It finally looks summer has arrived and not just on the calendar, but in the woods and on the waters of Wisconsin. For the most part, the state has enjoyed sunnier, warmer days in the past week and more of the same is in the forecast.
Events are really picking up at state park, forest and trail properties, including a solstice celebration this weekend at Aztalan State Park in Jefferson County. Visitors will be able to view an archeological dig going on that was being filmed this week for an series that will run next spring on PBS. For a list of other activities, search the DNR website for “get outdoors.”
Water levels are finally beginning to drop on river systems. The North Fork of the Flambeau is at normal levels for early summer. Both the Lower Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers are also continuing to drop.
The mayfly hatch seems to have just started on many northern lakes, including the Upper Chippewa Basin, and this has upset the walleye bite on most of these waters. Most walleye that are being caught are being taken on leeches or night crawlers fished on a floating jig head or below a slip bobber. The mayfly hatch, however, should make for great trout fishing soon.
Smallmouth bass fishing on the Wisconsin River has been good. Walleye fishing activity on Lake Wisconsin has been the best in years, with numerous limits of walleyes reported.
On Lake Michigan, salmon fishing has been fair in the Kewaunee and Door county areas, but the fish being caught have been big with some laker trout in the 10 to 20 pound range, steelhead in the mid-teens and chinook well over 20 pounds. Lake Michigan has yet to stratify for the summer, so the fish are still all over the place, from 70 to 300 feet of water. Walleye have been biting on Green Bay from Wright’s Cove south to Chaudoir’s Dock. Perch action is picking up some with good catches in Little Sturgeon and the shipping canal. Muskie anglers have been catching a few nice ones in Little Sturgeon.
The weekend storm disrupted fishing activity some from southern Lake Michigan ports, but trollers were still bringing in good catches with more of a mixed bag containing mostly coho, as well as some steelhead, lake trout and chinook. Action was relatively slow for the perch season opener on Lake Michigan, but some nice perch were reported out of the Kenosha harbor.
With warm weather comes increased wildlife movement, so be on the lookout during your travels for ducks, geese and turtles along the roadways. Painted and snapping turtles are looking for places to lay eggs and note that the turtle season does not open July 15.
Fawns are following does around and bears are in their breeding season. So please leave the wild in wildlife and do not interfere to “rescue” a fawn or feed a bear. There have been reports of some loon chicks hatching while others are still nesting. Please do not disturb loons on their nests and give wide birth to loons with young chicks on their backs on lakes.
A bufflehead has nested on the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and hatched seven young bufflehead. This is only the second documented nesting of a bufflehead in the entire state of Wisconsin.
Karner blue butterflies were sighted on lupine at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, and with the good, well, there is a little bad news. After all the rain, mosquitoes are out in force in many areas, so don’t go into the woods unprotected.
On the Internet: http://dnr.wi.gov/
The Solunar Tables list top fishing times and days in the lunar month. For best results, begin fishing one hour before and continue for one hour after the times given:
Sunday, June 23: Major — 11:38 a.m., no p.m. Minor — 5:22 a.m., 6:57 p.m.
Monday: Major — 12:11 a.m., 12:42 p.m. Minor — 6:26 a.m., 6:57 p.m.
Tuesday: Major — 1:16 a.m., 1:45 p.m. Minor — 7:31 a.m., 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday: Major — 2:20 a.m., 2:47 p.m. Minor — 8:34 p.m., 9:01 p.m.
Thursday: Major — 3:21 a.m., 3:46 p.m. Minor — 9:33 a.m., 9:59 p.m.
Friday: Major — 4:17 a.m., 4:41 p.m. Minor — 10:29 a.m., 10:53 p.m.
Saturday: Major — 5:08 a.m., 5:32 p.m. Minor — 11:20 a.m., 11:44 p.m.
Provided by Accu-Weather