Thursday, July 30, 2009

National Musky Open Expects Crowds of Competitors

Eagle River, Wisconsin - "More than 500 anglers are pre-registered and another 500 anglers are expected to register by tournament time for the annual National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River, Wisconsin, August 21-23, (2009)," according to Kim Emerson, Events Coordinator for the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.

"Over 1,000 anglers participated in this event in 2008 and we are looking forward to that many again this year," Emerson says.

"In 2008, entrants included 63 youth anglers and 65 husband & wife teams. Last year's anglers registered a record number of 193 legal muskies, with 49.5 inches being the largest fish caught and released," she adds.

"The National Championship Musky Open is a total catch and release tournament that provides great family fun for all ages and skill levels," she adds.

The annual event in Eagle River is put on by the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, along with Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin Inc.

"Any angler wishing to still enter this tournament can register on line at, or by calling the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at 800-359-6315 until August 1, 2009.

After August 1, 2009, registrations will be taken at the Vilas County Fairgrounds (Tournament Headquarters) starting Thursday evening, August 20, 2009. The cost is $50 if pre-registered by August 1, 2009 or $55 if registering at the tournament.

Registration includes a tournament hat and t-shirt and a chance to win a brand new 2009 Ranger Boat. Everyone who enters gets a chance to win a $20,000+ Mercury-Powered Ranger Boat with a RangerTrail Trailer and a trolling motor, whether you catch a musky or not!

For more information, contact the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (800) 359-6315 or visit .

Source: The Fishing Wire

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fishing Clinics and Learning Opportunities

If you are planning an event, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) [exit DNR] will promote all registered events through a national public relations campaign centered around National Fishing and Boating Week, the first full week of June. So also be sure to register your event with them, too!

August 6 - 16; Join Fisheries at the Wisconsin State Fair! [exit DNR]

Visit the Natural Resources Park area every day for fishing fun.

  • Get your cast on at the kids' fishing clinic, 3-5 p.m. every day.
  • Check out the large fish tank and get eye to eye with some of Wisconsin's most popular gamefish.
  • Learn how climate change might affect your catch and snag some solutions.
  • Follow the trail of the notorious northwoods fighter, the muskellunge. Learn how this sharp-toothed fish lured countless anglers deep into the woods for generations.
  • Learn about the musky's current (geographical) region, feeding habits, and habitat. Come find out where to catch the big ones, and where they like to hangout!
  • See photos of past and present GIANT musky.
  • Grab the camera. We've got a cardboard cutout of life-size anglers holding a giant musky. Come put your face in!

Saturday, August 15; 9th Annual Fishing Kids Jamboree, Lake Mills

6:00 am-3:00 pm; Lower Rock Lake Park, Lake Mills. The event is free and the memories will be priceless! Bring the whole family for this day of fun in the sun. Every child will receive a door prize just for participating. Three trophies for each age bracket will be awarded for the largest fish in each bracket. An overall largest fish trophy will also be awarded. To sign up and view the rules and regulations, visit Fishing Kids Jamboree [exit DNR]. Sponsored by Korzenowski Design and Claussen Funeral Home. Contact: B.J. Holzapfel [exit DNR]-->

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Port of Green Bay Webcam

Hey! Why not check out the web cam at the mouth of the famous Fox River in Green Bay, WI. The Fox is well known Nationally for it's Walleye, Musky, Catfish and so much more as it runs up to the Depere Dam. It has been the home of many recognized tournaments. The "Cam" is located near the Green Bay Yacht Club and you can get a perfect view of the Leo Frigo Bridge (formerly Tower Drive Bridge) as well.

There are those that say on certain very dark nights you can see a mysterious glow coming from above the Lambeau Field area.

Click Here to view Webcam

Catching fish with books

The most written about sport in the world is fishing. It’s not baseball, football or basketball, and fishing takes in more U.S. dollars than do those top three, in that order, watcher sports combined. There would be more fishing and hunting news in the newspapers if there was more gambling money invested in school tournaments. Fortunately, this is not yet rampant.

Many sports taught in our schools, both public and private, are not performed once students graduate. Schools are supposed to teach classes on things we will do as adults. In sports, it’s most likely we take up a sport that we’ll never do again after our schooling. Most spend their time playing football in school only to fulfill their pro football careers not on the bench but on the proverbial couch. Yet, these “ballgames” are the gambling sports and in the case of football, the sport getting the TV coverage, are bringing in the money to help support the hardly attended other sports operating in the red, such as soccer, tennis, golf, etc.

Golf, bowling and tennis are lifelong sports. Our favorite lifetime sport brings in the most Wisconsin tourists’ dollars after birding, which includes many anglers, and it is often not taught in schools. So we do our reading in a period I call “school afterlife.”

STEELHEAD FISHING ESSENTIALS; A COMPLETE GUIDE TO TECHNIQUES & EQUIPMENT by Marc Davis, Frank Amato Publications, Inc., $29.95, 168 pages with a 100 minute DVD. Steelhead provide plenty of action both in Lake Michigan and in the tributaries during spawning seasons. They are rated by many anglers as one of the best fighting freshwater fish, and they are tasty. Davis’ book puts anglers in the water with their quarry. The DVD brings in other experts along with Davis to show us the techniques, tackle, and fishing action as it really is.

THE GREATEST FLY FISHING AROUND THE WORLD; TROUT, SALMON, AND SALTWATER FISHING ON THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERS by various outdoor writers, with a foreword by noted fly fisherman and publisher Nick Lyons, and photography by R. Valentine Atkinson, The Lyons Press, $29.95, 328 pages. This is a full color, softcover tome that also doubles as a coffee table book. Many of the over 300 photos are breathtaking. The techniques and methods are quite usable in Wisconsin. There’s even an article from noted Western writer Zane Grey, who wrote numerous fishing articles. In this hefty book, we travel the world in search of the best fly fishing, and we bring back these techniques to take fish in Wisconsin. Have a good trip.

L.A. Van Veghel is an Examiner from Milwaukee. You can see L.A.'s articles on L.A.'s Home Page.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Carp Anglers Invited to Participate In Free Tournament

We are inviting our fellow carp anglers to take part in the first ever FREE INTERNATIONAL ONLINE CARP FISHING COMPETITION. While doing something you enjoy, carp anglers around the world can win prizes and gain international recognition.

Currently there are 61 anglers registered from nine different countries and these numbers are sure to grow in time.

As the list of registered anglers continues to grow, more sponsors are showing their interest as well. A company who has recently been added to the list of sponsors for the Eastern Region is CC Moore. Known for their collection of quality baits and supplies, CC Moore supplied a variety of items to the Eastern Region Prize Table.

Another company added to the list of sponsors for the Western Region isBank Fishing Systems. This American company is a supplier of the most innovative bank fishing equipment available in the U.S.

YOU SHOULD KNOW !! -- The TOKS Big Four International Prize Table is getting BIGGER as we speak and will continue to GROW with each passing contest. As the TOKS Big Four International evolves, carp anglers in the many different regions of the world will be given the same opportunity for winning prizes; making this competition fun and fair for everyone.

WORLDWIDE RECOGNITION !! -- There are several international magazines interested in highlighting the different regional winners. MORE NEWS TO COME IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!

NOW EXPANDING !! -- As a result of our growing list of sponsors, two more regions will be added to the TOKS Big Four International. Also, we will soon introduce the Winter Contest sometime this year. STAY TUNED FOR THIS !!


Check website here...

Collegiate Bass Fishing Benefits From Extreme Exposure on VERSUS

Almost 80 million households will have access to over 12 hours of collegiate bass fishing programming running through October when VERSUS begins airing 12 hours of collegiate bass fishing programming running through October.

Say what??

Terms such as "Texas-rigged worm," "Carolina-rigged lizard" or "wacky rig" are part of a bass angler's everyday lexicon. But to a beginner, the experienced anglers might as well be speaking Chinese.

The Texas rig is probably the most popular fish-catching innovation in the evolution of bass fishing. The term stems from Nick Crème and Crème Manufacturing, the company given credit for inventing the plastic fishing worm. Crème created a double-hooked plastic worm with a straight tail. He tied the hooks to a leader, and then added a couple of red beads and a propeller out front. People called it the "tourist rig" because it was so easy to catch bass with it.

The rig worked great in open water, but snagged logs easily. Crème introduced an improved version of this rig in 1964. He replaced the propeller with a slip sinker and a bead, and the double hook with one large hook. Crème imbedded the hook point into the worm to make it weedless. He called this the Texas rig.

The basic design hasn't changed much since.

The Texas rig shines for bass around stumps, submerged trees and in weeds, because the hook is nearly snagless and the sinker punches through the cover. A medium to medium-heavy rod with a stiff tip is needed to drive the hook point through the worm and get the fish out of heavy cover.

