Saturday, January 22, 2011

2011 Spring Hearing Information

SUBJECT: Congress Matters: Wisconsin Conservation Congress 20 II Spring Hearing Advisory Questions
TO BE PRESENTED BY: Rob Bohmann, Conservation Congress Vice-Chair

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress will present their 20 II advisory questions to the Natural Resources Board . The questions have been approved by the Congress Executive Council for inclusion on the Spring Hearing Questionnaire and will be used to gauge public opinion on an array of natural resources issues. The questions will be presented to the public for their input at the joint DNR Spring Hearings and Conservation Congress County Meetings held in each county of the state on Monday, April 11, 2011.

Click Here… to see 2011 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Advisory Questions

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations (WCSFO) announces Club Spring Meeting

The Spring Meeting of the Wisconsin Council of Sport Fishing Organizations is scheduled for March 19, 2011 at 10:00 A.M.


The meeting will be held at:


Gander Mountain

6939 S 27th St

Franklin WI

A meeting agenda will be posted at a later date.

The N.E.W. Sport Fishin’ Show

March 4-5-6, 2011

ShopKo Hall, Green Bay

NEW Fishing Show LogoThe N.E.W. Sport Fishin’ Show covers it all, from stream trout to lake trout, pan fish to bass and salmon in addition to muskies. The anglers of Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula enjoy an unrivaled variety of fishing opportunities! Tons of tackle, destinations, boats and motors and seminars makes the FISHIN' SHOW the sure cure for cabin fever! The Fishin' Show continues to offer the best where-to, when-to and HOW-TO info for the thousands of multi-species anglers who attend annually.

4th Annual Battle on Bago

Make Plans to Fish the 4th Annual Battle on Bago

February 25th – 26th at Menominee Park, Oshkosh, WI

Tournament participants may begin fishing at 6am on Saturday, February 26th on Lake Winnebago only. Each participant may register one fish per ticket with no limit to number of tickets an individual can purchase. All state battleonbago2011regulations and bag limits apply to this rule and no person may bring in more than the legal limit of fish allowed which include: Walleye, panfish (perch, bluegills, crappies), whitebass or burbot (eelpout).

Cash prizes will be determined by the weight of a single registered fish. In the event of a tie, the first fish registered with the same weight takes priority so participants are encouraged to weigh fish as early as possible. Otter Street Fishing Club will be handling the weigh-in with two scales in order to expedite the weigh-in process. All participants must be in line at Menominee Park no later than 1:30pm. Prizes will be awarded by 4pm and you do not have to be present to win. Cash prizes will be mailed within 7 days.

Click Here… for more information about Battle on Bago

Wisconsin Fishing Club Meeting–January 24

clip_image002Jan. 24- Gene Schmitt, Do-it Pro Staff and WFC member, presents how-to make your own baits using Do-it molds and other tackle craft products such as power painting. This will be an on-hands demonstration on making jigs, spinner baits and flies. Gene will also introduce Do-It’s newest items. 7 PM. Free! Yester Years Pub & Grill, 9427 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis, 414-476-9055. Contact Dan Freiherr, treasurer, 414-464-9316, Fishing reports, fishing equipment raffle plus hot food & free pool are available.




L.A. Van Veghel

WFC Media Director &

WCSFO Media Director & Secretary


Wisconsin Fishing Club Ltd

Saturday, January 15, 2011

GBAGLSF Announces January Speakers

January Speakers
There will be TWO speakers for January. Tammie Paoli, WDNRGBAGLSFLogo Senior Fisheries Biologist, will talk about the status of the yellow perch population on Green Bay. Tammie will also describe the annual surveys and most recent results, and give an overview of the perch commercial fishery. Lastly, she will talk about how cormorant nest numbers are responding after 5 years of egg oiling on some of the Green Bay islands.

We will also have Dave Mull, Editor/Publisher of “Great Lakes Angler Magazine”, speak about trends and GOOD fish photos. Dave will also have a hot deal on magazine subscriptions. Don’t miss this one!

All Meetings will be held at The Stadium View Sports Bar & Grill. Board of  Director Meetings (BOD) begin at 6:30 PM and General Membership Meetings begin at 7:00 PM. Unless otherwise noted.

DNR produces two new ice fishing podcasts

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released the latest in its series of audio programs for winter fishing enthusiasts titled “Ice Fishing Tips.”
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released the latest in its series of audio programs for winter fishing enthusiasts titled “Ice Fishing Tips.”

Related Links:

Listen to podcasts

View image

The two 30-minute shows were recorded in a format that can be downloaded from the DNR’s Web site and listened to on a computer or portable audio device such as an iPod or Zune.

