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Heartland Outdoors

Paddling still strong in Wisconsin

Wed, June 29, 2016

Water levels around the state are slowly leveling off after several rain and storm events over the last several days and the previous weekend. Some waters, such as the Brule and Flambeau rivers, still remain at levels above average and both forests report heavy canoe and kayak usage. However, water levels in the lower Wisconsin River are finally starting to come back down.

In the north, lake water levels on many lakes in the Vilas, Oneida and Sawyer county areas remain high. Fishing has slowed a bit with the recent hot weather, but anglers were still reporting good action drifting and trolling for walleyes, as well as fishing for smallmouth. Musky anglers are reporting an increasing in the top-water bite. In central Wisconsin, elevated streams are improving trout fishing conditions.

Anglers off of Peshtigo Harbor in Marinette have been landing walleye and catfish. The walleye bite along the west shore of Green Bay has continued to be good from the Pensaukee to Oconto. With the warm weather later in the week, boating pressure in the lower bay was high and walleye anglers had to work for their fish this week.

Along Door County, south winds and rough waters made it rough early in the week but as the conditions improved, fishing pressure increased on both sides of the Door peninsula and anglers were having success catching bass and walleyes on the bay side and trout and salmon on the lake side. Fishing pressure has been increasing with walleye anglers filtering into the area to pre-fish for an upcoming walleye tournament. Reports out of Baileys Harbor are showing that more kings are being caught than rainbows, so that bite is starting to ramp up.

Trollers out of most southern Lake Michigan harbors had a great weekend with success catching many chinook, many coho, some rainbows and a few lake trout. A kayak angler out of McKinley landed three kings up to 7 pounds within an hour last week. Pier and shore fishing remained slow even though alewife numbers are dropping. The yellow perch season opened June 16 on Lake Michigan, but perch fishing has been slow along the Milwaukee shoreline.

Bears are entering mating season so people can expect to see more yearling bears as they are chased off by sows who will be looking for a mate. Turtles are hatching. Fawns are following their mothers in most areas now. Many areas were reporting turkey brood observations this week, with one brood of 11 seen in Dane County. Loon families have been observed on northern lakes and young eaglets are moving about the branches around their nests, practicing for their first flights. Trumpeter swan cygnets and sandhill crane colts are both growing and are more visible. Acadian flycatcher and hooded, cerulean and pine warblers were all seen in the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest this week.

Wildflowers blooming include wild lupine—though they are nearly done—hoary puccoon, prairie phlox, Indian paintbrush, northern blue flag iris. Prairie plants in flower right now include; purple prairie clover, pale purple coneflower, butterfly milkweed, compass plant, spiderwort, prairie coreopsis, and many more.

Butterflies reported this week include Canadian tiger swallowtail, cabbage white, orange sulphur, summer spring azure, Karner Melissa blue, silver-bordered fritillary, viceroy, monarch and more.

Mosquito and deer flies are out but some areas are reporting that so far - knock on wood - they have not been as bad as some recent years.

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Oppose Illinois SB-1657 Springfield Armory Illinois gun laws