach anglers experienced very low catch rates of walleyes but still most anglers reported catching numerous freshwater drum, a few white perch and an occasional northern pike. - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Brown County - Due to the high temperatures the Metro launch was full but majority were pleasure boaters out enjoying the sun. Those that were fishing reported slow fishing since the cold front has come through with most anglers catching only a few walleyes. Still reports of high numbers of freshwater drum and catfish being caught in addition to being very large in size. High numbers of anglers were out at Voyager Park enjoying the warm weather but very few fish were caught. Those that were caught were the occasional small walleye, white bass and catfish. Highest number of anglers Duck Creek has seen this year; however, anglers reported the fishing to be slow with no fish caught. Very few walleyes have been harvested at Suamico since the cold front has gone through but still most anglers reported catching numerous freshwater drum, a few white perch and an occasional northern pike. Musky anglers reported putting a couple in the boat along with a few northern, with a couple follow ups besides. - Megan Radtke, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Fishing effort over the past week at Bayshore continued to focus toward walleye. Catch and harvest was slightly better than previous weeks but very few people caught more than a dozen fish for half a day on the water. Average catch was three to siz fish with a couple ending up in the cooler. The only thing that was biting with consistency and ferocity were freshwater drum. Anglers also caught the occasional white bass and round goby. During the week the parking lot was around half full by lunch time. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Door County - Sturgeon Bay shore anglers were out catching rock bass and a few yellow perch. Bullheads are beginning to be reported along the shore near the highway bridge. Light angler activity and a few trailers were spotted in the week at the Sturgeon Bay ramp, and most parties returned with a few smallies and walleye. Occasional wind and rain made conditions less favorable along the Sturgeon Bay pier. Stone Quarry Ramp had light pressure early in the week, though things sped up for smallmouth bass fishing come the weekend. Boats returned with 12-30 smallies on average after a full day of fishing. A few smallmouth bass and freshwater drum were caught from shore. An occasional walleye was also hooked. Good luck was had with spinner baits and worms. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Those in search of smallmouth bass found a few fish over the past week out of Little Sturgeon Bay. The average angler was catching less than a dozen fish for half a day on the water. Sizes of fish were reported around a couple pounds. During the week when the weather was good the parking lot had 12-16 trailers in it by mid day. Anglers also caught a few freshwater drum while out. Action for smallmouth bass has gotten slightly better over the past week at Sawyer Harbor with most anglers catch 3-15 fish for half a day out on the water. sizes were reported in the 1-3 pound range. While out anglers also caught a few freshwater drum. Anglers from shore caught a dozen or so panfish and a few smaller smallmouth bass. Potawatomi Park averaged 5-10 trailers in it by lunch time. - Adam Garlie, fisheries technician, Peshtigo
Bass fishing has been excellent across the northern part of the county with most anglers catching 20-plus fish per trip. Many fish are on the beds. The biggest fish seem to be holding in deeper water adjacent to beds. Jigs and crankbaits have been the most productive. Shore anglers are having fun catching bedded bass near the piers. Water temps have finally warmed up into the low 60s. Gills Rock has been quiet with very few anglers but shore fishermen were catching the bass bedded in the marinas. Angler effort in Rowleys Bay has slowed down a bit but anglers are still catching fish. Bass are done spawning in the Mink River. Still very few boats fishing out of Baileys Harbor but charters are reporting good catches of rainbows and some large kings.- Ben Thome, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Kewaunee County - Kewaunee anglers launched out heavy on Tuesday coming back with chinook, some lake trout, and rainbows. Thick fog dictated a need for radar. Fewer fish were marked compared to last weekend with many of the boats only a couple miles out. Medium to high pressure was had during the weekend depending on the weather off the ramp with a few rainbow catches reported. Very few anglers were out on piers with no luck so far on salmon. At Algoma many folks were coming back with kings early in the week, with a scatter of lake trout and a few rainbows being caught. It was reported during the weekend that many people were out fishing in depths of 300-400 feet. Rainbows were coming back on high lines. It was around 54 degrees at the shore and 44-47 degrees in deeper waters. The Algoma shoreline and pier had some mornings held a strong east wind and whitecaps. Not too many folks ventured out along the shoreline, with no luck or catches reported. - Aeden White, fisheries technician, Sturgeon Bay
