Rain soaked major portions of the state for yet another week, with much concentrated in the southwestern region. This has kept area lakes and rivers high and flowing water moving fast. Several properties in the southwest are still dealing with storm damage. Badger State Trail has some closed sections and areas with standing water. The Sugar River State Trail is usable but needs resurfacing at various locations. Mountain bike trails remain closed at Blue Mound and horse trails and the horse camp at Wildcat Mountain remain closed. All roads have reopened at Wyalusing and Nelson Dewey state parks, but some trails in both parks remain closed.
Fishing pressure waxed and waned with the weather this past week. Northern pike, bass and musky continue to be caught on the Flambeau River. Anglers on inland lakes have been reporting success for panfish, bass and walleyes.
Anglers were out in force though the weekend on Green Bay many brought out by a walleye tournament. Walleye fishing was relatively consistent, with most boats catching at least a couple fish. The bass bite has slowed along Door County with the best success coming from piers, but perch anglers were having some luck over the past week with most boats harvesting more than 10 fish for half a day’s trip. Trout and salmon fishing was beginning to pick up off Marinette on the west shore of the bay but trout and salmon anglers off the Door County side were struggling to find fish.
On Lake Michigan salmon fishing had been good early week but has since tapered off with changing winds and fronts moving through the area. A salmon tournament also brought out a lot of anglers over the weekend with various levels of success. Reports from southeast harbors indicate pressure fishing was relatively low due to poor weather conditions at times. Mainly rainbow trout and chinook salmon were caught, along with some coho salmon and a few lake and brown trout.
And while it is the middle of summer it’s also time to think about spearing through the ice next winter: the deadline to apply for an Upriver Lakes Sturgeon Spearing license is quickly approaching on August 1. Spearing permits will be allotted to 500 applicants for the February 2018 season.
Some young wildlife, such as songbirds, are becoming more independent, while others, like fawns, continue to spend time with mom. Young Canada geese are beginning to test out their new flight feathers and swallows are flocking up. Some shorebird species are beginning their migration.
Prairie wildflowers are in bloom, including black-eyed-Susans, goldenrod, compass plant, cup plant, yellow and purple coneflower, rattlesnake master, blazing star, bergamot and sunflower. Blueberries are still in swing, with raspberries and blackberries ripening.
The public is reporting numerous sightings of sphinx moths. All sphinx moths are fast, powerful fliers. Sphinx moths that forage during the day are often seen hovering at flowers in the act of gathering nectar and may be mistaken for hummingbirds or bumblebees.
If you are interested in being more involved with deer management, various counties are still looking for qualified individuals to serve as stakeholder representatives on their local County Deer Advisory Councils.
This is the last weekend to see Shakespeare in the Parks with workshops and performances of “The Comedy of Errors” at Lakeshore State Park Friday, Kohler-Andrae on Saturday and Pike Lake on Sunday.