Outdoor Report for March 21, 2013
View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
For current statewide information on statewide snow conditions, log onto the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).
Spring has arrived on the calendar, but while winter arrived late, it does not appear ready to leave. This stands in contrast to last year when the sun was shining and the snow and ice were melting in unseasonable hot temperatures.
Much of the state has had more snow and blowing snow this week, along with cold. Snow depths range from a low of 2 to 4 inches in the far south, to more than 30 inches in the far north. This is good for skiers and snowmobilers, but not for outdoor enthusiasts looking to transition from cold, ice and snow to spring activities, including bird watching, turkey hunting and tree tapping.
Snowmobile trails are currently open in about the northern half of the state, with conditions ranging from fair to excellent on the Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Skiers will find the same conditions in the north, and even fair to good in some central and southern locations like the Kettle Moraine State Forest and Peninsula, Potawatomi, Wildcat Mountain and Blue Mound state parks.
The game fish season is closed on most inland waters, and the cold weather has slowed panfishing activity, but snowmelt is starting to draw some steelhead up Lake Michigan tributaries, with some decent action on open stretches of the Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Root rivers but many river sections remain unfishable due to ice flows.
Unseasonably cold weather conditions have delayed the start of Wisconsin’s maple syrup season. Large producers and backyard hobbyist are anxiously awaiting a break in the cold weather which may occur next week. Ideal conditions for large sap runs are daytime highs in the 40s and nighttime lows in the 20s.
In addition to the series of public meetings going on now to gather public input on the 2013 deer season structure wildlife officials have launched two new surveys to collect feedback from a diverse set of interests representing hunters and non-hunters. The Deer Management Unit Survey is a way for people to provide input for the 2013 hunting seasons. The second survey, called the Deer Trustee Implementation Survey, focuses on broader long-term deer management in Wisconsin and ways that it can be enhanced. State wildlife officials want to hear from anyone interested in deer, from farmers to landowners to wildlife watchers. Find the surveys by searching the DNR website for Deer Hunter Forum and deer trustee report.
Red fox pups are being born, fox and gray squirrel too. Lots of mink and otter tracks are visible in the fresh snow. Redpolls and goldfinches have been going crazy at Wood County bird feeders. Winter songbirds and woodpeckers are getting their bright breeding plumage. Trumpeter swans, Canada geese, and many diving ducks, including bufflehead, blue bills, or scaup, and mergansers can be seen in the open water of the Mississippi River in Grant County, but with the snow and cold weather, there has been some reverse migration of sandhill cranes.
Statewide Birding Report
The cold weather and snow continues to slow bird migration activity. There are not really any new arrivals to report this week for birds – in fact some reverse migration has happened with sandhill cranes! Some waterfowl migration has happened this week, but they are very concentrated at available open water. There has also been some limited bald eagle migration. – Andy Paulios, wildlife biologists and Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative coordinator
Superior DNR Service Center area
Brule River State Forest -The forest received a few more inches of snow March 18. The After Hours Ski Trail skate lanes were groomed and the classic tracks were being worked March 19. Conditions are very good to excellent. – Catherine Khalar, visitor services associate
Ashland DNR Service Center area
Ashland County – Winter continues with snow falling on-and-off over the last week. The snowfall caused some extra effort for ice anglers and fishing success has been mixed. It is no longer legal to leave unattended ice shelters on the lake. Spring turkey hunting seems to be the focus of more and more hunters as it nears. – Matt Mackenzie, conservation warden, Ashland
Douglas County – Two recent, significant snowfalls and much colder temperatures resuscitated county trails. Although it appears that many snowmobilers have already put their equipment away for the year, those still riding should enjoy near excellent conditions this weekend and into next week. – John Krull, conservation warden, Superior
Pattison State Park – The park currently has more than 14 inches of snow on the ground. Cross-country ski trails are in good condition. The trails were last groomed Wednesday. Please call the park at 715-399-3111 for an up to the minute grooming report as trails are continually groomed. – Phillip Brown, Ranger
