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DNR Weekly News Update for July 31, 2018

Published - July 31, 2018 by the Central Office




Perrot State Park to hold centennial celebration August 4


[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release was previously issued to media in west central Wisconsin.]

TREMPEALEAU, Wis. -- Nicholas Perrot, a French explorer and diplomat, was one of the first Europeans in the upper Mississippi River valley. When John Latsch donated land to the State of Wisconsin for a new state park established in 1918, he requested that it be named Perrot State Park in honor of Nicholas Perrot.

The park will celebrate its centennial on August 4 with a day of history programs, children's events, prairie hikes, and an opportunity for the public to share their memories of Perrot State Park.

In 1685, Nicholas Perrot and his expedition team were working their way up the Mississippi River to establish alliances with local tribes and expand French interests in the fur trade market. They set up a small winter camp in this area and left in the spring to continue upriver. In 1731, a trading post was established on what is believed to be the same site. The exact location of this trading post unfortunately is not recorded but excavations around Perrot Post have documented artifacts tied to the French.

View Slideshow SLIDE SHOW | 6 photos

Perrot State Park Centennial historical photos

As important as the French were to the area's exploration, Native Americans have been here long before that. The Mississippi River and surrounding lands were important travel and trade routes for many different native cultures including Paleo, Archaic, Early Woodland, Hopewell and Effigy Mound groups. Archeological excavations have shown that Paleo period tribes lived in the area we now call Perrot State Park as early as 13,000 years ago.

Latsch was a leading businessman in nearby Winona, Minn., who was interested in securing the historic Trempealeau Mountain and adjoining river frontage as a park. He purchased some 800 acres of land including the mountain and adjoining river bluffs and donated it to the state for development of the park. Perrot became Wisconsin's fifth state park in 1918, following Interstate, Peninsula, Devil's Lake and Wyalusing.

Trempealeau Mountain, standing alone between the Trempealeau and Mississippi rivers, is about 425 feet high. The other bluffs in Perrot State Park rise 500 feet above the Mississippi River.

From 1935 to 1937, Perrot was home to a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. The 2606th CCC Company constructed the trails to the top of Brady's Bluff and Perrot Ridge. The men transported the rock from a quarry in the bluffs closer to Trempealeau. The shelter at the top of Brady's Bluff was also constructed by the Corps.

Today the park has grown to 1,270 acres and has 15 miles of hiking trails. Many of the trails take visitors up to the top of the bluffs and provide opportunities to enjoy scenic views of the Mississippi River valley. There is direct bicycle access from the campground to the Great River State Trail. The park's boat landing on the Trempealeau River provides access to Trempealeau Bay and the Mississippi River under a railroad bridge. There are 102 campsites and four walk-in group campsites.

The centennial celebration will kick off at 10 a.m. with an official presentation followed by cake and refreshments. From 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. there will be programs to celebrate 100 years of history, nature, and recreation. At 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m., a local raptor rehabilitator, Abbey Krumrie, will have a live raptor program.

The Friends of Perrot State Park is sponsoring this event and have organized a variety of opportunities for visitors to celebrate the park:

  • Color with Colleen - Get your creative spirit kickstarted by meeting our Centennial Coloring Book artist. See her latest artwork and sit down with her to color your own masterpiece.
  • Create a Centennial T-shirt to take home.
  • Learn about flintknapping and how arrowhead and spearpoint heads are created.
  • Watch local artists use wood and other natural materials to create wonderful treasures.
  • Writer Dick Stahl will share the experiences he and his wife Helen had while researching his book "BLUFFING," a book of poems inspired by blufftop views overlooking the Mississippi River. Share your favorite Mississippi River Bluff with Dick and Helen.
  • Mississippi Valley Archeology Center from UW-La Crosse will talk about the Native Cultures that lived here beginning 13,000 years ago and what we have learned through excavations in the park and surrounding area.
  • Tell Your Story -- stop by the Friends of Perrot booth and write down or voice record your memories of the park. Share family stories, tell about favorite places, or talk about a personal connection to the park and surrounding area. The Friends group will collect the stories and create a Centennial Notebook.

The Centennial Celebration is a great opportunity for visitors to the park to also make or keep their pledge to stay active in the outdoors through the Wisconsin State Park System #OutWiGo iniative.

For more information about the park, search the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website,, for keyword "Perrot" or visit the Friends of Perrot State Park website at





Lake Michigan stocking plan paying off for anglers



MADISON - Lake Michigan boat anglers report catching good numbers of salmon and trout this summer and the Department of Natural Resources has finished its first full year of implementing a new and enhanced stocking strategy to assure strong fish populations and fishing into the future.

"We're happy to see boat anglers are reporting good harvests of fish this year," says Brad Eggold, DNR Great Lakes District fisheries supervisor. "Fish caught this year are large and in good condition. This indicates that the stocking adjustments that Wisconsin and other agencies have made appear to be paying off, and we're excited about what future years will bring.

