Recent rains have added to high water levels across the state. The Wisconsin River is short on sandbars for the moment, but levels are dropping any may be near more normal levels by the weekend. That water will be welcome refreshment for those outdoors, as temperatures are expected to enter the mid-80s to high 90s. Mountain bike and all-terrain vehicle trails are wet and muddy and some may be closed so call ahead to check on trail conditions.
Erratic weather and strong winds throughout the past week had kept fishing pressure sporadic throughout much of the state. However, angling success for species from panfish to trout, musky to northern pike, has been improving. The mayfly hatch on some northern lakes has put-off the walleye bite some, but musky anglers have been out in pretty good numbers and nearly all have been seeing fish, with good number also being boated. Bass action has been generally good on northern lakes, with some very nice catches of largemouth being made in the last week. Panfish action has been very good in between the rain storms, with bluegill, pumpkinseed and crappie providing some excellent action. The bluegill nesting period is still occurring on many waters and some very nice fish have been found near the spawning beds.
On Green Bay, catch rates are on the rise along the east shore with anglers toward the end of the week into the weekend finding good numbers of hungry walleyes and the occasional yellow perch. Musky action was also good on the lower bay with multiple anglers catching 50-inch muskies. Walleye action also continued to be good along the west shore off Oconto and south to the Suamico River. Smallmouth bass anglers brave enough to battle the wind and waves along windy Door County shorelines did very well this past week with reports of 40-50 fish days.
Lake Michigan trout and salmon fishing is picking up with trollers reporting strong success for coho, rainbow and brown trout. Fishing pressure along the Milwaukee shoreline increased this week with a nice stretch of calm stable weather. Nice catches of coho salmon continue to be landed along with a few brown trout in the 5 to 6 pound range.
Greater numbers of does are dropping fawns and turkey broods are starting to band together and move about. Deer will be browsing for forbs or flowers in open areas, which provide the protein in their diet for antler and milk production. Velvet antler growth is now becoming quite visible on bucks. This is also the time of the “molt migration,” during which geese begin heading north for the summer, where they will spend time until returning in early fall.
Spiderwort, wood phlox, columbine and Canada mayflower are in bloom. Yellow lady’s slipper orchids are in bloom in Door County. Dragonflies, including the 12-spotted skimmer, common whitetail and dot white-face are being seen. Yellow swallowtail butterflies are numerous right now and a few monarchs have been observed. Crickets have responded to the temperature change and have been chirping songs of the coming summer.