Madison, WI -(Ammoland.com)- Fall colors are still at peak across northern Wisconsin, though a few counties are already reporting colors past peak, and colors are at or near peak through central Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Fall Color Report.
Colors are generally 50 percent or less through southern Wisconsin. Visitors to northern Wisconsin last weekend reported some spectacular colors, with Indian summer type weather and temperatures in near 80 degrees. Visitors to the north this weekend should expect and be prepared for quite a change, with rain and highs only in the 40s and lows dropping to below freezing at night in the forecast.
With many hunting seasons open, fishing pressure has really dropped off on waters across the north. The majority of the fishing pressure is coming from musky anglers and they have been experiencing some decent success. There have been very few reports from walleye anglers, but success should be improving with the cooler water temperatures as well. Walleye and sauger action has been picking up on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers and walleye were being caught on Fox and Wolf rivers and on Lake Wisconsin.
The fall salmon and trout runs on Lake Michigan tributaries is picking. Chinook were moving up Strawberry Creek in Door County and the Strawberry Creek Chinook Facility began operations this week. The salmon run on both the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers is in full swing, with a lot of fish in the rivers and fish were being caught in the Kewaunee, East and West Twin and Manitowoc rivers.
On southern Lake Michigan tributaries, some salmon were reported on the Sheboygan River, but low water levels on the Milwaukee and Root rivers are delaying runs and a fair amount of rain is needed before the salmon begin to run in larger numbers and fishing improves.
Northern zone waterfowl hunters reported mixed success with some seeing above average number of ducks and others reporting slow activity due to warm temperatures and high water. Waterfowl numbers are starting to increase at Horicon and Theresa marshes, with increasing numbers of migratory Canada geese. The southern waterfowl zone opens this Saturday, Oct. 4. Grouse hunters are reporting seeing about the same number of birds as last year including good numbers of woodcock.
Archery hunters registered quite a few deer the first week, but harvest seemed to have slowed a bit with the warmer weather and mosquitos, but the cooler weather coming this week will likely result in more deer hunters heading to the woods.
With cooler temperatures wildlife activity is picking up with mammals stocking up on food for the winter, with squirrels especially noticeable scurrying around after nuts on the forest floor. Beavers can be observed building dams and lodges, and woodchucks and skunks start to find dens. Reptiles and amphibians are about to enter hibernation or torpor, within the next month depending on the species.
People have the opportunity to see rare bats from around the world, including a bat with a 6-foot wingspan, and learn why bats are so important to the environment when Wisconsin Bat Festival flies into Milwaukee this weekend. This year the free festival has been expanded to three days and will be held at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park and Milwaukee County Zoo's Zoofari Conference Center. There will be a variety of different events and activities.
About The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR)
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is charged with sustaining and enhancing Wisconsin’s natural resources and environment. A cornerstone of our mission is providing for outdoor recreation in our state. The WI DNR Facebook page is a place for the outdoor recreating community to share information about fun in Wisconsin’s outdoors.