A Carolina rig is an evolution of the Texas rig. It employs a ½- to 1-ounce egg or bullet-shaped slip sinker slid onto the main line from the reel, followed by two red glass beads. Brass is the preferred material for the weight. Brass makes a better clicking sound than lead when it contacts the glass on the retrieve.

The main line is tied to a barrel swivel. An 18- to 36-inch leader of monofilament or fluorocarbon line goes on the other loop of the swivel. The leader material is usually a lighter pound test than the main line, such as a 17-pound test main line with a 12-pound leader. A wide-gap offset worm hook goes on the business end.

This rig is versatile because it presents soft plastic worms, jerkbaits, lizards, creature baits and even live bait to hungry bass. The heavy weight of the rig allows the angler to follow contours of the bottom while covering water quickly. The Carolina rig is highly effective for fishing large mud flats, channel drops, ledges, sandbars and submerged humps. It is the go-to bait for many bass anglers fishing deep water, especially in summer and early fall.

You can also toss a Carolina rig onto a brush-covered flat or in the middle of a large weedbed. The heavy sinker on the front of the rig punches through the weeds and brush down to the bottom with the soft plastic bait hovering just above it. This method works wonders for bass on Kentucky Lake.

The wacky rig is a departure from both the Texas and Carolina rig. Several theories abound on the origin of the wacky rig, but one of the most often cited involves two novice anglers bass fishing one of the large reservoirs in Texas. They didn't know how to thread a plastic worm onto a hook properly, so they impaled the middle of their Crème Scoundrel worms and let the ends dangle. The worms hung on the hook like a clown's frown.

The pair threw their worms over weedbeds and caught large bass after large bass. When they returned to the dock, a couple of onlookers asked how they did. The two anglers opened their livewells and showed off some huge bass. The onlookers asked what they caught them on and the anglers held up their funny-looking worm rigs.

After some mighty guffaws, one of the onlookers exclaimed that it was the wackiest looking rig they'd ever seen. This was the birth of the wacky rig.

The wacky rig is great for fishing docks and up and under overhanging or flooded trees because you can skip it across the water. The undulating action of the worm drives a bass hanging under a dock or in a flooded tree crazy.

Soft plastic jerkbaits such as the Senko work great for this technique. They also draw strikes fished over weedbeds or stumps by pulling the worm up and allowing it to flutter back down.

Don't let terminology stand in the way of learning to fish for bass. Get out this summer and toss one of these rigs in a lake near your home. You'll soon become addicted.

-- Lee McClellan
McClellan is an award-winning associate editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, the official publication of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He is a life-long hunter and angler, with a passion for smallmouth bass fishing.

Source: Fishing Wire

Georgia Combo License Allows Fishing and Hunting For One Low Price

SOCIAL CIRCLE, GA-- Have you heard of some of the new recreational license opportunities, such as early renewal discounts, multi-year licenses, stacking licenses and combo licenses? All of these new options are a way to accommodate the needs of hunters and anglers in the State, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division.

For those potential hunters and anglers that are not yet ready to make an annual license purchase - the 3-day combo license allows for hunting and fishing privileges for only $3.50.

Combining hunting and fishing opportunities not only offers a convenience to the sportsman - but can also save money. Before, Georgia offered only a 1-day resident fishing license for $3.50 and a 1-day resident hunting license for $5.50. Now, potential hunters or anglers can buy a license that will last for 3 days for the same cost of the old 1-day fishing only license. That gives value to the license by increasing the number of days and includes fishing privileges on wildlife management areas and on public fishing areas.

Sales of hunting and fishing licenses and boat registration provide key financial support for fish and wildlife conservation. For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Plan updated to address threats to Great Lakes water quality

MADISON – Wisconsin’s roadmap for protecting and restoring its Great Lakes waters has been updated, and state officials hope it will put Wisconsin in the drivers seat for the $475 million President Barack Obama has proposed for 2010 for Great Lakes ecosystems.

“We’re pleased to see the president has put in substantial funding to restore the Great Lakes,” says Todd Ambs, who leads the Department of Natural Resources water-related programs. “His proposal recognizes the hard work of Governor Doyle and the other Great Lakes governors who helped shape an unprecedented collaboration that went into developing a blueprint for protecting and restoring these national water treasures.”

“By updating our own state strategy we hope to show how Wisconsin will meet those national goals. The state will then be in a strong position to get more federal dollars to addres water quality concerns impacting the Great Lakes.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting in Milwaukee on July 21 on the $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the funding plan for recommendations for restoring the Great Lakes. The meeting runs from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Milwaukee City Center, Wisconsin Room, 611 W. Wisconsin Ave.

The initiative would provide funding to carry out recommendations developed through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration [] (exit DNR), which brought together states, federal agencies, tribal nations, industry, conservation organizations and individuals to create a national blueprint for protecting and restoring the Great Lakes.

Wisconsin developed a parallel and complementary strategy with specific goals and recommendations for Wisconsin’s Great Lakes waters. The 2009 Wisconsin Great Lakes Strategy: Restoring and Protecting Our Great Lakes, outlines an ambitious plan calling for a collective effort to address the major threats to these valuable resources. It lays out key priorities to:
  • Stop the introduction and spread of non-native aquatic invasive plants and animals.
  • Enhance fish and wildlife populations by restoring and protecting wetlands, rivers, streams and associated uplands.
  • Promote programs to protect human health against adverse effects of pollution in the Great Lakes ecosystem.
  • Restore to environmental health the Areas of Concern (AOCs) identified by the
  • International Joint Commission as needing remediation and other contaminated sediment sites in the Great Lakes Basin.
  • Control pollution from diffuse sources into water, land, and air.
  • Continue efforts to eliminate the introduction of toxins into the Great Lakes ecosystem that can build up and cause problems for decades to come.
  • Adopt sustainable use practices that protect environmental resources and enhance the recreational and commercial values of our Great Lakes.
  • Standardize and improve the methods by which information is collected, recorded, and shared within the region.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

“Fish Sticks” to benefit fish in Bayfield County

BAYFIELD –Call it the piscatorial Field of Dreams.

Mere months after felled trees were dragged across the ice on Upper Eau Claire Lake as part of a grassroots partnership to restore fish habitat in the near-shore areas on this lake, hundreds of fish are using the trees.

Underwater photos taken earlier taken this month show a young muskellunge swimming past two tree trunks on the lakebed, a school of panfish darting through branches, and the dark stripe of bluntnose minnows.

“These trees are a piece of the fishery habitat puzzle that has been missing for quite a while and I am excited by the early indications of success,” says Scott Toshner, the Department of Natural Resources fish biologist working on the project. “Hopefully, we can get enough waterfront landowners involved so that we will see positive benefits to the lakes fishery as a whole.”

This year, the Eau Claire Lakes Property Owners Association and the Eau Claire Conservation Club are working with Toshner to find willing property owners to let them place more trees in the shallow water in front of their property on Upper, Middle and Lower Eau Claire lakes.

They learned recently that their “Fish Sticks” project will receive $15,000 in federal funding through the Glacial Lakes Habitat Restoration Partnership. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to expand the project,” Toshner says.

The Eau Claire Chain project grew out of an earlier project on Bony Lake, another lake in the same chain, where property owners in 2007 launched one of the largest shoreland habitat restoration efforts in Wisconsin.

The next year, the Eau Claire Conservation Club got involved on Upper Eau Claire Lake, and 2009 saw a continued effort on Bony, Middle Eau Claire and Upper Eau Claire lakes by the club, the property owners and the DNR.

To date, 395 trees have been placed in Bony Lake, where there were only 89 pieces to begin with. Upper Eau Claire has added 98 trees and Middle Eau Claire, 49 trees.

“These trees are very important habitat because they provide refuge, forage, cover and spawning areas for pretty much every fish in the lake for at least part of their life cycles,” Toshner says. “The turtles, ducks, kingfisher, otter, mink, beaver and other wildlife are using it at the same time.”

For this year’s Eau Claire chain lakes project, the property owners association mailed out to its members a brochure the group helped Toshner develop. Members have also been talking the project up. So far, a handful of property owners have stepped forward, and Toshner expects that to increase.

He meets with interested property owners, explains more of the process to them, and if they still want to continue, works with them to sign an agreement that they will not remove down trees from their property and will keep the ones placed in their shallow water. In late summer and early fall, Toshner will meet with the property owners again to mark where they want the complexes of two to eight trees to go. In winter, heavy equipment operators place the trees on the ice in the proper spots. The conservation club helps with the logistics of getting the trees harvested and to the proper site on the ice.

“The volunteer effort on this project is quite simply what makes this go,” Toshner says.

Wisconsin project gets federal funding for fish habitat

Partnerships’ progress puts them in funding line

MADISON – The first of what’s hoped to become a steady stream of federal money to restore fish habitat is helping expand a grassroots effort on Bayfield County’s Eau Claire Chain of Lakes.

