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Rick

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About Rick

  • Rank
    HotSpotOutdoors Developer
  • Birthday 01/01/1900

Profile Information

  • Name:
    Rick
  • Location:
    Great ol' US of A
  • Interests:
    Outdoor activities, field trialing springer spaniels. Best pheasant dog on earth - does ducks too.
  • Gender:
    Female

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  1. Fairly regular rain falls over the past week have green-up proceeding rapidly with even reports of trees starting to leaf out in the far north. The rain has been especially helpful for the spring wildfire season, with fire danger levels remaining low to moderate over much of the last couple of weeks. But warm weather and wind are in the forecast, and it only takes a short time for fire danger levels to increase, so continue to check fire danger levels and if doing any burning, follow burning permit rules.Lower Falls and the Horton Covered Bridge at Amnicon Falls State Park.Photo Credit: DNRWater levels on streams and rivers are running way above the normal flow for this time of year. In the north waterfalls are roaring at Amnicon Falls, Copper Falls and Pattison state parks. The lower Wisconsin River was flowing at 33,000 cubic feet per second, more than two-and-a-half times its normal flow this time of year and travel on the main channel is not recommended.Warmer water temperatures and good river flows drew sturgeon up Wolf River and hundreds of people have shown up to watch these prehistoric fish spawn below the Shawano dam. DNR fisheries staff have been capturing sturgeon to collect eggs and sperm for fish hatcheries where young sturgeon will be reared and then stocked into state waters and in waters in other states where sturgeon are being reintroduced. Biologists also weigh measure and tag the fish to monitor the population. Sturgeon were also running on Green Bay tributaries including the Menominee, Peshtigo and Oconto rivers. .
  2. Wisconsin experienced another roller coaster ride for the second week in April with temperatures last weekend in the 70s, followed by cold rain in the south and up to 7 inches of snow in the far north, and now temperatures again forecast to be in the high 60s this coming weekend. People took advantage of the warm weather last weekend with canoeists and kayakers our on the Flambeau River. The lower Wisconsin River continues to run a bit above normal with water temperatures in the high 40s.Walleye runs are continuing on rivers and fishing pressure has been very heavy at some locations, including at the Hattie Street dam on the Menominee River and at Voyager Park on the Fox River where it was shoulder to shoulder anglers wading near shore over the weekend. On the Wolf River walleye are starting to make it up to the Shawano Dam. Anglers reported catching mostly males but with more females starting to show up with many not spawned out yet. Sturgeons have not been spotted below the Shawano Dam yet, but with the warmer weather it will not be long before they arrive to spawn. .
  3. Spring has sprung in much of the state and nature has taken the hint. Recent rains may have laid the groundwork for a muddy run, hike or bike, but it will strengthen the ongoing green-up, and many sections should be dried, or drying, by the weekend. With the dryer weather, fire danger is increasing, and was at high across the northern two-thirds of the state. Burning permits have been suspended in 44 counties. Fire danger will likely remain high through the weekend and until the state receives more rain.Lakes have now opened up through Sawyer and Washburn counties and the remaining ice in far northern counties is trending black, rotting and is unsafe, with anglers reported falling through the ice in Oneida County. .
  4. Ice is quickly thinning on those northern lakes that still have ice with dangerous conditions on most lakes. The Wisconsin River is now open even in its northern stretches, but ice chucks can be seen melting along the river's edge. The lower Wisconsin River has finally dropped to near normal levels. Some walleye and brown trout are being caught on the Menominee River both trolling and angling from shore. Low water and cool water temperatures slowed the walleye run so far on the Oconto River. Anglers along the Wolf River have been starting to catch walleyes. A few sturgeon have been seen along the Wolf River, but warmer temperatures are needed for the sturgeon to start their annual spring spawning run. Walleye and sauger action on the Wisconsin River and Lake Wisconsin is slowly picking up.The steelhead season opened on the lower stretch of the Brule River last weekend and anglers reported good successPhoto Credit: DNRSpring steelhead fishing opened last Saturday for the lower stretch of the Brule River and there were lots of fishermen and fisherwomen on the river many who had a successful opener. .
  5. Wisconsin is now mostly snow free, though some areas of the far north received a dusting to a couple of inches earlier this week. Lakes are open throughout southern Wisconsin and are opening in the central part of the state. Northwoods lakes still have ice cover but, conditions are deteriorating quickly and the ice is extremely soft.Despite somewhat still damp conditions, 36 wildfires were reported in the last week, half of which were caused by debris burning. Fire danger ranged from Low to High across the state. Burning permits were suspended a few days in areas where the fire danger was High. Rain is forecast through the weekend, which will lower fire danger temporarily, but as things dry out, fire danger will increase. Most trails are now open only to hiking; most mountain bike trails are closed to prevent rutting in the soft soil, and bikers are asked to refrain from riding the limestone-screened rail-trails if the surface is soft which can leave deep ruts when the trails dry out. .