The ice fishing shows feature professional angler “Tackle” Terry Tuma and DNR ice safety specialist Tim Smalley. DNR Information Officer Steve Carroll serves as the host.
“Terry provides insight on a variety of topics including jigging, how cold weather affects fish, understanding moods of fish, planning an ice fishing trip, and using minnow heads with jigs,” Smalley said. “I give tips for checking ice thickness and conditions, dealing with slushy conditions, developing a plan if something goes wrong, why ice anglers should carry a cell phone, and other helpful ice safety do’s and don’ts.”
Since 2005, the DNR has produced more than 100 podcast audio programs. Topics have included ice fishing, early season and fall walleye fishing, crappie fishing, deer hunting, duck hunting, and spring turkey hunting. Listeners have downloaded the various programs more than 435,000 times in the last two years.
“Podcasts are a cost-effective way of using technology to deliver information to folks who enjoy outdoor activities like ice fishing,” Smalley said. “And the programs are portable; anglers can listen to the information on their home computer or on an iPod while sitting on a bucket out in the middle of the lake.”

View imageListen to podcasts

TIP hotline has very effective 2010

An anonymous call to Minnesota’s Turn-in-Poachers (TIP) hotline recently led a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to a man who had allegedly poached a trophy buck in Hugo.

The man is facing $10,000 in fines and restitution, and loss of his hunting privileges for three years if convicted.

Information from the public leads to the vast majority of arrests for hunting and fishing violations in Minnesota, said DNR conservation officer Alex Gutierrez of Forest Lake.

“With the number of vacant field stations, the extra set of eyes provided by the public has never been more important,” Gutierrez said. “TIP is an invaluable asset to conservation officers.”

Since 1981, TIP has provided a toll-free hotline, 800-652-9093, for poaching information and rewards for arrests and convictions of game and fish violators.

TIP’s aggressive anti-poaching message has been showcased (until recently, see related release on vandalism) in two “Wall of Shame” trailers containing the mounts of wildlife confiscated as a result of arrests for violations of Minnesota game laws.

Minnesota’s TIP hotline was very effective 2010. Investigations into 1,699 TIP calls resulted in 299 arrests and a total of $6,690 in rewards paid. That compares to 1,355 TIP calls, 237 arrests, and $4,350 in rewards paid in 2009.

TIP helps to stop wildlife poachers, but that is only part of what TIP has accomplished, noted Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director.

“The TIP hotline actually discourages violations, and with most people carrying cell phones, keying in #TIP can quickly report a violator,” Konrad said. “All sportsmen/women, landowners, citizens and wildlife benefit from poachers being caught.”

When a person calls TIP, information such as how many violators, vehicle description with any license numbers and details of what happened are important to the conservation officer who will be dispatched to handle the call.

2011 Angler Education Workshops

New Angler Education Instructor Certification Requirements for 2011!
Background checks will be required for adult angler education instructors just like those that have long been required for Hunter Safety instructors and other youth program leaders. The background checks will be administered by the DNR's Bureau of Law Enforcement and reviewed by Recreational Safety Wardens who are not at liberty to discuss their findings. You mAngler Educationay download the Mentor Background Check Form [PDF 93KB] here to begin this process. Thank you for understanding our need to provide another layer of protection to vulnerable populations that attend Angler Education Programs.
At a minimum, these Angler Education training workshops focus on teaching basic spincasting and incorporating related topics in a K-12 curriculum or youth development program. School teachers, fishing club members, and community youth fishing program leaders are invited.
Please check back from time to time for updates to this schedule. Unless otherwise noted, all workshops are free of charge and include lunch or dinner, however, we do have a $15 workshop commitment fee to ensure good attendance by registrants. Please arrive a few minutes early to settle in so that we may begin on time. If your plans change, please notify us so that we may plan accordingly and refund your workshop commitment fee. Pre-registration is required.
To schedule a volunteer or teacher training workshop in your community, please contact Theresa Stabo, Aquatic Resources Educator, (608) 266-2272. We need a minimum of 8 to 12 adult participants, depending on location, to hold a workshop.

General Angler Education Instructor Training


Dates: Thursdays, February 15 and 22, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Place: University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, Albee Hall, Room TBA, Oshkosh, WI
Note: This workshop is geared for students in the UW-O Physical Education Program who are training to become teachers. However, other community members are invited to attend. Participants must attend both Thursday afternoon sessions to get certified as Angler Education Instructors.
Registration Form: Download, complete and return the
Registration Form [PDF, 95KB]  to Kim Anderson.
Questons? Contact: Kim Anderson, (608) 261-6431