The $15,000 in federal funding will enable the “Fish Sticks” project partners – the Eau Claire Conservation Club, the Eau Claire Property Owners Association, Bayfield Land and Water Conservation Department and the Department of Natural Resources -- to expand their work with willing landowners to place trees from upland sources in shallow water in front of their properties. The trees will provide important spawning habitat for fish, insects for them, and hiding places in areas where much of this critical habitat had previously been removed.

“This is great news,” says Mike Staggs, fisheries director for the Department of Natural Resources. “We’ve got a project funded and the promise of more.”

Hoping to emulate the success of a long-running partnership to benefit waterfowl and hunters that restores open water wetlands, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has recently launched their North American Fish Habitat Action Plan [] (exit DNR).

“The idea is to bring together people at the local and regional levels who want to help improve fish and aquatic habitat,” Staggs says. While government agencies are often important players in the partnerships, the local interest is critical.

Partnerships of public and private entities can apply to a National Fish Habitat Board for formal recognition, which allows them to get in the short line for federal funding from a variety of sources. As of March 2009, there were 10 formally recognized partnerships [ (exit DNR).

So far, Wisconsin is part of two formally recognized partnerships, and part of three more “candidate” partnerships now working toward formal federal recognition, Staggs says.
  • The Eau Claire Chain Lakes “Fish Sticks” project is a project under the Glacial Lakes Habitat Restoration Partnership [] (exit DNR) that was formally recognized earlier this year. The $15,000 in stimulus money going to that project is the first federal money the partnership has received.
  • The Midwest Driftless Area Restoration project has been formally recognized as a partnership and has successfully secured more than $1 million in federal funding in recent years, most of it through the federal Natural Resource Conservation Service. [] (exit DNR).
  • States, tribes, federal agencies and non governmental agencies in the Great Lakes region are working now toward submitting later this summer an application for federal recognition of the Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership [] (pdf; exit DNR). President Obama has identified $1.5 million in the $475 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in his proposed 2010 budget to go to the partnership as seed money for that group.
  • Wisconsin is participating in the Fishers and Farmers [] (pdf; exit DNR) effort, a partnership to work with landowners to add value to farms while restoring aquatic habitat, both on site and downstream on the Mississippi River. Approved projects are led by landowners, with flexible cost-share funding and technical support provided by conservation partners.
  • Wisconsin recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to participate in a developing national reservoir habitat partnership. Many aging reservoirs (sometimes called “flowages” in Wisconsin) need habitat improvement and Wisconsin hopes to secure additional federal funding through this partnership, which is seeking recognition later this year.
Staggs serves on the steering team for the Glacial Lakes Habitat Restoration and Reservoir partnerships and longtime DNR fisheries management staff are assigned to focus on each of the partnerships.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chapman Lake at Stanley to be drained for bridge & dam construction

EAU CLAIRE – A complete drawdown of Chapman Lake at Stanley will occur over the next few weeks to accommodate the rebuilding of both the County Hwy. O bridge and the Stanley Mill Dam, officials report.

Both the aging dam and the connected bridge are in poor condition. The drawdown is necessary so both can be removed and replaced.

Located in Chapman Park on Stanley’s west side, the dam creates Chapman Lake, an impoundment of the Wolf River in eastern Chippewa County. The original dam was authorized in 1880. It was rebuilt in its present form in 1967.

The existing dam lies partly beneath the County O bridge. The new dam will be moved to the upstream side of the new bridge. This will allow for two separate structures.

The lake level will be lowered no more than six inches a day – allowing fish and other aquatic creatures time to adjust – until the sill of the dam is exposed. The sill is about 6 feet below normal water levels. The drawdown will take about two weeks. Most of the fish in the lake will escape my moving up or downstream. Downstream flows will be monitored to keep the river within its banks. Any remaining water in the flowage will stay in place until the bridge and dam are removed as part of construction.

The project is slated to begin sometime after the middle of August and should be completed before winter.

Because the city might dredge the exposed sediments, Chapman Lake might not be refilled until the spring of 2011.

Mastodon tooth found in trout stream

FITCHBURG - A Grant County trout stream has given up the tooth of a mastodon, an enormous, elephant-like mammal that roamed southwestern and southeastern Wisconsin during the Ice Age.

The 8.5 inch long tooth was discovered earlier this month by a Department of Natural Resources heavy equipment operator working on a trout habitat improvement project. The DNR stopped work upon the discovery, but resumed late last week after being cleared to do so by a state archeologist.

Cale Severson was working on repairing a stream bank washed away by recent flooding and found himself in a "river" of rock scattered around the valley floor. “I noticed something really odd in that pile -- seeing just two of the five cusps (of the tooth) -- and realized it probably was not a rock at that time,” he says. “I grabbed it, and out came the 8.5 inch long molar.”

“It was truly an amazing find and a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Severson, a longtime member of DNR’s South Central Region’s trout habitat crew.

Severson called regional fishery supervisor Scot Stewart, who stopped work on the project. Work resumed late last week after Wisconsin Historical Society archeologist Sherman Banker examined the site and tooth.

Banker concluded that the find was not significant. No other bones or other artifacts were found near the tooth that might have shed more information on the animal.

“We don’t know where it came from,” says Banker, part of the society’s Division of Historic Preservation. “It got washed out of wherever its primary context was and came to rest on a pile of eroded rock. There is nothing to be learned from it other than it came from a juvenile mastodon.”

However, Banker says, mastodon finds are extremely rare in Wisconsin. “These things usually come to light every 15 to 20 years,” he says. “They have to have died in conditions conducive to being buried so scavengers don’t tear the carcasses a part.”

The remains of a large mastodon found by two children near Boaz in 1897 represent a well known Wisconsin find. The subsequent discovery in 1962 by a UW-Platteville geology professor of two spear points that may have been recovered with the Boaz mastodon created the first substantial evidence in Wisconsin that linked the Paleo-Indians with the hunting of mastodons, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society Web site.

The Boaz Mastodon is on display at the UW-Geology Museum and there is a road marker near where the boys made their discovery.

During the glacial period, mastodons were believed to have roamed over much of North America, from the Gulf of Mexico to New York and northwest to Alaska. Mastodons were smaller than mammoths and similar in size to modern-day elephants, with a height of 7 feet for females or 10 feet for males and a weight of up to six tons, according to the San Diego Natural History museum Web site.

Adult mastodons had molars that featured distinctive, cone-like cusps and gave the animal its name. The word mastodon is derived from the Greek ("mastos" for breast and odon(t) for tooth, according to the Web site.

Mastodons became extinct some time after the last North American ice sheet, and archaeologists do not know whether huge climatic changes around 8,000 years ago doomed the mastodons, or whether, as some have theorized, they were hunted to extinction, Banker says.

Wisconsin and Iowa agree to slow-no-wake zone at McGregor

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN – A half mile stretch of the Mississippi River at McGregor, Iowa, has been designated as a slow-no-wake zone for all recreational vehicles.

The slow-no-wake zone will be enforced between mile markers 633.4 and 634, directly in front of the City of McGregor, in Iowa. The rule applies on both the Wisconsin and Iowa sides of the channel.

Both sides of the navigation channel are now marked with white buoys carrying orange lettering that indicate a slow-no-wake. The upstream side of the zone begins at the north end of Boatels Marina. There is a large, white, slow-no-wake sign on a pier and slow-no-wake buoys on each side of the channel. The down stream side, at the southern end of the McGregor Marina, is also marked with buoys.

A slow-no-wake zone has been in place on the Iowa side of the river for several years to protect the two marinas in the McGregor area. In 2007 the Town of Bridgeport in Crawford County, Wisconsin, was approached to enact a similar ordinance restricting boat speed and wake in order to further protect the marinas from damaging boat wakes.

The Town of Bridgeport passed an ordinance consistent with the State of Iowa rule.

On June 30, 2009 the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved a waterway marker permit that, in conjunction with the Sate of Iowa’s slow-no-wake zone, makes the entire width of the Mississippi River in this section slow-no-wake.

“Through the years both the McGregor Marina and Boatels have sustained damage not only to their piers but to customer’s property from the ever increasing size of the vessels and their wakes,” said Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Burt Walters.

“The day before the buoys were placed on the Wisconsin side, a young boy was thrown into the water from a pier because of a boat’s wake” Walters said.

Wisconsin DNR conservation warden Mike Cross defines slow-no-wake speed as the slowest possible speed the vessel can be operated while maintaining steerage.

“Basically, it is idle speed,” Cross said.

Boaters should notice a line of buoys placed adjacent to and parallel with the navigation channel of both sides of the river.

“If you are travelling up or downstream and there are slow-no-wake buoys on your left and right side, you are in the slow-no-wake zone,” Cross said.