Spooner DNR Service Center area
Polk County – Winter continues to hang on. Temperatures are still reading below zero at night and there is still about 2 feet of snow in the woods. Fishing has been slow in Polk County. Recent strong winds have drifted in the few road that people had plowed out on the lakes Many vehicles that are trying to venture out have been getting stuck. The snowmobile trails remain open and are in fair condition. Groomers have been out all week maintaining the trails. People wanting to check on trail conditions or possible closures can check on line with the Polk County tourism website. The pheasants and turkeys appeared to have made it through the winter ok and the numbers of both appear to be high in the area. The turkeys are still grouped up near food sources. Hunters during the first couple of turkey hunting season will probably still have snow on the ground with no significant warm ups in the future forecast. – Jesse Ashton conservation warden, Luck
Crex Meadows State Wildlife – A fresh 3-5 inches of snow fell, benefitting cross-country skiers and snowshoers. The trails on are not groomed. Winter birds believe it is still cold as they are still abundant. There are a few additional birds being sighted such as trumpeter swans and Canada geese. Maple syrup is not flowing yet; warmer conditions are needed. However, we will still have a Cabin Fever: Maple Syrup and the Changing Forests program on Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m. Visit www.crexmeadows.org/events.htm (exit DNR) for more information. – Heidi Rusch, natural resources educator
Governor Knowles State Forest – The park has had some new snow, rain, warm weather and snow again. Due to the unpredictable weather, park staff is done grooming ski trails for this year. All trails are now open to hikers and pets. Staff will continue to groom the Otter Trail flat for skiers, dog walkers and snowshoers as weather allows. State park hunting opens April 1. Hunting and limited trapping will be occurring in the open areas of the park. Please make sure you check the map to see what areas are open to hunting and which areas are considered wildlife refuges. For more information, please see: Hunting in State Parks. The boat launch facilities are iced-in on Caldron Falls Flowage. Ice fishermen are fishing on the south bay of Caldron Falls and on Woods Lake. – Maggie Kailhofer, property manager
Park Falls DNR Service Center area
Flambeau River State Forest – The area received 5 inches of snow on Monday and 4 inches last Friday. All cross-country ski trails are being groomed/tracked as time and conditions permit. The Flambeau Hills Trail was groom and track March 20; the condition is excellent.
Woodruff DNR Service Center area
Northern Highland American Legion State Forest – The forest received another 4 inches of snow March 18 night. Over 20 inches in the woods yet. Windy conditions have caused drifting and scattering of the debris on the cross-country ski trails, but they generally remain in good condition. Escanaba and Madeline trails were groomed and tracked Tuesday. McNaughton and Raven trails were groomed and tracked Wednesday.- Tony Martinez, forestry facilities worker
Rhinelander DNR Service Center area
Oneida County – The Rhinelander area received 6-8 inches of snowfall Monday and this should make the snowmobile trails good for this coming weekend. The lakes are snow covered but extremely slushy under the snow making travel very difficult. Panfish are biting but the fish size has been small. – James Jung, conservation warden, Rhinelander
Peshtigo DNR Service Center area
Peshtigo River State Forest – Winter is still hanging on in the Peshtigo River State Forest with some recent snow. Single digit temperatures at night and below normal temperatures during the day have made spring slow to arrive. Trails in the area are open, and are in good condition. Local snowmobile clubs groom and maintain the trails in the state forest. Please check Marinette County’s website for up to date conditions and any closings. Ski trails are no longer being groomed on the state forest for the year, however the trails are still open for skiing. Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the forest, other than groomed ski trails. – Sara Pearson, Ranger/Assistant Manager
Marinette County – Pike are on the menu along the Bay Shore with fishermen using tip ups in 4-7 feet of water. Large shiner minnows and smelt have been catching fish ranging from the high 30s to the mid 20s. – Kevin King – creel clerk
