Contact: Paul Holtan608-267-7517
Charlie Nettesheim608-267-0541

Turkeys strutting timely for weekend youth hunt and first period spring hunt; CDAC meetings next week

Complete DNR Outdoor Report (Reports from conservation wardens, wildlife and fisheries staff and property managers from around the state)

Wisconsin experienced another roller coaster ride for the second week in April with temperatures last weekend in the 70s, followed by cold rain in the south and up to 7 inches of snow in the far north, and now temperatures again forecast to be in the high 60s this coming weekend.

People took advantage of the warm weather last weekend with canoeists and kayakers our on the Flambeau River. The lower Wisconsin River continues to run a bit above normal with water temperatures in the high 40s.

Walleye runs are continuing on rivers and fishing pressure has been very heavy at some locations, including at the Hattie Street dam on the Menominee River and at Voyager Park on the Fox River where it was shoulder to shoulder anglers wading near shore over the weekend. On the Wolf River walleye are starting to make it up to the Shawano Dam. Anglers reported catching mostly males but with more females starting to show up with many not spawned out yet. Sturgeons have not been spotted below the Shawano Dam yet, but with the warmer weather it will not be long before they arrive to spawn.

The steelhead run on Lake Michigan tributaries continues to be a mixed bag. The Kewaunee River is still producing some steelhead and steelhead were moving up the Ahnapee River with good catches just downstream of the Forestville dam. Some small brown and a few bigger steelhead were taken from the East Twin River. Farther south, a large number of steelhead moved into the Oak Creek following last week’s rain and steelhead were stacked up below the Kletzsch Park waterfall on the Milwaukee River. On the Root River, most anglers were focusing their efforts at the Horlick Dam upstream of the steelhead facility with decent number of steelhead caught but a lot of suckers were caught near the dam as well.

Smelt fishermen were out along the Milwaukee shoreline with some reports of decent catches near the Hoan bridge with a few groups of anglers reporting catches of up to 300 fish per night.

A tournament in Kewaunee on Saturday morning brought a frenzy of boats out, with a decent number of brown trout being caught, even with the wind picking up. Boats continue to target brown trout in the Milwaukee harbor, reporting with good luck trolling near the breakwall gaps and the mouth of the Milwaukee River.

Gobblers have been seen strutting for hen turkeys in open fields, in perfect timing for the youth turkey hunt this weekend, April 15-16 and for the start of turkey season on April 19. Hunters still looking for a leftover turkey permit, can check availability on the DNR website, keyword “turkey.”

County Deer Advisory Committee meetings will be held throughout the state this week to finalize 2017 deer season recommendations.  Search the DNR website for CDAC for meeting locations.

With sunny warm temps last weekend many amphibians and reptiles were active including garter and red-bellied snakes, chorus and wood frogs and spring peepers. Woodpeckers of all species are drumming like mad, as their spring breeding season approaches.

Pasque flower, prairie buttercup and Dutchman’s breeches are blooming in the south, and prairie smoke is beginning to bloom. In the woods, look for patches of round-lobed hepatica blooming. Mourning cloak and comma butterflies have emerged from hibernation.

South winds ushered in many new birds this past weekend, leading to frequent sightings of hermit thrushes, both ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, yellow-rumped warblers, brown creepers, eastern phoebes and the season’s first blue-gray gnatcatchers, cliff swallows, and barn swallows. This year has already seen a few unsubstantiated reports of ruby-throated hummingbirds in the far south.

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