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DNR Outdoor Report update, June 11, 2015 - Rain keeps river systems high across state; turtles very active laying eggs

Additional rain in the last week has continued to keep river systems high across Wisconsin. Both the north and south forks of the Flambeau River continue to run high and are offering excellent paddling opportunities. The lower Wisconsin River is again on the rise and most sandbars are again expected to be underwater this weekend, limiting camping opportunities.

Anglers in the north have been catching walleye in good numbers and reporting fair to good catches of catfish, white bass and northern pike as well. Anglers in the southern had luck with crappies and bluegill, from shore and boat, along with some reports of bullheads biting aggressively. The rain also has water levels on central Wisconsin trout streams near perfect, although there are heavy rains in the forecast Thursday into Friday. The Hexagenia mayfly hatch is also currently going on right now making for excellent night trout fishing. Walleyes are reportedly biting very well on crawler harnesses and stick baits on the Winnebago system.

Anglers fishing Green Bay continued to have success with smallmouth bass and walleye action also picked up, but musky activity appeared to slow down this week. Lake Michigan trollers have had moderate success with chinook and coho salmon, along with rainbow trout. Anglers fishing piers were having some success with brown trout.

Turtles have really been seen on the move in the last week, especially with many reports from across the state of large snapping turtles laying eggs along roadsides. Check the DNR facebook page for many photos that have been posted of snappers and other turtles. Watch for raccoons around your bird-feeders. Coyote pups are becoming more active, and the parents are traveling more in search of food for their young. Scarlet tanagers have been seen in hardwoods. Grouse are being seen with chicks in the Northwoods. Sandhill cranes are caring for their young at this time, and pairs can be spotted near prairies and open fields.

Trails around the state are a verdant green, but in very wet conditions currently. The rain has prompted an explosion of flowers, with wild geraniums, wild rose and columbine in bloom. In particular, many prairies around the state are hitting their stride, as species like prairie smoke, lupine and spiderwort are flowering and adding color to the fields. High bush cranberries, bunchberries and blackberries are in bloom. Wild strawberries are popping up and ready to feed wandering hikers and birds alike.

A frog survey was recently conducted on Lake Mills Wildlife Area, with boreal chorus frogs, northern leopard frogs and American toads heard. Also observed were common moorhens, American bitterns, sora rails, Virginia rails, and yellow-headed blackbirds. Many areas are also now dealing with mosquitos, horse and deerflies in mass numbers already.

Archived under: Previous Outdoor Reports

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Outdoor Report editor: 
Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications, Madison 
608-267-7517 or paul.holtan@wisconsin.gov

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