"The hard work of our hatchery staff has allowed us to fully implement the first year of the enhanced stocking plan, we've strengthened partnerships with stakeholders, and we've secured funding for a hatchery renovation. All of these will help us provide fantastic fishing on Lake Michigan into the future."

Boat anglers are reporting catching Lake Michigan trout and salmon that are large and in good shape, like this 28 pound chinook caught in June.  - Photo credit: Ren Ryd
Boat anglers are reporting catching Lake Michigan trout and salmon that are large and in good shape, like this 28 pound chinook caught in June.Photo credit: Reni Rydlewicz

The Lake Michigan stocking strategy was developed over more than two years with discussion and input from more than 500 anglers, business owners and other stakeholders. This spring DNR started carrying out that plan resulting in:

  • Stocking Lake Michigan with chinook and coho salmon and brown and rainbow trout under the new 2018-2020 management plan;
  • Stocking Skamania steelhead for the first time in a decade, as shown in the video below;
  • Expanding efforts with fishing clubs to place stocked fish in pens in Lake Michigan to get acclimatized and grow bigger before they're released.

As well, DNR secured approval in June from the state Building Commission to go ahead with final design phases for an updated Kettle Moraine Springs Fish Hatchery. At 70 years old, the facility has reached its useful lifetime and plans call for major improvements to the hatchery that will allow production of more fish for stocking in Lake Michigan with less groundwater and energy use and better conditions for fish and staff. The request for proposals to refurbish the hatchery are expected to go out this winter, with construction beginning shortly thereafter

Kettle Moraine Springs Hatchery Renovation

In addition, the DNR is embarking on a public-private partnership with Coolidge Springs Trout Farm in Fifield, Wis. to raise 50,000 steelhead annually to meet the stocking plan for the next three years.

For more information on Lake Michigan fishing, visit the DNR website,, and search "Lake Michigan fisheries."




Bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations available for purchase starting Aug. 13


MADISON - Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations (formerly known as tags) will be available for purchase starting Monday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. through the Go Wild website and license sales locations.

The fall deer hunt is just around the corner - visit, keyword "deer" and prepare for another season in the woods.

Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations will be sold at a rate of one per person per day until sold out or until the 2018 deer hunting season ends. The cost is $12 each for Wisconsin residents, $20 each for non-residents and $5 each for youth ages 11 and under.

For a list of units with bonus antlerless harvest authorizations available for purchase, visit and search keywords "bonus availability." These and all other deer hunting licenses and harvest authorizations are available online through the Go Wild website, (exit DNR) or at any of more than 1,000 Go Wild license sales locations.

To prepare for the sale, each day at 9:45 a.m., an online queuing system will be put in place to manage volume in the Go Wild system. At 10 a.m. all online users that are on the site will be randomly assigned a number and staged into a "virtual" line regardless of the actual time you entered into the system. There is no advantage for customers who enter the site before 9:45 a.m. Please note that customers who enter the site after the randomization that occurs at 10:00 will be added to the end of "virtual" line in the order in which they arrive. All visitors to the site during this time period will experience the queuing system.

When you access the Go Wild site, follow the prompts until you reach your personalized dashboard. To purchase a bonus antlerless harvest authorization, click the "Buy Licenses" button from the dashboard to open the sales catalog - from there, you will find the Bonus Antlerless Harvest Authorization at the very top of the list. If you haven't had the chance to get your license in advance, Go Wild can help you purchase one after you select the Bonus Antlerless Harvest Authorization.

Hunters will need to know the deer management zone, unit, and determine whether they will hunt on public or private land in order to make their purchase.

The first three days of bonus sales are management zone-specific and will be available as follows:

  • Aug. 13, 10 a.m. - Northern and Central Forest (Zone 1);
  • Aug. 14, 10 a.m.- Central Farmland (Zone 2);
  • Aug. 15, 10 a.m.- Southern Farmland (Zone 2); and
  • Aug. 16, 10 a.m. - remaining bonus harvest authorizations (all zones).

As a reminder, Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless harvest authorizations [PDF] are now available for distribution. A Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless harvest authorization is included with the purchase of each deer hunting license in units that offer them. Some units will offer more than one with each deer license.


Those interested in receiving occasional email reminders can sign up to receive messages about season dates, license and harvest authorization types, and other information. Visit and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select a list of your choice.

For more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "deer."




Natural Resources Board to meet August 7-8 in Green Bay


MADISON - A request to approve an emergency order for proposed rules related to deer carcass transportation, deer farm fencing, and chronic wasting disease, and requests to approve scope statements for developing rules related to off-highway motorcycles and to establish an early closure of the ruffed grouse season are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets August 8 in Green Bay.