Fish, frogs, raptors and loons a recipe for fun at Minong Lakes Fair

MINONG – Organizers of the Minong Lakes Fair will be cooking up some fun at the Minong Town Hall on July 25. The recipe for the day includes frogs, fish, some live raptors, a Wisconsin conservation warden and loons. Toss in a free pig roast with all the trimmings at noon and enjoy the feast.

The Lakes Fair starts at 9 a.m. with keynote speaker Department of Natural Resources’ Northern Region Director John Gozdzialski talking about “Remedies for Lakes”. He will be followed by programs on rules of conduct for lake users, frogs, lake fisheries, raptors and other animals, and loons. Visitors can take in booths on wooden lure carving, small boat building and restoration, fly casting, aquatic invasive species, the Wisconsin Public Trust Doctrine and maintaining clean boats to insure clean and healthy lakes.

The free pig roast starts at noon and the event ends with a 50/50 raffle drawing.

"We have combined many fun things to do along with information about fish, birds, animals, and water quality,” said event organizer Tony Tubbs. He added the event is free and open to the public and is especially designed for the whole family.

The Minong Town Hall is west of Minong on Nancy Lake Road a few miles off County I.

Input session planned on Fox River & Lower Green Bay “Area of Concern”

DNR and US Environmental Protection Agency to host

GREEN BAY - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the United States Environmental Protection Agency will host a public input session for the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern on Thursday July 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Center Auditorium.

In the 1980s, Lower Green Bay (out to Long Tail Point and Point Au Sable) and the Fox River below the De Pere Dam were listed as one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern by the International Joint Commission of Canada and the United States.

Areas of Concern are places where contaminated sediment, poor water quality, or habitat problems affect the use of the waterway such that it needs priority attention. Goals or targets must be set, and then met, for each of the problems before the area can be considered restored. The end goal is for all of the Areas of Concern to be restored and protected so that they can be “delisted,” or removed from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern.

The purpose of this public input session is to share information about problems in the Area of Concern and restoration goals (known as “delisting targets”) that have been developed to address them. Input received at the session will be included in the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern delisting targets report that will be finalized in the summer of 2009.

Problems identified in the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern are related to: fish and wildlife habitat, populations, health, and consumption advisories. Other populations including plankton (free floating plants and animals) and benthos (bottom living plants and animals), nutrient pollution and undesirable algae, beach closings, aesthetics, and restrictions on drinking water and dredging.

Identifying the restoration goals for each of the problems is only one step in removing Lower Green Bay and Fox River from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. “The process will take time and commitment, and like most of the other Areas of Concern, restoration is still in progress, “ said John Perrecone, RAP/AOC Program Manager for the US EPA Great Lakes National Programm Office. Of the 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern designated in the United States and Canada, only three have been delisted and two more are considered in recovery.

Hookers go fishing

By: Milwaukee Fishing Examiner, Lawrence Van Veghel

Hooks were a fantastic, fishing world invention. No longer did sport anglers have to rely on a fish getting a wedge stuck in its throat or deeper. Catch and release had few fish that lived. Anglers had no idea how cutting the line would help the survival rate of released fish.
Commercial anglers used nets.

Before the wedges, sport anglers relied on a fish keeping something in its mouth or swallowing a small fish tied with a long manmade string, such as horse hair, to bring in a bigger fish. Many were lost just because the fish opened its mouth. Spearing was the method by the entire human race.

We now have all kinds of hooks. For pike, many anglers prefer the circle hook. More and better hook sets are made, and the hook can be set earlier. This prevents pike from swallowing the hooks, which in turn eliminates much of the yanking on the guts of the fish and killing it. Bloody guts are not the way to release a fish. Consider it dead, and consider it useless for future spawning.

Plastic worm users for largemouth bass, and now more often with 4 inch worms for walleyes, have hook styles beyond comprehension. There are weighted hooks, bent hooks, colored hooks, wide shank hooks, Kahle hooks, jigs, which are hooks with their own weights, vertical and horizontal presentation hooks, via the positioning of the hook eyes, bait holder hooks, and I’m sure some new ones that are being invented as this is being read.

Large hooks having a strong backbone are used when fishing in aquatic plants (weeds) for largemouth bass, pike and muskie. You want a hook that won’t straighten when you rear back on your rod. The hook should “rip” through the plants. Don’t continue the retrieve. As on the Beverly Hillbillies, let the bait “set a spell.” This is a short period where any gamefish under the weeds at stalk level will hammer your offering. These fish, including walleyes, rarely see baits under the weed canopies. Sure, you’re always cleaning the weeds from your baits; you are fishing where fish live. Fishing in open and clear water has fish so scattered that finding a productive pattern is difficult. It’s like fishing immediately after the thermocline collapse when lakes homogenize. The main difference is the murky and smelly water during homogenization.

The biggest hooks for our freshwater fishing are used for lunker pike, muskies, and by those who live bait fish on Lake Michigan. You want sharp hooks, but they must be sturdy. A big fish can easily straighten a thick wire hook.

Lawrence Van Veghel is an Examiner from Milwaukee. You can see Lawrence's articles on Lawrence's Home Page.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Berkley Trilene Transoptic Wins Best Line Award at 2009 ICAST New Product Showcase

Berkley Trilene TransOptic has been awarded the Best Line Award on Wednesday at the 2009 ICAST show.

After four years in development, Berkley has designed a nylon monofilament line that captures UV rays to physically change the line's color, making the line a hi-vis gold above the water and transparent below the surface where the UV rays are filtered out. The color-changing line benefits anglers that spend their days watching their line for the subtlest of bites. Anglers see the line, fish don't.

"Four years ago we saw a need for a line that benefited anglers that needed a monofilament that could be watched," said Berkley Product Manager, Clay Norris. "Through efforts with our product innovation team, we were able to come up with the technology to harness UV rays to change the color of nylon monofilament above water. Our team has worked extremely hard to be the first to produce TransOptic."

With superior knot strength, tough abrasion resistance and extra shock resistance, Berkley Trilene TransOptic is perfect for flipping, pitching, jigging and any application that calls for a hard hook set. Being a monofilament, the line is easily managed for a wide variety of baits and techniques.

Available in pound tests ranging from 4 to 25 pounds on 220-yard spools, Berkley Trilene TransOptic has an MSRP of $8.95 to $10.95. 2000-yard service spools are also available from 6 to 25-pound test.

BASS and BoatUS Angler Announce Alliance

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - The nation's leading bass fishing organization and recreational boating association have teamed up to give bass anglers a bunch of benefits that will help them get the most out of their trailerboat angling. The new BASS and BoatU.S. Angler alliance announced today will give BASS members the opportunity to join BoatU.S. Angler - part of the nation's largest recreational boating association - for only $12.50 annually. In addition, the alliance offers BoatU.S. Angler boat insurance with additional policy features available only to BASS members.

"This alliance gives BASS members access to benefits, services, and discounts they would not normally have with their regular membership," said BoatU.S. Angler Director Mike Pellerin.

With BoatU.S. Angler membership, BASS members have access to BoatU.S. Angler insurance policies with additional features at no cost, including $1000 in coverage for a boat trailer, and a lower deductible for electronics and trolling motors. This comes on top of $5,000 of equipment coverage for tackle, automatic tournament liability coverage and reimbursement of entry fees if an incident prevents attendance, and generous cruising areas that don't require having to call for an extension when fishing far from home. BoatU.S. also offers fishing guide policies.

BASS members can get a free quote at .

BASS members will also get $50 of on-the-road towing coverage for getting a disabled fishing boat trailer or tow vehicle to a repair facility, $50 of on-the-water towing coverage for the boat which is provided largest towboat fleet in the country, 24-hour nationwide dispatch service, discounts on fuel and repairs at over 900 marinas nationwide, West Marine store discounts, a new online bait and tackleshop locator offering discounts, a subscription to BoatU.S. Angler Magazine, and more.

"With our 24-hour dispatch service for on-the-water and on-the-road breakdowns, you'll never worry if a friend will be able to come get you and bring you back to the launch ramp, tow you to a repair facility or put you safely back in your own driveway. We are there for you 24-hours a day," Pellerin added.

Winds of change coming to Hurricane Lake

Winds of change are headed for Hurricane Lake in Cottonwood County, thanks to a habitat improvement project led by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Ducks Unlimited (DU) and Ann Township.

Once a quality waterfowl lake, the 225-acre shallow lake located within the Hurricane Wildlife Management Area has become seriously degraded in recent years due to high water levels, an increasing rough fish population and nutrient-laden run-off. The project involves installing a water control structure on the WMA that will allow for periodic lake drawdowns, then re-establishing aquatic vegetation.

“Without healthy aquatic vegetation, a shallow lake will soon become turbid and be of little value to waterfowl and other wildlife species,” explained Randy Markl, DNR wildlife manager at Windom.
“Drawdowns are an effective strategy for restoring aquatic plants and improving water quality in shallow basins.”