Learn to be a Fly Fishing Instructor

Fly Fishing Instructor certification will be offered just prior to the State Trout Unlimited Banquet in Stevens Point. This certification class will be presented by Dennis Vanden Bloomen, UW-Stout Fly Fishing Instructor and Past-President of the WI Clear Waters TU Chapter and Theresa Stabo, Wisconsin DNR.
Trout Unlimited members, fishing club members, youth leaders, classroom teachers, and civic leaders are encouraged to attend as a team or form one at the workshop. Successful models include after-school fishing clubs, summer enrichment classes, school-family events, and Boy Scout Fly Fishing merit badge training.
Workshop participants will receive Scott Rod Company Fly Fishing booklets and materials from the Junior Angler program and Hook, Line, & Thinker that can be adapted to a fly fishing program. Participants will also be given complimentary raffle tickets if they attend State Council banquet, for $25, held later that evening. This class is limited to 25 people. Reserve your seat and register now!
Date: Saturday, February 5, 2011
Time: Noon - 5:00 P.M. Please plan to eat lunch before you arrive as none will be served.
Place: Holiday Inn Convention Center: 3 miles east of I-39/51 on Hwy 10.
Contact: Theresa Stabo, (608) 266-2272 or Kim Anderson, (608) 261-6431.
Registration Form: Download, complete and return the
Registration Form [PDF, 176KB] to Kim Anderson by January 31, 2011 (see form for details).
About the photo: Instructors-In-Training test sample non-lead sinkers at a Rhinelander workshop.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report as of January 13, 2011

Areas of far northern Wisconsin have received up to a foot of snow in the last week, with much of it being very light lake-effect type snow. Most of the rest of the state has only received about 3 to 5 inches of snow, with the southeastern portion of the state once again receiving the least amounts. Snowmobile trails are open in roughly the northern half of the state, with conditions reported on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR) from good in the northwest to poor in the northeast and more southern counties.

The additional snow has improved cross-country ski conditions, especially in the north, with Brule River State Forest and Willow River State Park reporting the best conditions of the year. The Greenbush trails in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest received enough new snow for conditions to be good for the Northern Kettle Moraine Nordic Ski Club race on Sunday. The loop at Lapham Peak with man made snow is in very good condition, but all other trails there and at the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine have just a light covering of snow and are skiable but in poor condition. Mirror Lake, Blue Mound and Wildcat Mountain state parks all continue to report good to very good ski conditions.

Ice conditions continue to be good on lakes across the state, with ice thickness ranging from 12 to 14 inches on northern waters and 8 to 10 inches on southern waters, although some southern lakes still have areas of very thin ice. There have been reports of at least four vehicles going through the ice of Lake Koshkonong, which as some ice heaves with very thin spots. Most river systems in the state are now also frozen over, but recreational safety specialists urge people to stay off river ice, which can be highly variable and unpredictable.

Walleye activity picked up a bit on northern lakes with quite a few anglers reporting decent catches, with perch also added to the bag for many anglers. Panfishing has been fairly consistent statewide, and northern pike action has picked up a bit with the low amount of snow cover on the ice increasing light penetration and bumping up feeding activity. Ice is firming up on the lower Green Bay and fishing pressure has been heavy in some areas. Along Door County, anglers have been targeting perch and whitefish with some success. Northern pike anglers were out in full force out of Oconto.

Lake Michigan harbors and ports are icing over and some anglers have been venturing out but people should use extreme caution ice as conditions can change rapidly. Some open water anglers were having luck with brown trout and steelhead near the Port Washington power plant. The Mississippi River continues to be at unseasonably high levels and was at over 10 feet at Prairie du Chien this week. With the high water, sloughs have moderate to strong current flowing under the ice that can can create rapidly changing ice conditions. Ice fishing has been pretty good with nice sized bluegills, perch and crappie reported.

Bald eagles have begun congregating along with Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. A mid-winter aerial survey last week observed a very high number of bald eagles along the Lower Wisconsin River corridor. Biologists counted 473 eagles from the Petenwell Dam downstream to the confluence with the Mississippi River. This should bode very well for the 24th annual Bald Eagle Watching Days this weekend at Sauk City and Prairie du Sac. There will be eagle tours and other events throughout the day Saturday. Check the Eagle Bluff Fairy Council website for a complete list of events (exit DNR).


Superior DNR Service Center area

Brule River State Forest – The After Hours cross-country ski trail system was groomed and tracked Jan. 12 and is in excellent condition for classic and skate skiing. The conditions are the best so far this season.

Ashland DNR Service Center area

Slush Ice is no longer a problem on Southern Bayfield County area lakes. The slush on most lakes has frozen solid since the rain over the New Year. Ice fishing has picked up with walleye being taken on both the Upper and Middle Eau Claire lakes at dusk and just after sunset; minnows working best on both tip ups and jig poles. Crappie were biting on Lake Namekagon with most people catching their limits in a days time. Panfishing has been fair to good on many of the smaller inland lakes. Snowmobile trails in Bayfield County are in " good" to "excellent" condition. Cable/Namekagon ungroomed trails are fair, groomed trails north and west of Drummond are in "very good" condition, with excellent trails being found north of Delta and Iron River. Snowshoeing conditions are "good" to "very good" in the Drummond, Delta and Iron River areas.

Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - Ice conditions continue to be good on lakes across the Northwoods and ice thickness is ranging from 12 to 14 inches on most waters. There is 2 to 4 inches of light fluffy snow on top of the ice and there have been no report of slush problems on any of the lakes. An increased number of vehicles have been seen out on the ice, but caution is still urged as there have still been small open-water areas observed around springs, inlets and off of some points. Walleye and panfish have been the main target for anglers in the past week and action could be termed fair. Walleye activity seemed to pick up a bit with the start of the new year and quite a few anglers were reporting some decent catches. The best action has been near dark on the cloudy and milder days, with small suckers or large fatheads fished over the mud flats in 5 to 10 feet of water. Most of the walleye have been in the 12- to 16-inch size, but fish up to 22 inches have also been reported. An added benefit of using the smaller bait this winter has been the catch of perch, which have added a few extra fish to the bag for many anglers. The panfish anglers have seen some fairly consistent action, with some nice crappie and perch being caught 1 to 3 feet off bottom in 15 to 25 feet of water. Northern pike have been seeing increased interest from anglers as action has picked up a bit with the low amount of snow cover on the ice. This has increased light penetration and seems to have bumped up feeding activity for northern. Large golden shiners or sucker minnows fished near deeper weed beds or the med-depth break lines have produced some nice fish, with a few pike up to 32 inches being caught.

Flambeau River State Forest – Both the north and south forks of the Flambeau River appear to be froze over. Local lakes are reporting approximately 10 inches of ice. The Flambeau Hills cross-country ski trail is in good to very good condition. Recent light snow has provided an opportunity to resume classic track grooming. The entire trail was groomed and tracked on Wednesday, with a 4-inchaverage base, with less on a few open hilltops. Pinery Grade's classic track may be icy on short segment along river, otherwise the trail is in good shape. Light snow dusted in recent grooming and will likely slow trail some.

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest - Cross-country ski trails are in fair to good condition. Escanaba Trail is in good condition, with about 4 inches new fluffy lake snow, with 10 to 12 inches on the woods floor. Full track was set throughout Jan. 12. Still firm under new snow but groomers were able to mix snow and have full formed fast track. Trail is very scenic and the beautiful woods are a "must see." Madeline Trail was groomed Jan 7, with all loops tracked and in good condition. Raven Trail was groomed and tracked Jan. 8 tracked and is in fair to good condition. McNaughton Trail skaters loop was groomed Jan. 10 and all other loops tracked and has fair conditions. A section of the skaters loop from the parking lot to the first intersection is closed due to logging. An alternate parking area at the McNaughton boat landing will be kept open for this reason.

Antigo DNR Service Center area

Council Grounds State Park - Cross-country ski trails are groomed, tracked and in fair condition.


Cold weather has helped create some good ice conditions for anglers, couple this with sunny days and the fishing pressure has been moderate to heavy in places. As always caution should be used when venturing out on the ice.

Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

Marinette County - Perch, walleye, and whitefish were being caught on the Menominee River in the area of Sixth Street Slip Landing. Anglers report ice conditions on the river at about a foot. Jigging with Moonshines tipped with minnows has been working for walleye while small jigs tipped with wax worms is the bait producing best for panfish.

Oconto County – Northern pike anglers were out in full force from Oconto Breakwater Park to Oconto Park I, using large shiner minnows suspended a foot off bottom and dead smelt in the round fished on bottom. Some perch were being caught in and around Oconto Breakwater Park proper using jigs and perch minnows. There was also the occasional smelt and whitefish reported.

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Brown County - Voyageur Park anglers have been targeting walleye and perch in 6 to 12 feet of water using jigs and the appropriate size minnow for the fish they are after. Sunset Beach has been producing some perch with sizes running on the small size, along with the occasional white fish and smelt.

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Door County - Stone Quarry anglers have been targeting perch and whitefish with some success. Most anglers have been staying closer to shore due to poor but ice conditions have been improving. Anglers have been fishing along Potawatomie State Park for perch with limited success. Most have been using live minnows for bait. Anglers have been venturing off Bullhead Point for perch as well. Fishing has been sporadic at best with some perch being caught around mid-week, but it has since slowed. A few anglers have been catching numbers of bluegill around the docks at the yacht club. Waxworms and a small ice jig seem to be working the best. Sugar Creek anglers have been venturing off the park with snowmobiles and ATVs. Anglers have been targeting whitefish and perch. Most of the angling pressure has been in 15-25 feet of water. Anglers have been venturing out to deep water off Chaudoir’s Dock in search of whitefish. Anglers that are finding whitefish have reported fishing being on the slow side. Also a few perch are being caught with most being of respectable size. Dykesville anglers have been finding it tough fishing due to all the fishing pressure over the last few days. Most anglers have to move well outside the main group of anglers to catch fish. Anglers that are finding fish are catching perch and whitefish. Fishing pressure has been light at Volks Landing. Most anglers are catching perch with the occasional whitefish or smelt mixed in.