Manitowoc County - The number of fish being brought to the cleaning station has decreased over the past week. The average angler is bringing two to three fish to the cleaning station right now, instead of the five to seven like last week. Both dodger flies and spoons are producing fish. The fish that are being caught are still large, with a 34-pound king caught out of Manitowoc. Anglers fishing the piers over the last week are grinding it out with few fish to show for. There were a few brown trout caught off of the pier throughout the week, however, that is about it. Northern pike were still being caught inside the marina on spoons, however, the number of pike being caught are starting to decline compared to the last few weeks. Anglers fishing for smallmouth bass haven't had much success yet. Anglers out of Two Rivers had mixed success with some guys getting up to six fish and others not even getting a hit. While fishing has been slow the size of the fish have made up for the lack of fish. There were two 31 pounders caught on the same day, with other fish pushing the 25 pound mark as well. Fish were caught on 300 feet of copper as well as downriggers set between 70 and 110. Rainbows are being caught in 230-260 feet of water with dodger flies taking most of the fish. Fishing pressure is continuing to increase at the Two Rivers piers; however few fish have been caught. Brown trout are being caught on occasion by casting with spoons. There is little action going on in the harbor right now. Few anglers are catching carp and bullheads, but that's about it as of now. - Cody Flavion, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County - We received 5.5 -7 inches of rain last Friday through this Tuesday. Trout streams are still unfishable, but Waushara and Marquette streams might be fishable as of tonight. Good thing too as the Hex hatch is in full swing. Bucks now have antlers 8-10 inches and are feeding in the alfalfa fields. Have yet to see a turkey, grouse or duck brood. Saw two red-headed woodpeckers in the Wautoma city limits, first of their kind I have seen in years. Bugs are variable: ticks - almost none, deerflies - a few where ever you go, and mosquitos - local horrible in river bottoms, not too bad in upland areas. - Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
High water is present in the Waupaca area due to the recent rains that were received. This will make for some interesting kayaking and canoeing on area rivers. Bass fishing on most lakes has been very good recently. Anglers are doing well with plastic worms. - Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
Waushara County - Waushara County did see plenty of rain, not as much as northern Wisconsin, but enough to make sure the lakes and trout streams are high enough. Make sure to check any local ordinances on slow no wakes or other river/lake conditions. We are good now, but if any more rain comes there might be some areas to watch out for. The weather appears to have come back into the average range and the high heat is out for now. A much more comfortable weekend appears to be in the forecast and I encourage folks to get out and enjoy it. The Ice Age trail would be a great morning venture with some cooler temperatures coming and then some boating in the afternoon. Fawns are starting to pop up all over the place so be careful driving and make sure to remember that pets need to be on leash on any state lands (and encouraged to be under control on private land too)! This weekend should allow for much more outdoor activity, get out and enjoy! - Ben Mott, conservation warden, Wautoma
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Southern Lake Michigan fisheries team report
Sheboygan County - Fishing pressure was low on Tuesday due to a dense fog advisory; however, a few anglers who did go out had success landing rainbow trout, coho, and chinook salmon in 50-90 feet of water. As the week progressed, anglers found better fishing success in deeper water (130-260 feet) 5-8 miles to the south of the harbor. Most fish are being caught on spoons and flasher flies (blue/green and green/gold) 25-90 feet down in the water column. The largest fish measured this week at this location was a chinook salmon that weighed 24 pounds. Early morning anglers targeting white fish off the ends of the north and south piers were having luck between 5-8 a.m. landing fish in the 3-5 pound range. Golden minnows, alewives, jigging spoons, and plastics have all been successful bait choices. Anglers who are targeting trout and salmon continue to have very little luck, although some reported having a few rainbows on before shaking loose. - Jarrett Mapes, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Ozaukee County - Port Washington fishing slowed down this week with very few limits being reported; however most boats are coming back in with a few fish. Those fishing deeper water (150-260 feet) are having better luck than those fishing shallower depths. Surface temps in 240 feet and 280 feet of water are 52 and 49 degrees, respectively. Most fish are being caught 30-40 feet down, but others are hooking into trout and salmon 90 feet down as well. Anglers found equal success using both flasher flies and spoons. Port Washington pier fishing remains slow for trout and salmon anglers with no reports of fish being caught. Several anglers fishing on the North pier took advantage of the yellow perch season opener (June 16) where a few small perch were caught with fat heads. - Jarrett Mapes, fisheries technician, Plymouth
