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Wisconsin Outdoor Report for Northern Region 12-29-2012 | Gary Engberg Outdoors

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Wisconsin Outdoor Report for Northern Region 12-29-2012

Northern Region

Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest – Cross-country skiing on the Afterhours Trail in Brule is rated as very good to excellent for skate skiing and fair to good for classic skiing with a few thin spots and some icy stretches in the track. – Kevin Feind, rangerDeer Hud

Ashland DNR Service Center area

Copper Falls State ParkWinter is in full swing at Copper Falls. The park has received over 20 inches of snow so far this year. Although the first part of December was warm, recent cold weather and snowfall has made for good to excellent winter trail conditions. Cross-country ski trails, both classic and skate, are in good to excellent condition and were last groomed on Dec. 27. The Multi-use Waterfall and Red granite Falls trails were also rolled on Dec. 27. The park currently has about a 8-inch base! Please call the park at 715-274-5123 for up to the minute grooming report as trails are continually groomed as new snow falls. Light Lake Effect Snow is expected over the next several days. Over the past few years we have increased the winter trail system and now offer 21.9 km of classic trail, 10.5 km of skate trail, and 5.5 km of multi-use trail. – Ben Bergey, park manager

Hayward DNR Service Center area

Sawyer CountyIce on area lakes seems pretty consistent in the 3-5 inch depths and making it every day/night now. Anglers still need to check as they go as ice will very in spots the entire season depending on currents, bars, bogs etc. Individuals on the Chippewa flowage are getting mixed bags of panfish. Most are getting them off the cribs or deeper stumps and weeds. Plastics will get the active fish and minnows or wax worms will get the more finicky fish. Bluegill WallySome individuals will move a lot to get the active (and most time larger) fish. Others prefer to sit it out and wait for the fish mood to shift into biting. Anglers are reminded that the walleye season is not open on the Chippewa Flowage at this time. It will not open until the opening of fishing season in May 2013. All walleye must be immediately released. Late season archery hunters are moving to logging operations and oak ridges for some of their last chances to harvest a deer. Both locations are pulling in deer now with colder weather. The oak ridges look like they have been tilled up in many locations due to the deer and turkey pawing and scratching around for the acorns. Most hunters are reporting earlier movement of the deer as well, during daylight hours. Some locations have bucks dropping their antlers getting shed hunters out in the woods if the already harvested a deer or are hanging it up for the year due to antlers dropping. Some report seeing bucks w/out antlers as earlier as December 16 this year. – Thomas Heisler Jr., conservation warden, Winter

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Deer Big snowAshland and Iron counties) - With the cold weather of the past week, ice cover on lakes across the Northwoods has thickened and more ice anglers have been venturing out. However, ice thickness is still quite variable as the insulating snow cover has made for some irregular freezing conditions. Some areas of the lakes have upwards of 6 to 7 inches of ice while other areas may only have 4 to 5 inches where the snow cover was undisturbed. As such, caution is still urged when venturing out on any lakes in the north – especially with ATVs or snowmobiles. Reports from early season anglers indicate some very erratic fishing. Walleye are usually the target for many of the early ice anglers and for most so far, catches have been hard to come by. Many anglers have reported only two or three flags per trip, with the lucky ones able to ice one or two walleye in the 12- to 17-inch size. The most productive areas have been the mud/muck flats, with medium suckers or extra-large fatheads fished just off the bottom at the 6 to 12 foot depth. Some action is also being seen on the gravel drop-offs and near the hard-bottom break lines, especially if they are near any weed beds. Angling pressure for northern pike is beginning to pick up and success for that species has been fair, as the cloudy and colder weather seems to have kept their activity down. Large golden shiners fished near and over any green weeds have provided the best success. There has been some good early success for panfish, as a few anglers have found some decent bluegill after moving around a bit to find the active fish. A small tear-drop jig tipped with a wax worm has worked the best, and the nice fish have been suspended just off the bottom near deeper-water areas. - Skip Sommerfeldt, senior fisheries biologist, Park Falls

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State ForestCross-country ski trails have been groomed, but the base is thin. McNaughton Trail was groomed Dec. 21. Skaters loop was groomed; all other loops tracked. Full tracks set but they are soft. Base is very thin. Madeline Trail was groomed Dec. 21. All loops have been tracked. Full tracks set but they are soft. Base is very thin. Raven Trail and Escanaba Trail had all loops packed Dec. 22. – Tony Martinez, forestry facilities worker

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