A couple of late winter snow squalls moved through earlier this week dropping from just a few inches to up to eight inches across most of the state. A number of trails were groomed and cross-country ski trail conditions ranged from good and excellent in the north to fair in central Wisconsin to poor in the south. Snowmobile trails remain open in about 20 mostly northern counties and range from excellent to poor on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report.
Northern lakes still have 18 inches to two feet of ice, but travel is difficult with over a foot of crusty snow and with the current warm-spell conditions may be slushy. Ice shanties must be removed from inland waters north of Highway 64 by March 18 this year, but with the 10-day forecast showing temperatures above freezing, it might be a good idea to consider removing them. The ice on central and southern Wisconsin lakes has begun to deteriorate fairly quickly.
Game fishing is closed on most inland water, but anglers have still been getting out for late season panfishing. Anglers on northern and central lakes report that panfish are coming out of the mid-winter lull and starting to bite.
On Green Bay, anglers along the west shore continue to report decent catches of whitefish along with a few northern and perch, while anglers along the east shore had little luck, only coming in with two to five whitefish and many were out over the weekend pulling their shacks off as the ice is beginning to thin and open water is visible.
The Fox River is mostly ice free allowing anglers to get their boats in the water and heavy boat traffic was the norm at Fox Point over the weekend. Anglers report catching good numbers of walleye along with the occasional northern and whitefish. Sunset anglers report catching good numbers of perch averaging around eight inches.
The Lakeshore State Park lagoon in Milwaukee is about 75 percent ice-free and the first boat has come in for fishing.
Before the snowstorm, maple sap had been flowing but the colder weather this week was halting flow. The flow may increase this weekend with the warmer weather again in the forecast.
Snow Conditions Report: www.travelwisconsin.com/snowreport/snowmobile
On the Internet: www.dnr.state.wi.us/
The Solunar Tables list top fishing and hunting times in the lunar month. The feeding time for each period is the middle of the period. Major periods are two hours long, minor periods are one hour.
Sunday, March 11: Major — 6:30 a.m., 6:54 p.m. Minor — 12:18 a.m., 12:42 p.m.
Monday: Major — 7:14 a.m., 7:38 p.m. Minor — 1:02 a.m., 1:26 p.m.
Tuesday: Major — 7:57 a.m., 8:21 p.m. Minor — 1:45 a.m., 2:09 p.m.
Wednesday: Major — 8:39 a.m., 9:03 p.m. Minor — 2:27 a.m., 2:51 p.m.
Thursday: Major — 9:22 a.m., 9:45 p.m. Minor — 3:10 a.m., 3:34 p.m.
Friday: Major — 10:05 a.m., 10:29 p.m. Minor — 3:54 a.m., 4:17 p.m.
Saturday: Major — 10:51 a.m., 11:14 p.m. Minor — 4:39 a.m., 5:02 p.m.