View current conditions for Wisconsin State Parks, Trails and Forests
Check out the Wisconsin Department of Tourism (exit DNR).
Hot sunny weather has dominated outdoor activities in the last week, with many areas of the state reporting heavy recreational boating activity. Conservation wardens have been finding anglers and boaters illegally transporting aquatic plants, live fish and water away from rivers, streams and lakes. Boaters should follow the invasive species postings at landings and the rules in the fishing and boating regulations. That includes removing all lake weeds from boats and trailers and draining all water from boats and other equipment before leaving a landing to protect our waters for future generations.
With minimal rain in the last week, water levels continue to drop. Most flowages and natural lakes in the Northwoods have near normal water levels for this time of year. The North Fork of the Flambeau has finally dropped to normal summer levels. The Rock River has dropped and slow-no-wake restrictions have been lifted. Water levels have dropped significantly on the lower Wisconsin River and many sandbars are again exposed. However, with the recent hot spell, a major algae bloom has hit Lake Wisconsin hard. The northeast shore of Lake Winnebago has also been plagued early this year with algae.
With the nice weather, fishing pressure has been up in the north. Bass continue to provide the best action, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass now well settled into their typical summer patterns. Musky activity has stayed pretty good in the last week and most anglers have been reporting some consistent action along weed edges and amongst the less dense weed beds. Walleye continue to be hard to find, and panfish activity has dropped in the last week.
Walleyes were biting fairly well on the upper Wisconsin Dells last weekend with some moderate success also reported on Lake Wisconsin. Anglers on the Rock River have been catching good numbers and good sized catfish on stink bait.
On Lake Michigan and Green Bay, the bank reef out of Sturgeon Bay has been one of the best places for finding salmon. Anglers were also having success with smallmouth bass and walleye along the Door peninsula side of the bay. Out on the lake some very good trout and salmon fishing was reported out of Kewaunee with many boats reporting 10 or more fish on their morning trip. Action was improving out of Manitowoc as well. Action was slower out of Sheboygan, Port Washington, and Milwaukee, but remained fair to good out of Racine and Kenosha.
White-tail buck antler growth is progressing rapidly and antlers are now quite visible. Bluebirds are hatching their second clutch of eggs. Hairy and downy woodpeckers have been observed bringing their newly fledged young to suet feeders
Dragonflies are out in great numbers with their voracious appetites to rally against the mosquitoes. Their aerobatic flights are exciting to see as they are looking for a meal on the wing, defend their territory, and mate. Also plentiful are the delicate looking damselflies.
Blueberries are ripe in some areas of the north and will be at peak over the next week or two. The blackcap raspberries have ripened in the south and black berries are beginning to ripen. Blooming wild and prairie flowers include pearly everlasting, yarrow, whorled loosestrife, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, pale purple coneflower, purple prairie clover, coreopsis, hoary Vervain and common milkweed.
Wildflowers at DNR Green Bay Service Center.
Annette Weissbach Photo