Oconto County – Despite snow cover, some sandhill cranes have arrived. Green Bay ice is still tight to the west shore with most people now fishing northern pike close to shore and the mouths of the tributaries. Snowmobile trails are still listed as open on the county web site north of Oconto Falls. We received about 4 inches of snow this week. Anglers should be wary when trying to get on some of the inland lakes in the area as the landings are deteriorating. Gobblers continue to show off on the sunny days. – Mike Stahl, conservation warden, Oconto Falls
Very few fishermen were out of Geano Beach trying for whitefish and pike. – Kevin King – creel clerk
Shawano County – Ice conditions are still favorable if anglers want to venture out and do some ice fishing. Panfishing has been good. Snowmobile trails are in fair condition, but the sun is taking its toll on trails across fields. Make sure to call the Shawano County Snowmobile trails association phone number to get the latest in trail closings. May deer and turkeys are visible in area fields. Winter is starting to get long for wildlife. – Jim Horne, conservation warden, Shawano
Green Bay DNR Service Center area
Brown County – Overall, the weather held steady in the 30s for the week creating nice fishing weather. Ice conditions continue to be good, with 18-inches to 2-feet of ice along the Lower East Shore of the Bay up to the Channel in Sturgeon Bay. Fishing pressure has slowed down a lot this week and into the weekend. More shanties are on the shore now or many fishermen have been busy getting their shanties off the ice. Along the Lower East Shore of the Bay, fishing pressure was low. A few fishermen were targeting whitefish but caught low numbers. They were using wax worms for bait and fishing in about 15-21 feet of water. Anglers were reporting good ice conditions, but some ice is soft along the shoreline. They reported you won’t break through and you can still drive out on the ice, but they said it was crushing up a bit. – Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay
The docks have been installed at Fox Point and are getting good use with most fishermen targeting walleye, jigs and minnows are the bait of choice. Perch were being caught south of the Long Tail Landings using jigs and wax worms with many small fish being caught. Fishing effort was low at Sunset Beach with only two parties fishing. – Kevin King – creel clerk
Manitowoc County – Snowmelt and recent rains caused a sharp rise in water levels that brought many steelhead up area rivers. Areas near the Shoto and Mishicot dams have concentrated fish. These stretches also have limited ice cover unlike many adjacent portions of river, which are unfishable because of ice. Anglers are catching fish with drifting presentations on fly and spinning tackle. The most productive lures are bright colored egg patterns, spawn sacks, or yarn flies. Fish are holding in deep holes or in areas associated with gravel. Because of the cold temperatures, water is being locked back up into ice and water levels are receding daily. The number of steelhead caught is also decreasing with the water levels. Some 30-plus inch fish have been caught. Fishing pressure was moderate to high, though it is tapering off. Ice fishing on Manitowoc Marina is still possible with anglers successfully targeting steelhead and browns. Both tip-ups and jigging presentations are catching a fish here and there. Fishing pressure is low on the marina. The stub piers in Manitowoc Marina are giving up a brown trout occasionally, though with the cold temperatures pressure is also low. Most fish being caught are browns from 3-5 pounds on spawn. No information on Two Rivers Harbor or piers. – Thomas Gerbyshak, fisheries technician, Mishicot
Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area
Door County – Along the Channel in Sturgeon Bay, fishing pressure was very low. On Little Sturgeon Bay, fishing was very slow. A few fishermen were targeting perch in about 38 feet of water and minnows were the main source of bait. Sand Bay was busy with fishermen targeting whitefish using maggots for bait. They were fishing in about 38 feet of water. Ice is still in good condition, but there is a lot of standing water on top of the ice (around 5-6 inches).- Elizabeth Turos, fisheries technician, Green Bay
Peninsula State Park – Snow depth varies with up to 10 inches on the trails. Cross-country ski trails are in very good to excellent condition. Trails were groomed March Tuesday. Snowshoe and hiking trails are in good condition. Please remember that hiking and snowshoeing are not allowed on ski trails. Snowmobile trails were open as of Wednesday. The sledding hill is open. – Jane Barnowsky, visitor services associate
Potawatomi State Park – Ski trails were groomed today. The groomer said these should be the best conditions of the entire year after the tracks firm up tonight. Snowmobile trails re-opened this past weekend. Another weekend of winter sports is in the forecast. – Lois M. Hanson, visitor services associate
Wautoma DNR Service Center area