Whitefish Dunes State Park - A number of birds have been sighted on Lake Michigan over the weekend. They include: common and red- breasted merganser, common goldeneye, Canadian goose, and bufflehead. In the forest, downy, hairy, and pileated woodpeckers, white breasted nuthatches, and chickadees are being seen.

Point Beach State Forest - Since the storm on Dec. 12, all the trails at Point Beach State Forest have been cleared of downed trees. The cross country ski trails are currently in poor condition with only a 2 inch base at this time. We still need about 6 inches of new snow in order to groom trails. Some accumulation is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday. Best advise is to call for current conditions. Point Beach State Forest (920) 794-7480.


Milwaukee DNR Service Center

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Lapham Peak Unit – The area received a little more than 2 inches of snow on Tuesday. All of the ski trails have been groomed. The ski loop covered with man-made snow has a double classical track set and is in excellent condition for skating and classical skiing. Beyond the man made snow loop the trails are generally snow covered and skiable with some areas pretty good for skating. However the snow cover is thin and there is glare ice and other obstacles beneath the surface and exposed in some spots - caution is advised and overall conditions are poor to fair. The lights are on Monday through Saturday until 10 pm. Ski rentals Tuesday, Wednesday nights and on the weekends during the day.

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit - Recent light snowfall added up to about 2 to 3 inches resulting in sufficient snow to groom the cross-country trail systems. All Zillmer trail loops have been combed producing a generally good product for skating. Skate lanes will be soft for a couple of days. Keep in mind, because of the limited base, we are still fighting forest litter - trigs and some leaves. Classical tracks were set on the green and red loops with marginal success. The recent snowfall really helped the Greenbush trail system. All trails are open and in good condition with a nice base. The course is in great shape for the Northern Kettle Moraine Nordic Ski Club race on Sunday. Crews will be grooming every day in preparation for the weekend. Another snowfall is expected Friday night so the weekend will be great.

Kettle Moraine State Park - Pike Lake Unit - Cross country ski trails are in fair to poor condition. Trails were groomed on Tuesday, Jan. 11, but there is not enough snow to set a classical track at this time. Snow coverage is very thin, with lots of twigs and leaves poking through. Call 262-670-3400 for the most current trail conditions. Trail passes are not required for cross country skiers at Pike Lake this winter. When trails are snow covered hikers, snowshoers, and dogs are not allowed on trails east of Powder Hill Road (groomed ski trails).

Kettle Moraine State Forest - Southern Unit - All three cross-country ski trail systems at the Southern Unit received about 2 inches of snow on Tuesday. Scuppernong, McMiller and Nordic are all generally snow covered and skiable, but with the thin snow base no classical track has been set and there are places dirt or rocks are exposed. It would be wise to not use your best skis. Nordic seemed to have more ice covering the trails and the snow packed nicely over the ice, but may not adhere well. McMiller did not have as much ice and while it is snow covered it is has more debris exposed. Scuppernong conditions are similar to Nordic. With this layer of snow setting up - it will not take a significant amount of snow on top of it to improve conditions above the poor to fair rating that they have now. Snowmobile trails are not open.

Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan, much of the marina around the Deland boat launch is iced over. Ice anglers have been working the areas around the docks, but fishing has been generally slow. Please use extra caution out on the ice as conditions can change rapidly.

Ozaukee County - In Port Washington, the area near the power plant discharge provides good winter open water fishing opportunities. The discharge is currently pumping, and the west slip also has open water. Brown trout and steelhead have both been caught near the power plant on spawn fished on a three-way rig. The north slip is iced over, but it is not safe for foot travel.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee open water can be found in the lower stretches of the Menomonee River and canals, and there is some limited open water under the Hoan Bridge near Jones Island. The Milwaukee River mouth and harbor are covered in some broken up ice floes, but Riverfront Ramp is currently open. The lagoon behind Lakeshore State Park and McKinley Marina are iced over, but fishing in both of those locations has been relatively slow.

Racine County - In Racine, much of the Root River is iced over. There has been evidence of anglers ice fishing downstream near the 6th Street and Marquette Street bridges, as well as in the Racine harbor. Use extra caution, as conditions can change quickly, and there are some open spots close to shore in the marina. Fishing has been relatively slow in the harbor, but some steelhead have been caught further upriver on spawn set close to the bottom.

