Complete DNR Outdoor Report (Reports from conservation wardens, wildlife and fisheries staff and property managers from around the state)
After a period of dry weather, rain returned to much of the state this week, but in much lower amounts than earlier this summer. Water levels were back up some on some northern rivers but were dropping. The lower Wisconsin River has been dropping and many sandbars have once again returned to the river.
Most campgrounds have been full on weekends. Skunks and raccoons are at their peak activity as well so we would like to remind campers to keep their food in locked vehicles. Most trails that were damaged by storms have reopened, though there are still some rough horse trails at Wildcat Mountain State Park so equestrians need to use caution there.
There are reports that brown trout are in the Boise Brule River and fishing is picking up. Anglers continue to have success fishing musky, walleye, northern pike and bass on the Flambeau River. Walleye and panfish action was starting to pick up again on northeastern inland lakes. Trout streams in central Wisconsin have finally returned to normal water levels.
Along Green Bay, anglers fishing off Geano Beach found better success than other areas with some boats catching 10-plus walleye and perch per trip. On the lower bay anglers had inconsistent success for walleye out of Bayshore, but more consistent success out of the Metro launch.
Fishing pressure was relatively low this past week throughout the Door County peninsula and the bite has been tough, most likely due to warm water conditions. Perch anglers have had consistent success with some catching their 15 fish limit in the Sturgeon Bay Canal and fishing the piers in Egg Harbor. Smallmouth bass fishing on the bay has been good. Anglers fishing out from Baileys Harbor and Rowleys Bay have been reporting catches of very large chinook salmon and rainbow trout. Many of the reported salmon have been easily topping 20 pounds.
Along Lake Michigan, salmon fishing has been slow from Kewaunee up to Sturgeon Bay and in Manitowoc and Two Rivers as finding cold water has been difficult. No anglers have been able to find cool water at the surface, or even less than 80 feet down. Pier anglers have again had no success with salmon this week.
Fishing pressure was also low throughout the week on southern Lake Michigan harbors due to windy and stormy weather; however, there was a noticeable increase in anglers and boaters over the weekend as conditions improved. Mainly chinook salmon and rainbow trout were caught, along with some coho salmon and lake trout.
Deer have been seen in good numbers, especially in the early evening with the full moon rising. Turkey poults have been seen in groups up to 12, ranging in size from newly hatched to nearly adult size.
Elk calves are weaning off of the cows and eating more vegetation. Bulls are still in velvet. The first to lose their velvet is the raghorns, or young bulls. All velvet should be off by the end of August and bugling will commence.
Blackberries are now producing ripe berries, and it should be a bumper crop. Prairies are still in full bloom. Monarchs, swallowtails and other butterflies are out in full force are still feeding regularly on blazing star and other nectar producing plants.
Birders are noting building congregations of blackbirds, swallows, and chimney swifts. Ruby-throated hummingbirds and their fledged young are ramping up feeder activity, while wetlands remain active with bitterns, herons, egrets and pelicans. Shorebirds continue to dominate migration news, with the Lake Michigan shore a good place to watch for sanderlings, turnstones, and sandpipers.
The Perseid meteor shower is this weekend and seven Wisconsin state park properties have astronomy programs scheduled over the weekend. And on Saturday night Rib Mountain will continue its Concert in the Clouds with music by Randy Sabien.