  6. The weather this week has reminded us that winter is not quite over. This is very much the "tweener" period for outdoor pursuits. Looks kind of like spring but it was 5 degrees in parts of the state early this week. Astronomical spring officially arrives next Monday with the vernal equinox.Most of the state received at least some snow, with heavier amounts falling in central and southeastern parts of the state. The Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest received enough to groom ski trails but they are not expected to last long with a warmup and rain in the forecast. A few Northwoods lakes still had fishermen out fishing for crappies last weekend but safety is questionable on what ice remains and many landings have open water. Recent cold weather brought some ice back to some lakes in southern Wisconsin; however, not enough to safely venture out on. .
  7. Snow is now gone from most areas of the state, with the exception of the far north, where a few inches remain in wooded areas. Very strong winds this week have taken ice out of many lakes in the south, including Monona and Mendota, which tied its record for second earliest opening -- nearly a month earlier than average.The high winds and loss of snow cover have also led to an early spring wildfire season, with more than 30 acres burning this week, including one fire near Eau Claire that resulted in the evacuation of some homes, but was contained before it burned any structures.Trails at many state properties are now open again for hiking, but most off-road biking and horse trails remain closed at this time due to muddy conditions. The last two candlelight hikes of the winter will be held this weekend at Pattison and Copper Culture state parks. .
  8. Wisconsin's weather rollercoaster continued this week, with temperatures swinging from the 50s and 60s back down to the 20s and 30s and now forecast to back up again this weekend. With snow March 1 and 60 degrees forecast for Sunday it makes it hard to determine if March is coming in like a lion or a lamb. Large portions of the state received snowfall ranging from 2 to 6 inches or more, but not enough to greatly improve winter recreation. Snowmobile trails remain closed in all but a few counties in far northern Wisconsin, with mostly poor to fair conditions, on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).The additional snow saved one of the last cross-country ski events on state properties, allowing organizers to move ahead with the River View Loppet at the Brule River State Forest Afterhours Ski Trail this Saturday. Heavier snows also fell through central Wisconsin, allowing the Northern and Pike Lake units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest to groom trails, but they won't last long with warm temperatures on the way.Starting line of the 2017 River View LoppetPhoto Credit: DNRLast weekend's warmup continued to erode ice conditions across the state. Some smaller lakes in the south have reopened. Lake Wingra in Madison opened Feb. 27, nearly a month earlier than normal. There is still close to a foot of ice on some northern lakes, but access is treacherous with open water reported along shorelines. If they have not already been removed, fishing shelters must be removed from inland waters south of Highway 64 by March 5. The general inland game fish season also closes next Sunday, March 5. Fishing for panfish and rough fish remains open, and some lakes and rivers remain open for game fishing year round. .
  9. Weather around the state has and will continue its fickle behavior as we close out an exceptionally warm week and move toward a significantly cooler weekend. Rain and snow are predicted across the state, with temperatures expected to fall rapidly Friday into Saturday, leading many to wonder if any of this precipitation will stick around long enough to revitalize the snowmobile and ski trails. Currently snowmobile trails remain open in a few northern counties, but conditions are very poor with bear spots and some standing water according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Ski trails have similar conditions where they remain open.Eagles are congregating along the Mississippi River just in time for Bald Eagle Appreciation Days at Prairie du Chien this weekend.Photo Credit: Donna HigginsThe warm front has also strongly effected ice-cover on state water bodies and anglers are also eagerly waiting to see what the weekend's cold front will provide. The ice on southern lakes is deteriorating fast and is unsafe to fish. Even in the Northwoods some waters are breaking up and where the ice is still thick there is plenty of water on it, and areas of open water have started to show up along shorelines and in marshes and especially around beaver lodges. As a result, many anglers have taken advantage of warm temperatures for open water fishing. This past weekend 100 plus boats were fishing the Fox River from the 172 Bridge to the dam at Voyageur Park. Anglers in boats have been having mixed results catching coho salmon and brown and rainbow trout in the Milwaukee Harbor and in Oak Creek. Anglers were open water fishing the Rock River for walleye and sauger, where the bite was on at the Indianford Dam. Sauger and walleye were biting on Lake Wisconsin. Warm temperatures and rain will have the Wisconsin River back above flood stage this weekend. .