The board will convene at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 8, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 2040 Airport Drive, Green Bay.

The board will also consider: a request to deactivate the gypsy moth suppression program; a request to approve management plans for three separate property groups--the Kettle Moraine Waters, the Southern Region Planning Group and the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Regional Group; and accepting donations for a new entrance to Heritage Hill State Park and in support of endangered resources activities in wetland habitats among other items.

On Tuesday, August 7 the board will participate in tours of various facilities through northeast Wisconsin, including Jack Day Center, a boat trip to observe a dredging barge, Tetra Tech Processing Plant, and the Titletown District for a presentation on storm water control efforts. The board will have a social and dinner meeting with tribal leaders in the Grand Council Ballroom at Radisson Hotel & Conference Center to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding - Reciprocal Registration of ATV/UTV and Snowmobiles. No action will be taken. (NOTE: The public must pre-register with Board Liaison to attend scheduled tours and provide their own transportation.)

The complete August board agenda is available by searching the DNR website,, for keyword "NRB" and clicking on the button for "view agendas."

The public must pre-register with Laurie Ross, board liaison, to testify at the board meeting or to attend a board tour. The deadline to register to testify or for the NRB Liaison to receive written comments is 11 a.m. on Friday, August 3, 2018. Registration information is available on the agenda on the DNR website.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the internet by going to the NRB agenda page of the DNR website and clicking on webcasts in the Related Links column on the right. Then click on this month's meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.




Wisconsin Bat Festival flies in to Ashland Aug. 25

Free event features live bats, science presentations and demos, family activities and more

ASHLAND, Wis. -- The Wisconsin Bat Festival is moving north this Aug. 25, giving Northwoods residents and visitors a chance to see live bats up close, learn about them through science presentations and displays, and enjoy a host of family friendly activities aimed at demystifying this flying mammal and staple of Halloween celebrations.

The festival is free and runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 County Highway G, Ashland. The event is sponsored by the visitor center, the U.S. Forest Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Bayfield County Tourism.

The Wisconsin Bat Festival is Aug. 25 in Ashland. The free event features live bats, science presentations and demonstrations, and lots of fun family activities.      - Photo credit: DNR
The Wisconsin Bat Festival is Aug. 25 in Ashland. The free event features live bats, science presentations and demonstrations, and lots of fun family activities.Photo credit: DNR

"We're very excited to be able to bring the Wisconsin Bat Festival to northern Wisconsin," says Jennifer Redell, a conservation biologist with the Department of Natural Resources' Wisconsin Bat Program. "We invite people to come and celebrate the important and unique role that bats play in our world and learn more about how they can be part of helping bats."

The Wisconsin Bat Festival was started in 2011 to help raise awareness of the importance of bats and the threats they are facing from white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease of bats. White-nose syndrome does not affect people or other animal species, but causes hibernating bats to frequently wake, depleting their energy and causing them to die from starvation, dehydration or exposure to the elements. Since the discovery of white-nose syndrome in 2006 in New York, more than 6 million bats have died and the disease has spread to 33 states.

White nose syndrome was first detected in Wisconsin in 2014 and has since spread rapidly and ravaged bat cave populations in Wisconsin.

The free festival will feature bat-themed crafts and games for kids, a 70-foot inflatable cave that can be crawled through, bat houses, educational exhibits. Attendees have the opportunity to see live bats up close, including both Wisconsin bat species and a fruit bat native to Africa. They also will get the chance to interact with local bat experts using technology to study bats and capture bats using mist nets.

Redell hopes the festival will also help recruit new volunteers to help DNR and partners track bat populations in the wake of white-nose syndrome. Volunteers can help count bats as they emerge from bat houses and other roosts at night, and can use bat detectors to "listen" for bats along pre-set routes they drive, paddle, or bike.

"Volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Wisconsin Bat Program," Redell says. "Many northern Wisconsin residents, including lake home and cabin owners, have bat colonies. We are excited to take the festival to a new location and for the opportunity to engage new groups of people who are interested in bat conservation."

For more information on the Wisconsin Bat Festival see the Wisconsin Bat Program website.




Still time to enter the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 2018 Photo Contest - winning photos will be used in the 2019 Wisconsin state parks calendar

The 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar will be featured in December as part of the Winter 2018 issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

MADISON - There is still time for people who love to take photos at Wisconsin State Park System Properties to enter their favorite photographs in a contest to be included in the 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Calendar. The deadline for all submissions is Monday, Aug. 31, 2018.

Again in 2019, in addition to being available for purchase, the calendar will also be distributed to more than 80,000 subscribers of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine in the December 2018 issue.

The cover photo for the 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks calendar taken at Interstate State Park - Photo credit: Theodore Sadler
The cover photo for the 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks calendar taken at Interstate State ParkPhoto credit: Theodore Sadler

This is the 10th year the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has sponsored the photography competition.