An over-population of undesirable fish species in wetlands and shallow lakes can disturb the aquatic ecology of these systems by consuming aquatic vertebrates, excreting nutrients, and causing turbidity that impairs water quality.

Temporary drawdowns can create fish winterkill conditions where needed and also give lake bottom soils a chance to dry out, solidify, and bind nutrients, providing an excellent substrate for plant growth.

DU conducted an engineering study for the project and designed the water control structure and an underground pipeline to handle water discharge from the lake. Adjacent landowner Ken Engen donated an easement to the DNR to install the pipeline, while Ann Township gave permission to replace a failing culvert under a township road to facilitate outflow.

The culvert will be replaced first, followed by work on the structure. The drawdown is expected to begin sometime in August and the lake could be dry by this fall. While the total drawdown will continue at least through next summer, water levels will continue to be held low until aquatic vegetation is established.

Jon Schneider, DU manager of Conservation Projects for Minnesota, applauded the joint effort to restore yet another shallow lake in the state’s prairie pothole region. “We have worked often and successfully with the Minnesota DNR on projects of this nature over the years,” Schneider said. “The Hurricane Lake project is just one more example of what private and public organizations can accomplish when they pool their resources and work cooperatively.”

Stepped-up invasive species enforcement results in citations and warnings

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers recently issued about a dozen citations and several warnings in the Mille Lacs area. Most citations were for transporting aquatic macrophytes and failing to drain water.

The CO’s also distributed educational materials in a stepped-up effort to reduce the spread of invasive species that threaten native fish and wildlife, and water recreation.

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport invasive aquatic plants and animals, as well as water from waterbodies infested with zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas. Violators could face fines up to $500.

“We hope these citations and warnings will raise awareness that this state looks at invasive species very seriously,” said Capt. John Hunt, DNR water resource enforcement manager. “Once a species like the zebra mussel gets into our waters, it’s very unlikely we can eliminate it.
That’s why prevention is critical.”

The increased enforcement effort will include a greater presence at public water accesses, where officers will look closely for violations. Officers will also give out informational cards, which explain laws on transporting infested water and aquatic invasive species, to all boaters.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of aquatic hitchhikers.

The key steps are to clean, drain, and dry boats and equipment:

Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other aquatic animals from boats, equipment and trailers before leaving the water access. Drain water from bilges, live wells, and bait containers before leaving the water access.

Dry boats and equipment for five days, or spray with high pressure and hot water before transporting to another lake or river. The zebra mussels can be unintentionally transported on boats and trailers because they can remain alive while being transported out of water, and they attach to boats, aquatic plants, and other objects.

Intercepting invasive-contaminated boats at landings is just a small part of the solution, Hunt noted, because it will take the combined efforts of citizens, businesses, visitors, and other law enforcement agencies to contain the spread of these harmful species.

“Any success in controlling the spread of invasive species will rely heavily on boat owners taking responsibility for their boats,” Hunt said. “It’s important that they know what to look for and thoroughly clean their boats.”

For more information on zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species, see And, for more information on ways to help stop aquatic hitchhikers go to

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Video from Fish for Kids events

Fish for Kids holds free fishing events for kids every year during the summer. Events are currently held in Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. Kids will learn the basics of fishing, have fun with kids their own age, and walk away with free fishing gear! Fish for Kids is also a fun family event since parents are encouraged to participate with the kids.

Check out their website at:

State of WI Public Meeting - Slow No Wake - Winnebago County

August 6 - Pursuant to §§ 30.77(3)(2r), and 227.01(3)(a) Wis. Stats., the State of Wisconsin Division of Hearings and Appeals will hold a Class 1 contested case public hearing n the matter of the objection of the Tri-County PowerBoat Alliance to the Slow-No-Wake Ordinance Number B 10 for the Town of Wolf River Waters Enacted by the Town of Wolf River in Winnebago County, Wisconsin at 10 a.m. in the Airport Conference Room (Located on the Main Floor) at the Wittman Regional Airport, 525 West 20th Avenue, Oshkosh. On April 27, 2009, the Town Board of the Town of Wolf River, Winnebago County enacted a slow-no-wake ordinance to regulate boating upon the waters of the Town of Wolf River. The Department of Natural Resources received a request for hearing objecting to ordinance number B 10 from Attorney Richard J. Carlson, on behalf of the Tri-County Powerboat Alliance on March 30, 2009. For more information call the Division of Hearings and Appeals(608) 266-7709.

Follow Wisconsin fish management activities on Twitter

MADISON – Be the first to find out where the fish are biting, when seasons open, upcoming events, and other fisheries news when you follow "fishwisconsin" on Twitter.

The Department of Natural Resources fisheries management program is using the social networking tool to give people instant access to all kinds of information about Wisconsin’s fish, opportunities to catch them, and how DNR staff and partners are working to make fishing even better, says DNR fisheries section chief Dennis Schenborn.

“We hope that anglers, guides, resort owners, bait and tackle retail outlets, and people interested in fish or fishing will find this service useful,” Schenborn said.

To sign up, visit [].

Root for the home team giveaway winners announced

MADISON – A Nekoosa man has won the top prize in a Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Association of Lakes (WAL) giveaway aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species and VHS fish disease.

Steve Scarbury will watch the Sept. 5 Brewers game against the San Francisco Giants from a luxury suite in Miller Park, thanks to his name being drawn in the Root for the Home Team giveaway sponsored by DNR and WAL.

Scarbury, who lives on Lake Camelot in Adams County and is a member of the Tri-Lakes Management District, was among 740 people who took an online pledge committing them to follow key prevention steps. The three-week promotion ended July 5 and winners were selected in a random drawing July 6, 2009.

"We want to thank all the anglers and boaters who help prevent invasive species from getting a foothold in our beautiful lakes by taking these simple prevention steps part of their summer fun,” says Tami Jackson, WAL director of communications.

Four more prizes were given to pledge takers whose names were drawn. Bob Leick of Paddock Lake won a trolling motor; Outdoor writer Kevin Naze of Algoma won a fish locator; Chetek Lakes Protection Association officer Donald Freeman of Chetek won a handheld GPS, and Chris Hayes of Lisle, Ill., snagged a spincasting combo, tacklebox and bait bucket.

Karl Scheidegger, the fish biologist who leads DNR’s fisheries outreach team, said the giveaway promotion was one of several efforts DNR and partners launched before the July 4 holiday – the busiest boating weekend of the year -- to increase awareness of and adherence to the prevention steps.

“We want to thank WAL for helping make this a successful promotion – and we also want to salute each and every boater who took the pledge, they’re lake guardians all,” Scheidegger said.

August 1 deadline for upriver sturgeon permits

OSHKOSH – Sturgeon spearers have until Aug. 1 to apply for the 2010 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing drawing. Applications can be made through the Online Services link of the Department of Natural Resources Web site or can be purchased at any Department of Natural Resources license vendor.

Participation in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season -- on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan -- is limited to 500 people, with participants drawn through a drawing. Those people selected in the drawing will be notified by Sept. 1 that they are authorized to buy a license to participate in the Upriver Lakes season and must buy that tag by Oct. 31, 2009.

Spearers who applied for but are not authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes license receive a preference point toward the next year’s drawing, and can still purchase a license to participate in the Lake Winnebago spearing season that runs at the same time. Licenses for the Winnebago season must be purchased by Oct. 31, 2009, as well.

In 2009, 4,031 people applied for the Upriver Lakes drawing, and the DNR sold 10,239 licenses for spearing on both Winnebago and Upriver lakes. The 2009 season ran five days on the Upriver lakes, and the Winnebago system season was open three additional days.

The growing popularity of the two seasons – there’s been a 20 percent increase in spearing licenses in recent years -- and recent research work showing that lake sturgeon mature more slowly than originally thought underscore the importance of using a drawing to manage the harvest on the Upriver Lakes, according to Ron Bruch, senior sturgeon biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“The Upriver Lakes have had exceptionally high success rates: two of every three spearers get their fish compared to Lake Winnebago, where only one of eight get their fish;” Bruch says.

Plus, the fish found in the Upriver Lakes in the winter when the spearing seasons occur are a mix of adult migrants from Lake Winnebago staging in the Upriver Lakes before completing their run upstream in spring to spawn, and juvenile fish that are not mature yet. These juvenile fish may measure 36 inches or more, making them large enough to be legally harvested.

Research that Bruch and his Lake Winnebago based fisheries crews have been conducting is showing that it takes even longer than originally believed for lake sturgeon to fully mature. “We found that both male and female lake sturgeon experience a long protracted period of maturation.”

Females begin to mature at 48 inches -- about age 21 – and halfway through the maturing process at 55 inches or about age 27. All females are finally fully mature at 60 inches, about age 33. Male lake sturgeon first begin to mature at around 40 inches --about age 14. The fish are half way through the maturing process at 47 inches, or about age 20, and 100 percent mature when they are 56 inches or about age 30.

