A warm and tumultuous weekend, which saw multiple storm cells drop varying inches of rain across the state, mellowed as the week progressed. While southern counties saw highs in the low 90s over the weekend, the northern region dropped from 80, to lows as far down as 45 degrees in the past few days. As such, trails for your favorite outdoor adventure should be in great shape as we move towards the weekend.
Wisconsin River waters levels are running high again, with very few sandbars showing in the stretch between Wisconsin Dells and Portage. Models predict the levels to recede again by this weekend.
With more stable and consistent weather in the last two weeks, fishing success was pretty good for many anglers across the Northwoods. Smallmouth bass seemed to be the highlight of the past week, but musky action also continued to be good. Walleye fishing continued to be rather erratic, but there have been some decent catches reported. Panfish action has been fair, with bluegill and crappie found suspended near mid-depth structure.
On Green Bay, fishing pressure has been very high due to the outstanding walleye fishing in the last month. Anglers were still reporting decent catches of walleye but have found it to be slightly harder than in previous weeks. Smallmouth bass fishing still remains good throughout Door County and anglers have been catching good numbers of aggressive fish. Yellow perch fishing is beginning to pick up and anglers are reporting very good fishing in the Sturgeon Bay area.
Strong south winds and warm water temperatures slowed fishing on Lake Michigan. On Tuesday Aug. 16, waves were crashing over the south piers at both Kewaunee and Algoma keeping anyone from venturing out. Water temperatures are being reported in the mid 70s from the surface down to 100 feet and this has made it extremely difficult to find the fish. Once cooler weather from west winds blew through, near-shore angling for chinook improved markedly. Anglers in Kewaunee and Manitowoc reported a drop in salmon, with a slight increase in smallmouth and rainbow trout catch.
Many locations continue to report bumper crops of blackberries, but they won’t hang on forever. Turkey poults are nearing adult size and many turkey broods are being seen. White-tailed fawns still have fading spots, but are nearing the size of some does and bucks should start shedding their velvet any time now. Bear cubs are healthy, with glossy black fur and fat from berries.
Pond plants like yellow water lily, white water lily and pickerel weed are still in bloom. Wild rice is also ripening amongst the yellows and purples of the end of summer.
Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars are actively feeding on milkweed plants. Unlike monarch caterpillars which also feed on milkweed plants, these caterpillars are gregarious and often entirely defoliate individual milkweed plants, leaving behind skeletonized leaves. Adult milkweed tussock moths have drab pale brown unmarked wings and a yellow abdomen with black spots.
Warblers have begun their southbound migration statewide and other birds on the move include flycatchers, rose-breasted grosbeaks, scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, bobolinks, and nighthawks are on the move – watch for these zig-zagging aerial insectivores at dawn and dusk over the next three weeks.