Waupaca County – Snowmobile trails in Waupaca County are currently open. For a current version of snowmobile trails in Waupaca County please check out the Waupaca County website www.waupacacountyparks.com/SnowInfo.aspx (exit DNR). – Mark Schraufnagel, conservation warden, Waupaca
Snowmobile trails have re-opened in Waupaca County. It is advised that you check on their status prior to operating on a public trail system. Currently snow depth in the Waupaca area is well over 14 inches. Some spring bird migrants have been seen this past week, including northern harrier (marsh hawk) and sandhill cranes. Since the game fish season closed, there has been little fishing pressure on area lakes. However, ice conditions remain good in most areas. – Ted Dremel, conservation warden, Wautoma
No open water fishing report because there is no open water. Ice fishing reported as slow (gamefish closed) with 18-22 inches of ice currently on lakes in central Wisconsin. Turkeys are bunched up along roads and farm fields looking for something to eat, but 16-inches of crusted snow is not helping them out. Deer have been active all hour of the day looking for forage. It feels a lot more like January than late March. – Karl Kramer, wildlife technician, Wautoma
Hartman Creek State Park – On Monday, March 18, the park received approximately 2-3 inches of snow. The trails were groomed on Thursday, March 21 and are in fair condition. Portions of the ski trails may be icy. Please use caution when using the trails. Please call 715-258-2372 for updated information as trail conditions can change rapidly. The Deer Path trail, the area north of Hartman Lake, and Hillview trail system are open for hiking, walking or snowshoeing. – Fred Viste, ranger
Milwaukee DNR Service Center area
Havenwoods State Forest – Red-winged blackbirds arrived March 15, but they haven’t been seen for several days. Sandhill cranes are flying over. The robins that arrived early are hanging out in sheltered places where the snow has melted. On sunny days, they sit with their backs to the sun, trying to absorb some solar heat. If you venture out into the cold, be prepared for icy trails and head for the sheltered places. You will be most comfortable if you sit in a sunny spot with your back to the sun! – Beth Mittermaier, natural resources educator
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Lapham Peak Unit – Lapham Peak received about 2 inches of heavy, wet snow on Monday so all trails are snow covered and skiable. All trails were groomed and a new track was set earlier Wednesday morning. Skate lane conditions are excellent but skiers are warned that icy spots underneath the snow cover do still exist so use caution especially on downhills. The track is in good condition throughout, mostly due to the thin snow cover. The lights on the entire lighted trail loop will be on every night except Sunday while conditions last. – Brett Johanen, ranger
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit – The Zillmer ski trail received 2-3 inches of snow March 18. All loops were packed, groomed and tracked March 19. Couple icy spots to watch out for. Overall conditions for tonight and tomorrow morn are very good. – Reagan Arndt, ranger
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Southern Unit – The forest received 1-2 inches of snow March 18. McMiller trail was groomed and a new classical track set on Tuesday. In general conditions are good for both skate and classical skiers although the classical track is shallow in areas that have ice under the new snow. The entire Nordic trail except the “blue joiner” and red loop has been groomed with a classical track being set. Conditions are very good. The entire Scuppernong trail has been groomed and a double classical track has been set. Conditions are very good. – Paul Sandgren, property supervisor
Lake Michigan fisheries team report – Compiled from creel clerks by Cheryl Masterson and Jeffrey Zinuticz, fisheries technicians, Milwaukee
Sheboygan County – In Sheboygan this past week’s cold temperatures and stiff winds resulted in low angler numbers. For the most part the Sheboygan River remains unfishable due to ice flows and poor ice conditions. In areas where anglers are able to fish, some success for steelhead has been reported. The stretch below the Kohler Dam is open, and fishing there should continue to improve as flows drop. The Sheboygan Harbor at Deland Park is partially open, but a few anglers have been running tip-ups and jigging for the occasional brown trout or northern pike. Overall success rates remain low for most fishermen. The Pigeon River has a few open pockets of water while the rest of the river remains covered in ice. Ice conditions range from 12-plus inches of ice to a mere one inch of ice, so caution should be used when out. In both open water areas and areas of fishable ice the occasional steelhead has been caught. Overall the catch rate per angler rarely exceeds one fish per outing.