Kenosha County - In Kenosha anglers in Simmons Island Marina have been catching occasional brown trout on spawn. Anglers have been fishing through the ice near the docks, as well as in the open water near the railing on shore.


Dodgeville DNR Service Center area

The holiday gun deer hunt wrapped up this past weekend with many hunters kept out of the woods due to freezing cold temperatures. Hunters who did take to the woods reported seeing quite a few deer in the area. Shed hunting around the area is in full swing and many shed hunters are reporting finding some large antler sheds on both public and private property. Ice anglers on Blackhawk Lake report great crappie fishing using glow jigs. Anglers also reported the perch bite picking up on Long Lake while the bluegill catch remained sluggish. The snowmobile trails in the area remain closed due to lack of snow. Just as a reminder, if you see a deer that appears to be sick please contact the DNR Tip Line at 1-800-TIP-WDNR.

Blue Mound State Park - All cross-country ski trails were groomed Jan. 12 with a new classic track set. All trails are in very good condition for classic skiing (no skating now). Only "problem" areas are a few thin spots on the Pleasure Valley trail where a track was not set due to thin snow cover. The rest of the trail system is 100 percent covered, generally with at least a 5-inch or more solid base. Good skis will be fine.

Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

The lack of snow has closed the snowmobile trails in Dodge, Columbia, and Sauk counties. Area snow enthusiasts are hoping for enough snow this week to re-open the trails. Ice fishing has been slow. Some reports of northern pike being caught are coming out of Fox Lake in Dodge County. Coyotes have been seen frequenting the fields in the daytime in search of a mate.

Jefferson County - Anglers are having fair success on Rock Lake catching some legal sized northern pike throughout the lake. Small perch were being caught as well as bluegill in the 5-7 inch range mostly by Elm Point. Some 14-inch largemouth bass were also being seen. The northern were biting on shiners while spikes and wax worms were the preferred bait for the perch and bluegill. Ice thickness on Rock Lake is in the 14-15 inch range and trucks are being driven across the entire lake. One driver recently drove up to the Glacial Drumlin trail trestle on the south end where there is some flowing water and found that the ice was not thick enough to support the front of his SUV. Ice conditions on the other lakes in Jefferson County are good with ice fishing going on but success is slow overall. . The ice conditions on Lake Koshkonong vary greatly from one area to the next. There have been at least 4 vehicles that have gone through the ice so far this season on Koshkonong alone. Lake Koshkonong also has several ice heaves that have thin ice. Drivers are cautioned to know the conditions of the ice before they venture out especially at night as it is always at your own risk on the frozen waters. On the Rock and Crawfish rivers there is some snowmobiling activity occurring now that a blanket of snow has covered the ice aiding traction. The ice on the rivers is very thin. County law enforcement and rescue agencies are urging the public to stay away from the river ice. This includes keeping a watchful eye on pets to prevent them from falling into the frigid waters. The county snowmobile trails are unfortunately closed due to little snow. The snowmobile trail hotline number for Jefferson County is 920-699-7669(SNOW). A few bald eagles are being spotted along the Crawfish River in the Milford area feeding on whatever they can find. Recently a barn owl (an endangered species) was found dead in the city limits of Watertown after it apparently hit a power line and was found lying dead by the building.

Mirror Lake State Park - Cross-country ski trails are in good to very good condition with a 3 to 8 inch base. Trails are groomed and tracked for skate and classical skiing. Remember, pets and hiking on groomed ski trails is prohibited. Trails open for snowshoeing and hiking include Echo Rock, Lake View, Sandstone and Wild Rice.

Janesville DNR Service Center area

Rock County - Snowmobile trails remain closed despite the snowfall this week. More snow in the forecast for the upcoming weekend could help trail conditions. Ice has thickened up on area lakes, but there are still some thin spots on Lake Koshkonong where there are seams and ice heaves. Fishing success remains low on Lake Koshkonong with reports of abundant bait fish affecting the bite. Storr's Lake continues to produce undersized northern pike and small bluegills. The gun deer season closed on January 9 in the CWD zones, but landowner's can still get permits to harvest deer throughout the winter. Trappers have been having success otter trapping in Rock County. Otter are abundant in Rock County and can be trapped with a valid permit. Several individuals had been checked fishing backwaters of the Sugar River and the ponds in Janesville. Ice seems good in those areas and even a few perch were being caught.