"There are a lot of activities happening at Wisconsin state parks during the four seasons," said Patty Loosen, state coordinator for FWSP. "So we're asking for entries that include in addition to the beautiful scenery, people enjoying activities at like hiking, picnicking, biking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, horseback riding, and biking. We are looking for entries that represent all four seasons."

Submissions are only accepted from amateur photographers ages 14 and over. Professional photographers who earn more than half of their income taking pictures are not eligible. Employees of the DNR and board members of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks and their immediate family members are not eligible to win. Photographs must have been shot within the past three years (since Jan. 1, 2016) and taken in a Wisconsin state park, forest, trail or recreation area. Only horizontal photos are accepted and no more than four photos may be entered per person.

More information and details on entering and contest rules are available on the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website (exit DNR) by clicking on the tab for "2018 Photo Contest."




Lake sturgeon exhibit opening set for Aug. 10 at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery


Theresa Stabo, DNR exhibit coordinator, 608-577-6332


WILD ROSE, Wis. - Celebrate lake sturgeon, Wisconsin's largest and longest-lived fish, and the people who have revered and protected this ancient species at an Aug. 10 unveiling of a new display at the Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery Education Center.

The event is free and open to the public and it runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the hatchery education center, N5871 State Road 22, in Wild Rose, Wis. Welcoming remarks are set to begin at 2:15 p.m., featuring Department of Natural Resources, Menominee Tribe, and Sturgeon for Tomorrow officials; light refreshments will be served.

Lake sturgeon are the focus of a new exhibit and an Aug. 10 unveiling at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery.   - Photo credit: Bob Rashid
Lake sturgeon are the focus of a new exhibit and an Aug. 10 unveiling at Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery.Photo credit: Bob Rashid

"We want people to join us in celebrating the opening of a new exhibit celebrating Lake Sturgeon in Wisconsin and the people who were instrumental in ensuring the legacy of this iconic fish," says Theresa Stabo, the DNR exhibit coordinator.

Sturgeon are one of the oldest vertebrates on earth: they swam in lakes and rivers 100 to 200 million years ago, when dinosaurs lumbered along the shores. Lake Sturgeon in Wisconsin can grow to more than 7 feet and live more than 150 years.

For thousands of years, the fish has been revered by the Winnebago, Ojibwa, Potawatomi, Oneida, and Sauk tribes. By 1900, however, harvesting by European settlers, dam building, and pollution had reduced their numbers to 10 percent of what it was before Wisconsin's statehood in 1848.

Wisconsin is regarded as a national and international leader in sturgeon protection, restoration and research. While the well-known Winnebago System is home to the world's largest self-sustaining population of Lake Sturgeon, harvested by spearing, Wisconsin also offers a hook-and-line season on multiple major rivers with healthy, growing populations. In locations where sturgeon populations are not as strong, DNR and partners are working to rebuild sturgeon populations. Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery plays an important role in those efforts, rearing lake sturgeon for restoration stocking.

The exhibit was funded by Sturgeon for Tomorrow, the DNR and Sport Fish Restoration dollars. The Wisconsin Humanities Council also provided funding for the exhibit as well as a public lecture series on several Saturdays following the opening.

The public lectures, all to occur at the Wild Rose Hatchery Education Center, are as follows:

  • August 18: Lake Sturgeon Biology - Wisconsin's Current Lake Sturgeon Populations and Distribution
  • September 1: Hook 'n Line and Spearing - Opportunities, Equipment and Tactics
  • September 15: Indigenous Perspectives on Lake Sturgeon
  • September 29: Propagating Lake Sturgeon - A history and update on hatchery operations
  • October 13: Citizen Partnerships

For more information search the DNR website for "Wild Rose."




Annual Volunteer-based Deer Survey to Begin August 1


MADISON -- Operation Deer Watch is an annual, volunteer-based wildlife monitoring survey that gives Wisconsin residents a great opportunity to assist with deer herd management efforts.

Data from this survey provide insight to the reproductive status of Wisconsin's deer herd for 2018 and help shape deer management for the state. To get involved, people should record all bucks, does and fawns seen during the day from August 1 to September 30. Volunteers can track their daily observations using an online tally sheet found at, keyword "deer watch."

People can begin reporting deer observations on August 1. - Photo credit: DNR
People can begin reporting deer observations on August 1.Photo credit: DNR

"This is a fun and useful opportunity for everyone to enjoy Wisconsin's plentiful wildlife," says Brian Dhuey, surveys coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "The Department of Natural Resources encourages anyone interested in deer, from hunters and trappers to outdoor enthusiasts, to take part."

Data from the survey are also used by County Deer Advisory Councils to develop deer season framework, harvest quotas and permit level recommendations.