Ozaukee County – The Port Washington area has seen some successful fishing efforts this past week. While brown trout make up the majority of the catch, the occasional steelhead or sucker has also been caught. Most browns caught have been in the three pound range with a few smaller fish and some as large as eight pounds have been reported. Most fish have been caught from the warm water discharge area and on the harbor shoreline area. Anglers have been casting spoons, drifting minnows or spawn sacks, and running three way bottom rigs with spawn. A few fish have been seen running up Sauk Creek. Despite decent fishing conditions, overall angler effort has remained low on this stretch of water with low to no success.
Milwaukee County – In Milwaukee, strong northeast winds have limited the boats willing to go out and troll due to rough waves. McKinley Harbor is still completely frozen, but Riverfront and South Shore boat launches are clear of ice and open for launching. Those boats that did make it out were reporting a good number of lake trout being caught either jigging or trolling the gaps; however, trolling spoons for browns was very slow. Anglers behind Summerfest were reporting a few numbers of browns and rainbows caught by throwing crank baits or by using live bait such as medium golden shiners under a float. People fishing for perch did not report any caught in recent days. There were some people fishing for rainbows at Oak Creek, but fishing was very slow with only a few fish seen in the creek. Anglers at the Oak Creek power plant did report good numbers of browns and rainbows being caught on either live bait under floats or pitching white gulp into the current. The Milwaukee River is running very high with the recent snow melt and rainfall. The overall water clarity is relatively dirty, and the water level appears to be holding steady. The water temperature was approximately 32-34 degrees with sections of the river still frozen over. No one was seen fishing the Milwaukee River at this time. The Menomonee River remains at a normal water level with decent water clarity. The water temperature was approximately 32-34 degrees. Steelheaders were seen fly fishing at Miller Park and reported a few rainbows caught upstream of the stadium.
Racine County – In Racine anglers remained off the piers and shoreline for the most part. A few brown trout and steelhead were taken through the ice at Reefpoint Marina. The ice was soft and thin in spots around the docks but averaged 14 inches thick away from the docks. Spawn sacks and shiners on tip ups proved successful. The majority of the fish caught averaged three to four pounds. The parking lots at Pershing Park and Meyers Park boat ramps remain partially covered with ice and snow. On the Root River anglers had success taking steelhead near the base of the Horlick Dam over the weekend. The parking lot at the dam was busy on Sunday. Successful anglers were using spawn sacks and red flies. Anglers further downstream were active but had limited success. The water temperature in the Root River averaged 31 degrees. Flows have dropped on the Root after having been unfishable much of last week. The Root River Steelhead Facility should be up and running by the end of the week with our first steelhead processing day next week.
Kenosha County – In Kenosha fishing pressure has been relatively low, due in part to winter like weather conditions. A mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and strong winds along the lakeshore has made fishing difficult. Anglers had limited success at the mouth of the Pike River and at Petrifying Springs Park. The bait of choice at Petrifying Springs was a spawn sack on a slip bobber.