Baldwin DNR Service Center area

Willow River State Park – Recent snowfall has added about 3 inches to the trail system. Cross-country ski trails were groomed and tracked late Wednesday afternoon. Skiing conditions are excellent, however, the down hills were very fast. The flying S turn on the Brown was "in" and very fast. The entry is marked with a caution sign. This sequence is a fast downhill, a small up hill to enter the turn, the S turn is over the peak of the small hill, and then down another hill. It is typically out of track skiing for the S turn and second downhill. The roller coaster at the bottom of the Brown was a real zoomer in the track. Today's conditions dictate that you bring solid intermediate or better skills to ski the Brown. More snow is predicted which might slow things down. Overall, the excellent conditions should hold up all of Thursday and into Friday. Weekend skiers should find very good conditions. Ice fishing continues with slower panfish action. With all the snow, there are a number of snowshoers that have broken their own trail off trail. Skiers should be aware of the Minnesota Youth Ski League class that meets on Sundays from 2-4pm at the Nature Center. MYSL has around 70 kids this year. Expect to see a lot of younger skiers about during that time frame.

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

According to Dr. Charles Long in his book "The Wild Mammals of Wisconsin," the meadow vole is one of the most abundant mammals in the state and is found throughout the state. Because of these two factors, in addition to its high reproductive rate, this small rodent is an important member of many food chains, supplying a major food item for various raptors, cranes, gulls, snakes, and carnivorous mammals. Meadow vole populations typically exhibit dramatic tree to five year cycles, influenced by breeding rates, litter size, number of litters, predation, and food. About 90 percent of meadow voles die before they are a month old, and few live beyond a year. Look for evidence of voles such as tiny teeth marks low on shrubs and trees, snow tunnels about half an inch in diameter, or short, tubular earth deposits called trail castings or eskers.

Perrot State Park - The cross-country ski trails are in good condition. The Bay Trail and Wilbur Trail have been groomed and tracked. The skate lane in the campground has been groomed and is in very good condition. The upper trails have been groomed but snow conditions would not allow a track to be set.

Wildcat Mountain State Park – The park received enough snow for crews to groom and track cross-country ski trails, making for good ski conditions. A few campsites have been plowed for winter camping with water available at the park office. There is no hunting going on in the park at this time.

Crawford County - All snowmobile trails in Crawford County are closed. For current snowmobile trail conditions please check The Mississippi River stabilized around the 10 foot mark for more than a week. As of January 11, the river was at 10.05 feet. Open water exists below the Lynxville dam due to the high water. The Wisconsin River is falling and creating dangerous conditions in some areas. In many areas on the Wisconsin there is an “air gap” between the ice and the water below. This phenomenon exists mainly in the timbered lowlands. Ice conditions remain pretty good even though caution must be used when traveling on the ice. With the Mississippi River being unusually high for early winter many back water sloughs have moderate to strong current flowing under the ice. The current can create rapidly changing conditions. Generally speaking the ice averages around 2 to 14 inches of ice in the backwaters of the Mississippi River and Wisconsin River. Access to most ice fishing locations is much better now that cold weather froze the “sloppy” spots and the river levels have stabilized. Ice fishing has been pretty good at times. In the Prairie du Chien area nice sized blue gills were being caught on Gremore Lake along with some really nice perch. Anglers will have to move around to find them however. Ice conditions on Gremore Lake are pretty good with a foot or more ice. Crapppie action in Gremore has been slow. Anglers have been venturing across the Ambro Slough to Mud Slough and Tilmont Lake. Most anglers are using the DNR boat landing on Ambro Road. The USFWS boat landing was being used to access the upper portions of the Ambro Complex, however Mill Coulee Creek enters there and creates dangerous ice conditions. Caution must be used in this area. This past week Mud Slough has been slow as there appears to be some current flowing through it. Tilmont Lake has produced a few bluegills and perch however it is kind of slow. Those venturing out to Tilmont Lake should use caution as they cross over the Ambro and Black Sloughs as current exists under the ice. Anglers have been venturing up to the Upper Doubles and Big Missouri. Action there has been spotting with a few nice crappie and bluegill being taken. The Lower Doubles, Fish Lake and Big Missouri have produced some fish but they have been very spotty. Spring Lake and the Fennimore Cut have been slow. There is current entering the upper end of Spring Lake and flowing out through the Fennimore Cut. Action there has been poor. Some anglers are fishing in the back waters of Spring Lake and finding action spotty. Sturgeon Slough has been very slow primarily due to the high water. Current is flowing through that area which causes bluegills and crappie to avoid that area. Some anglers have ventured south to McGregor Lake. Action on McGregor Lake has been spotty too. Cold Spring has been slow this week. The best access to Cold Spring is from the handicapped parking area on the south end. The boat landing access is a bit tricky as open water still exists there. Open water shore fishing at the boat landing has been very slow. Largemouth bass action has been good. Most bluegill anglers report catching many bass incidental to their primary target. Some anglers are setting tip up in Gremore, Tilmont, the Upper Doubles and Cold Spring and are having some success. Anglers are reminded that while fishing on the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River boundary waters only three (3) hooks, baits or lures can be used. No report on small mouth bass action. Northern pike action has been spotty. Rabbit, squirrel and coyote hunters are finding hunting conditions pretty good. After the rain and warm temperatures a while back access to the fields and woods is better. A pretty solid crust of snow exists. Bald eagles have been moving inland in search of food. Some birds are still hanging around open water on the Mississippi, Wisconsin and Kickapoo rivers. Song birds are actively coming to bird feeders and bird baths. Please keep bird feeders clean and full of food.