Milwaukee County - Perch season on Lake Michigan and its tributaries reopened on Saturday, June 16. Very low fishing pressure occurred through Milwaukee County and those that tried their luck along Milwaukee's shorelines and piers found very little success using a variety of live baits. McKinley ramp anglers have been having more success catching their limits in the morning than afternoon. Average fish landed included 2-5 pound coho, chinook, weighing up to 22 pounds, 5 - 9 pound rainbows,( with the largest weighing in over 13 pounds). Most anglers continued reported fish hitting lines the top 30 feet of water or less, with rainbows and chinook being deeper. Fishing depth ranged from 100 - 150 feet of water. Favorite lures included a variety of dodgers, flies, and spoons. Anglers also continue to see large alewife bait balls throughout their fishing grounds. Larger schools of alewives continue to be seen at the McKinley Pier surface lakeside. Anglers targeting salmon both on the lakeside and harborside continue to have very little success. However, rainbow trout have been caught both lakeside and harborside, in the morning and late afternoon hours using alewives. The largest trout measured was just over 10 pounds Anglers targeting panfish with live bait were able to land a few small rock bass, but reported catching mostly round gobies in their efforts. Low fishing pressure occurred from McKinley Shore to Lakeshore State Park . Those few anglers trying their luck for trout and salmon had little success. Anglers targeting panfish landed rock bass using live bait in the Summerfest lagoon and McKinley Shore (right before the turn into the marina). Anglers targeting bass also had very little success. A smallmouth was caught in the lagoon, in the afternoon hours, using artificial lures, but was undersize and thrown back. The Summerfest lagoon is also seeing larger school of alewives close to shore. Construction is occurring near the Summerfest grounds, under the Hoan bridge creating the need for slower access routes in order to shore fish near the lighthouse and Lakeshore State Park. Please also be aware festival season has begun around the Summerfest grounds and Lincoln Memorial Drive. This weekend was both Polishfest and Lakefront Festival of Art, bringing larger crowds and more traffic in the vicinity. Riverfront was packed throughout the weekend causing the overflow of trailers to be parked along the street. The majority of boaters launching from this location, were non - anglers. Lower fishing pressure occurred throughout the weekend from Jones Island through South Shore. Anglers targeting trout and salmon found little success. Anglers continue to see small trout (less than 12 inches) swimming at the surface near Jones Island. Anglers targeting rock bass at south shore used night crawlers landing some decent palm sized fish (8-plus-inches). Those few boaters heading on the water out of the South Shore for salmon and trout were hit or miss. Coho salmon were landed using spoons or flasher/flies in 70-125 feet of water with fish hitting the top 25 feet or less. A brown trout was also landed using spoons in about 40 feet of water. The fish cleaning station for angler use at South Shore is now repaired, in working condition, and open for angler use. - Reni Rydlewicz, fisheries technician, Milwaukee
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway - Weekly Riverway Video Report - The River is up and will be going up even more. The heavy rains in northern and central Wisconsin are making their way down the Wisconsin River watershed. The river was running at 30,000 cubic feet per second upstream and is expected to crest at Muscoda this weekend at 40,000 cfs. That means no sandbars and we advise people not to be out on the river especially in a canoe or kayak. The planned Voyager canoe trips are in a bit of jeopardy at this time. - Mark Cupp, executive director Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Merrick State Park - Due to recent heavy rains in northwestern Wisconsin, water levels on the Mississippi River are rising quickly and will cover roads and campsites in the south and island campgrounds. Both campgrounds and the south boat launch are closed as of June 20, 2018. The north campground, nature center area, and upper boat launch will remain open. The water is moving fast so if you launch at the upper landing, please be aware of the dock and railings. Areas will reopen after floodwaters recede and damage is assessed for visitor safety. - Lois Larson, park manager
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Chippewa River State Trail - The trail is flooded between Jopke Road and Porterville Road in Eau Claire County. The river is expected to remain at flood level through June 23. The rest of the trail is open so plan to use alternative access points such as the Highway 85 wayside, Caryville, or Meridean.
Lake Wissota State Park - The camping season is in full swing! We often have availability during the week but we are regularly fill up on weekends so it is a good idea to make a reservation if you plan on staying a Friday or Saturday evening. Species of birds seen or hears include: scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, towhees, golden finches, rose-breasted grosbeaks, robins, red polls, a variety of wrens, phoebes, Canada geese, turkey vultures, northern juncos, pileated woodpeckers, great blue herons, green herons, barred owls, bald eagles and belted kingfishers. We are seeing a number of young turkeys and deer fawns. The painted and snapping turtles have been digging nests throughout the park property. Blue flag, dog violet, orange hawkweed, wild columbine, ox eye daisy, wooly yarrow, grove sandwort, marsh marigolds, trillium, wild columbine, bellworts, and the false rue anemones, blackberry and raspberry vines, and common and wood strawberry are in bloom. The wood strawberries are beginning to produce fruit.- Nathan Fries ranger