“The bottom line to all of this is it takes a long time for lake sturgeon to mature; and then all of the fish of specific age class won't be mature for another 11 to 16 years - all the more reason to manage harvest of this species very carefully,” Bruch says.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Date: 7/18/09
Event Type: Fishing Tournament/Fisheree Location: Okauchee Lake
Contact Email: DOB@ISP.COM
Contact Phone: (262) 567-0977
Web Site:
Details: Sat. July 18 Best weight of 3 Bass Starts 6 AM Ends @ 12 noon $25 entry fee includes food and prizes after weigh-in Free Kids 12 & Under Division Dock of the Bay Pub/Grill/Beverage Center N51 W34950 Wisconsin Ave. Okauchee, WI 53069 262.567.0977

Musky Tale Resort's Mega Bass Shoot Out


Bill (email: info @



Dates: 8/28/09 - 8/30/09
Event Type: Fishing Tournament/Fisheree
Location: Chippewa Flowage
Contact: Bill
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: (715) 462-3838715
Web Site:
Details: Bass Tournament. Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Musky Tale Resort on Lake Chippewa Flowage. Call (715)462-3838 or visit our website at for more information

Dave Duwe on seasonal patterns of Lake Geneva at The Okauchee Fishing Club



Event Type:

Fishing Club Event


Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S. 92nd St, West Allis, Wi




Glenn Furst

Contact Email:


Local guide Dave Duwe will share his knowledge of the seasonal patterns on Lake Geneva, Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at The Okauchee Fishing Club. ( Meeting is held at the easy to get to Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S 92nd St, West Allis, Wi (2 blocks south of Greenfield) and starts promptly at 7:00PM. Guest always welcome for $4. Come share up to date fishing reports with club members and expand your knowledge of this great close to home lake.

Wally Banfi on Walleyes & Muskies


Glenn Furst (email: glenn1st @



Wally Banfi targets Walleyes and Muskies on the Madison Chain at The Okauchee Fishing Club

Date: 9/15/09

Event Type: Fishing Club Event

Location: Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S. 92nd St, West Allis, WI

Details: Guide Wally Banfi will share his experience and knowledge on targeting fall Walleyes and Muskies at The Okauchee Fishing Club ( September 15th. The meeting starts promptly at 7PM at the easy to get to Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S 92nd St, west Allis, Wi (2 blocks south of Greenfield). Guests always welcome for only $4. Share current fishing reports

John Reddy Targets Walleyes


Glenn Furst (email: glenn1st @



John Reddy targets Walleyes on Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan at The Okauchee Fishing Club

Date: 9/01/09
Event Type: Fishing Club
Event Location: Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S. 92nd St, West Allis, WI
Contact: Glenn Furst
Details: John Reddy will share his years of knowledge and experience on targeting Walleyes on Lake Geneva and Lake Delavan at The Okauchee Fishing Club ( September 1st. The meeting starts promptly at 7PM at the easy to get to Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S 92nd St, West Allis,Wi (2 blocks south of Greenfield). Guests always welcome for only $4. Expand your fishing knowledge and also share up to date fishing reports with club members. A great raffle with premium fishing equipment is also held every meeting.

Michaels Landing 11th Annual Walleye Tournament


Michael or Tammy, (608) 339-9926


Dates: 10/09/09 - 10/11/09
Event Type: Fishing Tournament/Fisheree Location: Castle Rock Lake
Contact: Michael or Tammy
Contact Phone: (608) 339-9926
Details: walleye's only.....rules meeting will be at 8:00pm on Friday October 9,2009. Sign up start's at 6:00pm.......start time on Saturday October 10,2009 will be at 7:00am boat check will start after 6:00am and weigh in will be at 3:00pm......start time on Sunday, October 11,2009 will be at 7:00am... boat check starts after 6:00am and weigh in will be at and door prize will be after weigh in.

Jayson Schenker on fishing the Madison Chain at The Okauchee Fishing Club

Date: 8/18/09
Event Type: Fishing Club Event
Location: Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S. 92nd St, West Allis, WI
Contact: Glenn Furst Contact

Details: Jayson Schenker will share his secrets of catching walleyes to panfish on the Madison Lakes at The Okauchee Fishing Club ( August 18th. The meeting starts promptly at 7PM at the easy to get to Knights of Columbus Hall, 1800 S 92nd St, West Allis, Wi (2 blocks south of Greenfield). Guests always welcome for only $4. Share up to date fishing reports with club members and participate in a great raffle!

At Yellowstone Lake State Park: DNR to hold boating safety course starting July 24

BLANCHARDVILLE – The Department of Natural Resources is offering a boating safety class at Yellowstone Lake State Park beginning Friday night July 24.

Classes will run from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on July 24 and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. Participants will meet at the Yellowstone Lake State Park Shop. A hands-on boating course will be held on Saturday, July 25, with boats to be provided.

Participants will receive a boating safety certificate upon completing the course. State law requires persons born on or after Jan 1, 1989 and at least 16 years old to have a boating safety certificate to operate a boat. Children age 12 to 15 must either have a certificate or an adult on board while operating a boat.

The class, which costs $10, will be led by DNR conservation warden Jeff King, Darlington. Interested persons are encouraged to pre-register by calling warden King at 608-482-2263.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of July 9, 2009

Northern Region Northeast Region Southeast Region South Central Region West Central Region

Wisconsin enjoyed some very pleasant weather over the July Fourth holiday weekend that brought out many people to enjoy the state’s lakes and rivers. Following a cold spell at the end June, water temperatures on some northern lakes had dropped back down into the 60s, but with the warm-up over the weekend, water temperatures returned back into the 70s.

Conditions have remained very dry, with most of the state receiving less than a quarter of an inch of rain in the last week. The northeast in particular remains very dry with lake and river levels low. The Bois Brule River in Douglas County was running at a record low this week. Vegetation in the area is also showing signs of the drought, with grasses along roadsides looking more golden than green and trees showing early signs of stress. Fire danger levels moved into the moderate level across much of the state, and wildfires were reported this week in several different areas.

This increase in water temperatures spurred on bass activity and anglers have continued to see good action. Musky action has also improved with the warmer weather and many anglers have reported a lot of follows. Some decent catches are also being made, with most fish in the mid 30-inch range and a few up to 44 inches being reported. Panfish success has also been good, with crappies found on deep weed edges or suspended near any mid-depth cover. Some bigger bluegill were still being caught in shallower water and some even have been noted to still have eggs. It appears that with the cold spring and late warm-up of the water, some panfish and bass may have foregone spawning this year. Walleye action slowed on Lake Winnebago this week, but perch fishing picked up.

Along Green Bay, both walleye and perch anglers were out in good numbers this week, but action was spotty. Anglers took advantage of the nice weather this past week to get out on Lake Michigan with some very nice fish being landed from the northern harbors. Anglers trolling for trout and salmon were the most successful in the early morning or in the late afternoon, with mixed catches of chinook salmon, rainbow trout and a few coho salmon. Action was slower along southern Lake Michigan with trollers out of some harbors struggling to find fish while other reported chinooks, coho, lake trout, and rainbows scattered in anywhere from 45 to 400 feet of water. In Milwaukee anglers have caught perch both from piers and boats.

Water levels on the Mississippi River also continue to be low. The river was at 7.2 feet this week at Prairie du Chien. Boaters need to use caution when operating outside of the main navigation channel as many submerged obstructions now pose significant hazards. The lower Wisconsin River is also low, with many sandbars now exposed for camping.

Reports of turkey and grouse broods are becoming more numerous. Monarch butterflies are being seen.

Summer wildflowers are now in full bloom with white wild indigo, spiderwort, harebell, prairie larkspur, butterfly weed, coneflowers, common yarrow, bouncing bet, hoary alyssum, sweet clovers, Queen Anne's lace, fleabanes, elderberry, hawkweed, common yarrow, lanceleaf coreopsis and common milkweed are currently blooming. Wild parsnip, stinging nettle and poison ivy are also out, so outdoor users should take appropriate precautions.

Educators Chart Course for Great Lakes Curricula

Madison 7/10/2009 — Washburn, Wis., will be a port of call for 15 teachers and environmental educators from around the Great Lakes region July 11-12, as part of an educational workshop cruising Lake Superior aboard the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) research vessel, R/V Lake Guardian. The group is spending a week on the water, conducting research alongside scientists while learning about ecological processes and lake systems. Their goal is to integrate current Great Lakes research into their curricula and programs.

“Understanding Great Lakes and ocean sciences is key to making informed decisions on coastal and ocean management and personal stewardship issues,” said James Lubner, education coordinator for the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, who helped organize the workshop. “COSEE Great Lakes is engaging educators, both formal and informal, in ways that will enable them to more effectively give their students a deeper understanding of our inland seas — the Great Lakes — and their influence on our quality of life and our national prosperity.” Workshop participants came from as far away as Ohio, with three Wisconsin educators representing Elkhart Lake, Spring Valley, and Clintonville.