Plymouth DNR Service Center area
Theresa Marsh State Wildlife Area – A pair of bald eagles appear to be nesting in a new nest east of where their old nest blew down last year. Local flood waters have passed and water levels are back to season normal on Theresa, Allenton and Jackson Marsh. Lots of geese and sandhill cranes flying around and a few ducks. Muskrats are also moving around. – Tom Isaac, wildlife biologist, Hartford
South Central Region
Lower Wisconsin State Riverway – Cold weather still persists along the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. With all the rain last week conditions are very icy and caution should be used when venturing on the trails. Fishing activity has slowed due to the questionable ice conditions and the high water within the local trout streams. It is reported that the cold weather has slowed the walleye activity below the Prairie Du Sac dam and most anglers are waiting for warmer weather. – Matt Sequin, property manager
Dodgeville DNR Service Center area
Grant County – The recent change in the weather from spring melt to rain to snow, has dampened outdoor activities. The Mississippi River was on the rise, and for those that had a chance to visit the river at Cassville recently had seen a lot of floating ice and debris. The ice flows continue, but the water has cleared. Ice has broken away from the shoreline at O’Leary Lake, and made access impossible. Sauger and walleye fishing in pool 12 has been also been put on hold for the next few days to allow the large amounts of ice to pass through the area. Large amounts of trumpeter swans, Canadian geese, and waterfowl can be seen along the Potosi Point public access landing. Many diving ducks, including bufflehead, blue bills, scaup, mergansers can be seen in the open water near Cassville. – Richard S. DeWitte, conservation warden, Cassville
The Lower Wisconsin River had just opened up before the current cold snap. Now it is full of ice flows again. The backwaters had good solid ice in places, but it was getting thin and rotten near the edges. I suspect the poor muskrats are getting sick of being stuck under the ice. Some of their huts have been getting dug into by coyotes. Lots of mink and otter tracks are visible in the fresh snow, too. Sandhill cranes and Canada geese have returned to the backwaters and marshes. A few robins and blue birds have even been spotted. There was a turkey vulture near Woodman. Prior to the cold snap, there was an increase in raccoon activity. – Daniel Goltz, wildlife biologist, Boscobel
Fishing on the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers in Grant County was slow. Small panfish were being caught, but not in good numbers. The inland trout streams were very busy for the catch & release season, with anglers reporting many catches. The weather was very good. The ice is still at a safe thickness in most back water areas. However, one most always make sure the ice is safe in the area to be fished.- Martin Stone, conservation warden
Iowa County – Anglers are reported slow fishing in the area with the exception of Rainbow slough just north of Spring Green, where the bluegill have been biting. Antler shed hunters have been finding a lot of sheds on public land and are encouraged to report sick or dead deer that they may be seeing. Anglers are reminded to be very wary of spring ice conditions with all of the freezing and thawing we have had in the area lately. – David Youngquist, conservation warden, Dodgeville
Despite the frigid weather, male red-winged blackbirds staking out their territories. Sandhill cranes have been spotted in the area. Robins are being seen as well. Turkeys are starting to gobble. The area received between 2-3 inches of snow recently, which has now been moved around into large drifts by the high winds. Many trails are drifted across, especially in open and unprotected areas. Red fox pups are being born, fox and gray squirrel too. Many bird species typically begin arriving now, although this year may be late for many.- Travis Anderson, wildlife biologist, Dodgeville
Richland County – Winter conditions remain in the county area along with the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. Ice fishing activity is slowing along the backwaters as sloughs fluctuate with the ever changing Wisconsin River.- Michael Nice, conservation warden, Richland Center
Blue Mound State Park – Cross-country ski trails are open and in great condition. They were last groomed and tracked on Tuesday. Skate skiing is available in the campground and picnic area loops. For current up to date conditions, please call the park at 608-437-5711. Please note it is prohibited to have pets, hike, bike or snowshoe on groomed ski trails. A separate designated trail is open for these uses. – Kevin Swenson, park manager