Black River Falls DNR Service Center area

Black River State Forest – The forest received an additional 2 inches of snow Monday. Snowmobile trails were groomed Tuesday and are in good condition for sledding. There are some areas in the open that have less snowfall on them so please use caution. When snowmobile trails are open we ask ATVs to stay off the trail whenever the temperatures are 32 degrees or above. This protects the base for future use. Cross-country ski trails were groomed Tuesday and conditions were very good for skating and traditional. Skiers will notice that there has been a fair amount of timber sale activity along the trails this year.

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Brunet Island State Park – The cross country ski trail system has a very nice base on the trails. The track was reset on Friday Jan. 7 and is in great shape. Species of birds seen or heard include: ravens, black capped chickadees, northern juncos, piliated and red headed woodpeckers, great horned owls, barred owls, and bald eagles. Anglers are reporting generally good ice conditions in the backwater areas. The park does not monitor ice conditions. The Cornell flowage water levels fluctuate throughout the year and we urge caution when venturing onto the ice.

Red Cedar State Trail and Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area - The Red Cedar State Trail has been groomed and tracked and is in good condition. Hoffman Hills Recreation Area trails have not been recently groomed or tracked but were packed about a week ago. Recent light snows have provided some level of traction but the trails are still icy.

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - Cross-country ski trails are packed, tracked and are in excellent condition! Walking on trails when groomed is not allowed. Snowshoers must stay off to the side of trails and not on the groomed trails. Two bald eagles flew over the nature trail by the lake while out grooming the ski trails.

Roche-A-Cri State Park - The campground and main gate are now closed for the season. Parking is available at the winter lot on Czech Ave and that pit toilet is still open. Volunteers will be keeping the winter lot restroom open, plowing the parking lot, and grooming ski trails.

Sister Bay seeks stewardship grant for Waterfront Park addition

Sister Bay, Wis. – The Village of Sister Bay has applied for a grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program’s Urban Green Space fund to purchase approximately .96 acres of land along Lake Michigan to expand the Sister Bay Waterfront Park.

Sister Bay will provide the matching funds. The expanded park area will be available for hiking, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, picnicking, fishing, swimming, and boating, including canoe and kayak. Purchase of this property will give the village ownership of the entire Sister Bay downtown shoreline, stretching from the north side of the Marina Park to the Sister Bay Yacht Club; totaling approximately,936 linear feet of public access to the waterfront.

The public can mail written comments on the proposed acquisition to Carrie Mickelson, Director, Division of Customer and Employee Services, care of Chris Halbur, 2984 Shawano Avenue, Green Bay, WI, 54313, or sent by e-mail to Persons with questions about the project may call Chris Halbur at 920-662-5121. Written comments will be accepted through February 4, 2011.

In accordance with s. NR 52.04 (2) (b), Wis. Adm. Code, objections about the prohibited activities on this property must show that the proposed prohibition is inconsistent with s. 23.0916 (2) (b), Stats., and s. NR 52.05, Wis. Adm. Code.

City of Lake Geneva seeks grant for acquisition of land to protect White River Corridor

LAKE GENEVA, Wis. – The City of Lake Geneva has applied for a 50 percent matching grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for costs incurred in the purchase of 60.6 acres of land in the city of Lake Geneva, Walworth County. The city will provide match to the grant award.

Preservation of the property will help protect the White River Corridor and provide opportunities for trail development along the White River within the city. The property will be left in its natural state and will be open to the public for low impact recreational activities including trapping, hiking, cross-county skiing, fishing, non-motorized boating, biking, nature study and snowshoeing.

The Department of Natural Resources has made a preliminary determination that the proposed acquisition will not involve significant adverse environmental impacts and neither an environmental assessment nor environmental impact statement will be required for this action. Address public comments on the proposed acquisition to Carrie Mickelson, Administrator, Customer and Employee Services Division, care of Dan Kaemmerer, Community Services Specialist, 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Milwaukee, WI, 53212, (414) 263-8704, In accordance with S. NR 52.04 (2)(b), Wis. Adm. Code, objections about the prohibited activities on this property must show proposed prohibitions to be inconsistent with S. 23.0916 (2)(b), Wis. Stats., and S. NR 52.05, Wis. Adm. Code. Comments must be received by February 7, 2011.