Highlights of the week include firsthand experiences with Lakes Superior's ecology, geology, geography, weather, and biogeochemical processes. Educators from the Wisconsin and Minnesota Sea Grant programs, along with EPA staff from Chicago and Duluth, Minn., are facilitating the expedition, assisting participants in gathering research data on aquatic organisms and water quality, and helping translate the onboard experience into meaningful classroom lessons with an emphasis on human impacts and parallels between Great Lakes and ocean systems.

The Guardian left Duluth on July 7, followed the North Shore of Lake Superior, crossed to the waters off Michigan's Isle Royale, and then traversed open water to rendezvous with researchers on the Keweenaw Peninsula. On July 11 and 12, it will stop in Washburn, Wis., where participants will kayak in a coastal wetland with representatives of Northland College.

The expedition, “Shipboard and Shoreline Science,” is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sea Grant Program through the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Great Lakes.

Washburn Itinerary:

Saturday, July 11
  • 4:00 PM Arrive in Washburn; shore leave
  • 6:00 PM Dinner
  • 8:00 PM Lecture: Sturgeon conservation and restoration

Sunday, July 12

  • 8:00 AM Lecture: Coastal wetlands
  • 9:00 AM Tour: Fish Creek system (Ashland) with sampling (secchi disks and seining)
  • 12:00 PM Lunch (Ashland)
  • 2:00 PM Lecture: Lake physics and climate change (Washburn)
  • 4:00 PM Sample processing
  • 6:00 PM Dinner
  • 8:00 PM Depart Washburn

Follow the educators around Lake Superior at More information about the cruise is at

Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations Fall Meeting Notice

October 17, 2009 Statewide anglers’ Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations’ meeting at Walleyes For Tomorrow, Inc., 224 Auburn, Fond du Lac, 9AM to 3PM, Saturday. All Wisconsin anglers, fishing club members, DNR fishing related personnel, sport fishing businesses, and outdoor writers should attend. Member clubs must send representatives. Contact Ted Lind, president, at (414) 466-4898 or

WCSFO represents the anglers’ viewpoints directly to the DNR. New member clubs, individuals and fishing related businesses are always invited to join WCSFO.

Milwaukee Area Great for Angling

One of the great things about the Milwaukee area is its access to fantastic fishing. While many waters are crowded, due to being within the highest density of fishing license holders in Wisconsin, there are other waters having less pressure than some of the famous “up north” waters. Activity is low on Pickerel, Army, Lulu, Booth, and countless others. The trick is learning the secret to gaining access. Every species the “up north” angler seeks inhabits some lake or river near Milwaukee, and more. By bordering Lake Michigan, Milwaukee and neighboring counties bring even more species to anglers’ boats. Salmon and trout, some of which are really char, are added to the livewells.

In the Milwaukee area waters, you can fish for anything from the #1 Wisconsin panfish, the bluegill, to Lake Michigan’s powerful and fast Chinook salmon and hard fighting steelhead, otherwise called rainbow trout, and to the mighty musky, the state’s gamefish.

Nagawicka, in Waukesha County, is the most fished per acre lake in our state. It produces good pike, dandy walleye, and plenty of panfish, including bluegills, crappies and yellow perch. There are no boat liveries (rentals), yet plenty of anglers launch in the park on the east side of the lake.

2,493 acre Pewaukee, just east of Nagawicka, is home for numerous fine muskies. Traditionally anglers only fished in the daytime for these large predators, but night fishing is beginning to produce muskies, plus walleyes and bass. Many years ago, Joe Ehrhardt caught a 50# musky during gun deer hunting week. He was planning on panfishing in the Madison area, and he and his partner changed their minds. The fish would’ve officially weighed over 50#, but Ehrhardt didn’t realize he had a line class, world record fish. So, on the next day, the fish was officially weighed. It had lost some weight due to evaporation, but it was still just a shade under 50#.

Other near to Milwaukee counties offering great fishing include the small lakes and ponds of Ozaukee County. These waters feature panfish and largemouth bass. Some of these small waters have stocked walleyes.

Washington County has both small and large lakes, plus smallmouth action in the Milwaukee River. Big Cedar serves nice bass and occasional large northern pike. I’ve enjoyed many hours catching bluegills on live bait and Dick Smith Panfish Grubs, largemouth bass on black Mr. Twister spinnerbaits, and pike on trolled crankbaits such as Shad Raps. Not only is trolling excellent in the summer, especially where you find inside turns having healthy, outside edge aquatic plants, but it makes hot, humid and windless summer days more bearable.

South of Milwaukee, Racine County’s waters present panfish, pike and largemouth bass. Wind Lake, for example, also has walleye on its angling menu. The Racine Quarry is stocked with trout, and the Root River, which runs alongside this deep, manmade pond, is excellent for river run fish from Lake Michigan.

Kenosha County offers lakes similar to those in Racine County, and the Pike River is home to river run fish. Yes, Milwaukeeans, it is okay to go south to catch fish. Why not? It’s closer, and gas is no longer a bargain.
We’ll have plenty to discuss regarding the diverse Milwaukee area fishery. The seasons change fish locations and depths. Sun angle does that too. Temperatures move fish around in the lakes, and ice is another factor. We will look at moonlight, high and low pressure systems, rising and falling barometers, and all kinds of other things related to fishing. With my 34 years in area instructional fishing clubs, my experience fishing some tournaments and fisherees, and my 33 years as a published outdoor writer, we can draw on this vast collection of information, and both you and I will learn and relearn all about fishing in the Milwaukee area.Now, go and make sure your hooks are sharp. It’s time to go fishing.

Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd., Joe Ehrhardt’s near 50#, line class musky from Pewaukee Lake.

Webmeister Note: This article was written by Larry Van Veghel. You can see more of what he has to say at: Milwaukee Fishing Examiner

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd

A Multispecies Club

July 13: Jim Ritchie, DNR Access Coordinator, "Lake Access Issues As They Pertain To Anglers." Wisconsin Fishing Club, Ltd

Price: FREE!

Time: 7 PM

New Location: Yester Years Pub and Grill, 9427 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, 414-476-9055

Contact: Dan Freiherr, Treasurer, (414)464-9316

Jim Ritchie is the DNR's access expert for our local waters, be they DNR or private launches, car top or walk-on sites. DNR launches are free, yet numerous free, expensive real estate frontage DNR launches were given for zero bucks to communities only to have the communities charge for launching. Some community launches, such as Delavan's at $10.00, are expensive. Others, like Beulah's, are a long way from parking locations. Even more, such as Army, Boothe, Pickerel, Kec-Nong-Ga-Mong (Long), Dyer, Dwyer, Five, Turtle, the Genesees, Upper Nashotah, Little Cedar, Wind, Tichigan, etc. have few or no public parking places or accesses, and an ever-growing number like Lauderdale, Potter, Pleasant, Denoon, Lulu, Mendota, Monona, Delavan, Como, Nagawicka, Oconomowoc, LaBelle, Fowler, Pine, Browns, Waubeesee, Tichigan, Army, Okauchee, Denoon, Silver, 515-acre Eagle, Red Cedar, Upper & Lower Kelly, Ashippun, Racine County's Long, the Milwaukee lagoons, the Racine Quarry, and massive Geneva, do not offer fishing boat rentals. Ritchie has the DNR's tough job of attempting to handle this quagmire. Come and gain insight into the problems and solutions to launching in Southeast Wisconsin. How can we, as anglers, help this situation? How can the DNR help us?

Fishing reports, fishing equipment raffle, plus a full food menu before and during our meetings.

Carpool with angling friends and relatives. We talk FISHING. And we welcome new members. See Dan Freiherr to join

2009 - Our 43nd year

Wind Lake Water Level Meetings

Anglers should voice their opinions or only the riparians will have their say:

August 31 – A public hearing in the matter of the application of the Racine County Drainage District to modify the order setting water levels or flows on Wind Lake, Town of Norway, Racine County will be held at 10 a.m in the conference room at the Racine County Sheriff’s Patrol Station, 14116 Washington Avenue, Sturtevant. The hearing will continue through September 4.

For information contact the Division of Hearings and Appeals at (608) 266-7709.

Reissued guidance for safe household pharmaceutical management

MADISON – Pharmaceuticals collected at household pharmaceutical waste collection facilities or events will continue to receive relief from some state regulatory requirements for another two years, under a decision issued by the Department of Natural Resources. This includes those pharmaceuticals collected, confiscated or otherwise taken into possession by law enforcement officials.