Wyalusing State Park -Trails are snow and ice covered. Cross country ski trails will no longer be groomed this season. The ski trails are now open for hiking and snow shoeing. Bird Sightings near park office feeders include: juncos, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, goldfinches, cardinals, bluejays, red-bellied, downy and hairy woodpeckers, tufted titmice, purple finches, robins and red-winged blackbirds. Turkey vultures, a true harbinger of spring, arrived this week. Large flocks of turkeys can be seen daily scavenging for food in the farm fields near the park. Ice anglers are still fishing from the boat landing in the park. Please note: we do not monitor ice conditions.- Beverly Pozega, visitor services associate
Horicon DNR Service Center area
Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area – Winter birds are still being seen in the Horicon Marsh area including a snowy owl, rough legged hawks, snow buntings, horned larks and redpolls. Reports of some migratory waterfowl include goldeneye, tundra swans, greater white fronted geese, hooded and common mergansers. Sandhill cranes are being seen more frequently around Horicon Marsh as well. Red-winged blackbirds and a handful of robins have also been seen this week in the Dodge county area. – Elizabeth Herzmann, natural resources educator
Fitchburg DNR Service Center area
Columbia County – It sure doesn’t feel like spring, but wildlife are showing signs that spring is just around the corner. Turkey vultures were spotted soaring in the area this week, and bald eagles have been noted sitting on their nests. – Sara Kehrli, wildlife biologist, Poynette
Jefferson County – There have been numerous reports of migrating birds back in the area. Sandhill cranes, robins, red winged blackbirds, and several species of waterfowl can be viewed on area wetlands. There have been a few reports of turkey vulture sightings as well. Hunters should be pleased with the number of turkeys that are out and about. The youth turkey hunt is April 6 -7. Hunters ages 10-15 can participate in the hunt. Those hunters that have not yet completed hunter education can purchase a mentored turkey license. – Ryan Ellifson, conservation warden, Jefferson County
Lake Kegonsa State Park -Cross country ski trails remain open to skiing, but we are no longer grooming them this season. – Sarah Bolser, park manager
West Central Region
Baldwin DNR Service Center area
Willow River State Park – Four more inches of snow has added more to the ski trails. Yes, it is officially spring and skiing continues. Since most of the groomers are employed full time, it’s their call on when they can get here and how much they can do. We have one groomer committed to rolling trails sometime after normal working hours today. We’ll update here and on the skiing web site. We did hear from our Kinni groomer and he reported being unable to set track this afternoon in sunny areas. Skiing on groomed trails is on borrowed time. – Jeffrey L. Bolte, visitor services associate
La Crosse DNR Service Center area
Wildcat Mountain State Park – Approximately 4 inches of new snow fell Monday. Trials were groomed Wednesday. Hikers, snowshoers, and dogs are not allowed on groomed ski trails. All hiking trails are open, with some icy patches beneath the fresh snow. Pets are not allowed on the Hemlock Nature Trail and must be on a leash 8′ or less at all times in other areas. – Joseph K Fieweger, park manager
Black River Falls DNR Service Center area
Black River State Forest – The trails are remain open for snowmobiles for another weekend. Typically trails close on March 15.
Jackson County Forestry and Parks Department grooms and maintains all winter snowmobile and ATV trails in the state forest. Please check their websites for up to date trail conditions. All trails were packed and cleared of debris yesterday and we are planning on setting a track today. Conditions should be good for skiing. Enjoy them while you can. Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the forest, other than groomed trails. A new 1.5-mile snowshoe trail is available at the Smrekar trailhead. Additional trails for snowshoeing include the two mile Castle Mound trail and the five mile trail from Pigeon Creek to Smrekar Road. – Peter Bakken, superintendent
Eau Claire DNR Service Center area
Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area – Ski trail grooming has been suspended for the rest of the season. Snow depth is still good so skiing is still an option for people interested in breaking their owns trails. Many of the trails are one-way so please follow the signs. – Calvin Kunkel, ranger
Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area
Adams County – Snowmobile trails in Adams County are open as of Tuesday with 5 fresh inches of snow.
101 S. Webster Street . PO Box 7921 . Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 . 608-266-2621