In June 2006, the DNR issued an enforcement discretion memorandum that conditionally exempted household pharmaceutical waste from the state’s hazardous waste and solid waste rules. Based on the continued interest and success of pharmaceutical collection efforts across the state, the department decided to renew this exemption. The exemption applies specifically to pharmaceuticals collected at household pharmaceutical waste collection facilities or events, as well as those collected, confiscated or otherwise taken into possession by law enforcement officials.

“Properly disposing of unwanted pharmaceutical waste helps protect public health and the environment,” said Joanie Burns, chief of the DNR Hazardous Waste Prevention and Management Section. “Requiring law enforcement agencies/offices to comply with stringent hazardous waste requirements intended for large or permanent waste collection sites could ultimately discourage household pharmaceutical waste collections.”

Pharmaceutical collection events are one important tool for ensuring proper management of these substances. In recent years, the ability to hold pharmaceutical collection events in Wisconsin, and to collect unused pharmaceuticals at local police departments, has depended in part on the DNR granting a limited exemption to the state’s hazardous waste rules.

The enforcement discretion memorandum is available through the Waste and Materials Management Program page of the DNR Web site.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Need Your Help: Public Hearing Scheduled on AB 138, Natural Resources Board Appointment of DNR Secretary

Dear Conservationist:

This is it ! We all have worked hard and Assembly Bill 138 restoring the DNR Secretary appointment authority to the NRB has 68 cosponsors, including a majority of the Assembly and a majority of the Senate. The Governor is still sounding reluctant about signing the bill and that is why this public hearing is so important.

To get this critically important measure passed, we will need very strong support from the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, the full Assembly, the Senate Natural Resources Committee and the full Senate. We need to have AB 138 land on the Governor's desk with a two-thirds majority in both houses, a sufficient margin to override a potential veto.

The next key step is to have a huge turnout of citizens at the public hearing held by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. Please plan on attending:

Public Hearing on AB 138---Tuesday, July 28th at
11:00 am in Room 417 North, State Capitol

Wisconsin citizens have repeatedly shown their strong interest in restoring the appointment authority of the DNR Secretary Board to the Natural Resources Board. Please make sure that your voice is heard at this public hearing! If you personally cannot make it, please arrange for a member of an organization that you are affiliated with to be there to either speak or register in favor of AB 138.

At last years public hearing on a similar bill, there were 142 conservationists in support of the measure. We will need the same large turnout in order to send the message to legislators and the Governor that this is the year this bill must become law.

It is important that every area of the state be represented so that committee members from throughout the state know that this is important to the voters in their legislative districts.

If you have any questions, please contact me by email: or phone-- 608-516-5545.

See you on July 28th !

George Meyer
Executive Director
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New video shows how to avoid common VHS rule violation

Keep fish healthy, avoid a ticket

MADISON – A new public service announcement [VIDEO Length 00:41] is now available online to demonstrate to anglers an important but too often overlooked step to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease, zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species to new lakes and rivers.

The 30-second video can be found on the Department of Natural Resources Web site and it shows how anglers, before they leave their shore fishing spot or boat landing, should put their catch on ice and drain water out of the container that had been holding their catch. VHS rules require the draining of water from boats, containers and fishing equipment and prohibit moving live fish away from a lake or river except for leftover minnows bought from Wisconsin bait dealers and transported away under certain conditions.

DNR Chief Warden Randy Starks directed DNR staffer Mary Farmiloe to create the spot after warden reports that too many anglers were leaving for the day with their live catch in a bucket full of water.

“We're hoping that by demonstrating what it looks like to comply with the law through this video, we'll get better voluntary compliance,” Stark says. “Our experience is that once people understand what it is they need to do, most people voluntarily comply. We intend to step up enforcement efforts with those who choose not to comply.”

A fall 2008 University of Wisconsin Badger Poll: Boaters and anglers taking steps to prevent spread of invasive species (Dec. 9, 2008) showed that while people did a good job overall in taking the steps necessary to prevent the spread of VHS fish disease and aquatic invasive species, only 58.6 percent of respondents said they never move live fish away from the lake or river where they are fishing.

DNR steps up invasive species enforcement in Alexandria area beginning this weekend

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is increasing enforcement efforts to prevent the transportation of aquatic invasive species from several lakes in the Alexandria area in west-central Minnesota.

Additional conservation officers will target these areas during peak weekend use in an effort to protect resources and educate boaters and anglers about zebra mussels that were discovered in Lake Le Homme Dieu, part of the Alexandria chain of lakes, in late June.

The following lakes have been selected for enhanced enforcement surveillance:
  • July 3-5 - Alexandria chain of lakes (Douglas County)
  • July 10-12 - Lake Osakis (Todd and Douglas counties)
  • July 16-18 - Otter Tail and West Battle Lakes (Otter Tail County)
  • July 24-26 - Minnewaska (Pope County).
Minnesota’s water resources are threatened by numerous aquatic invasive species such as the zebra mussel, Eurasian watermilfoil and purple loosestrife

“Invasive species can be easily transported from one lake to another, but taking some simple precautions can minimize the risk,” said Capt. John Hunt, DNR water resource enforcement manager.

Hunt offered boaters these suggestions:
  • Draining bait buckets, bilges and live wells before leaving any water access is a good habit to develop.
  • Removing aquatic plants and zebra mussels from boats and trailers to prevent the spread of invasive species is required by law.
  • Draining all water, including pulling the drain plug, is required by law when leaving waters that have been designated as infested with spiny water fleas or zebra mussels.
Officers and watercraft inspectors will hand out materials to educate boaters and anglers so that they take more responsibility in preventing the spread of invasives when they transport their boats from lake to lake.

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, other prohibited species.and water from infested waters. Violators could face fines up to $500.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DNR offers water safety tips for holiday weekend

People are heading to the beaches, lakes and pools around Minnesota looking for a little relief from soaring summer temperatures and humidity.

Unfortunately, as cool and refreshing as it may look, water can be a killer.

“Many people are ready for some fun in the water,” said Tim Smalley, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) boat and water safety specialist. “But people need to remember that even though water is fun, it can be deadly to the careless or clueless.”

The DNR offers these tips to help make it a safer summer in Minnesota:
  • Wear your life vest when boating. Most boat-related drownings happen to people who can swim, but aren’t wearing life vests at the time of the accident.
  • If you are going to watch fireworks from your boat, make sure your running lights are working before you leave the dock. Switch them on at sunset. There are collisions every year after fireworks shows because a boater didn’t check their lights before dark.
  • Drowning is often silent, occurs within minutes, and often when help is nearby. Don’t bury your head in a book at the beach or pool when children are near the water. Watch them the whole time. Children can slip away and escape your notice - and they are unable to cry out for help while they are drowning.
  • Take swimming lessons and make sure your children do too. Many local parks and recreation departments, community schools and the American Red Cross offer swimming lessons, even for adults.
  • Don’t swim from a boat anchored in deep water without a life vest no matter how good of a swimmer you think you are.
  • Swim with a buddy. Even adults can get into trouble in the water and if no one is there to help, drowning can be the outcome.
  • Swim in a designated swimming area with lifeguards whenever possible and do not swim outside the swimming area markers.
  • Don’t rely on plastic arm “floaties,” inner tubes or water toys to save your child’s life.
  • Those items may deflate and can slip off. The only flotation device your child should be using is a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest. Recently-approved child’s models include bathing suits with built in life vests.
  • Know how to rescue a drowning person without putting yourself at risk. Throw a floating object or extend something like a paddle, towel or other item to the victim, so if they start to pull you in, you can release it to try another form of rescue. Only attempt a swimming rescue if you are properly trained in lifesaving techniques.
  • Call 911 in an emergency. You can always cancel your call if it turns out to be a false alarm.
  • If a person has been totally submerged in water and then recovered, insist they seek medical attention. A small amount of inhaled impure water can cause severe lung infections and even death if untreated.
  • Learn child and adult CPR.
  • Alcohol and water don’t mix. Booze and beer are two of the greatest dangers while swimming or boating. And never drink alcohol while supervising children.

For more tips on boat and water safety, call the DNR at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367; or e-mail

New ‘move-over’ law for boaters effective July 1

A new Minnesota law requiring boaters to stay clear of enforcement watercraft with their emergency lights flashing goes into effect on July 1. The so-called move-over law is intended to provide the same protection for watercraft enforcement officers as similar laws do for police, State Patrol and other emergency response personnel.

The new law states, “When approaching and passing a law enforcement watercraft with its emergency lights activated, the operator of a watercraft must safely move the watercraft away from the law enforcement watercraft and maintain a slow-no wake speed while within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.”

“Waves generated by other boats speeding nearby makes it difficult and dangerous for emergency responders in watercraft. They must be able to render aid safely to an injured victim in the water and perform their other enforcement duties,” said DNR Enforcement Chief, Col. Jim Konrad. “The move-over law will help ensure the safety of officers and the boaters they contact.”