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Rick

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  1. 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. .
  2. 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. .
  3. Post your Pike Photos here and enjoy the pics. Saskatchewan Pike Feeding
  4. 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. .
  5. 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. .
  6. 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. .
  7. Warm weather has swung back around, putting winter back on its heels and bringing changes to the outdoors. Snowmobile trails now only remain open in about a dozen of the most northern counties, but are still being reported as fair to good on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Cross-country ski trails in northern parks and forests were also in good condition this week but are now closed on many central and southern properties. With much warmer weather and some rain in the forecast this weekend and early next week conditions could deteriorate rapidly.Open water fishermen were seen this week on the Menominee River below the Hattie Street Dam trying for walleye and whitefish. A few open water anglers were casting spoons on the Fox River at Voyageur Park but success has been slow.On Green Bay, perch and whitefish were being caught in good numbers at Long Tail and Little Tail points, where a few walleye were also being caught. Along Door County, anglers were out in droves again this weekend around the Little Sturgeon and Sherwood areas, with most reporting a good bite for whitefish. Those fishing for perch had decent action in Sawyer Harbor. The shipping channel remains open from the bay shipyard to the lake. .
  8. Minnesota Northern Pike-Special regs Some regulations could have changed since this document was updated. For complete fishing regulations consult Minnesota Statutes and Rules for DNR. Effective March 1, 2009. Updated Oct. 20, 2009. Lake - County Ada - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Alexander - Morrison, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Alice - Itasca, 22-36” protected slot, 1 over 36”, bag limit 9 Ann - Carver, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Annie Battle, and inlets and outlets - Otter Tail, catch and release Ash - St. Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Balsam - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Bass - Todd, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Basswood - Lake, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Battle, West - Otter Tail, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Beltrami - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Big Birch - Todd, - Stearns, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36 Big Carnelian - Washington, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Big Fish - Stearns, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Big Lake - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Big Mantrap - Hubbard, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Big Swan - Todd, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Birch Lake Reservoir - St.Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Black Bass - Mille Lacs, catch and release Blueberry - Wadena, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Bowstring and connecting waters - Itasca, 22-36” protected slot, 1 over 36”, bag limit 9 Campbell - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Caribou - St. Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Cedar - Morrison,, - Todd, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Center, North - Chisago, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Center, South - Chisago, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Child - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Coon-Sandwick - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Cotton - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Crooked - Stearns, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Crow Wing 5th - Hubbard, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Crow Wing 6th - Hubbard, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Crow Wing 8th - Hubbard, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Crow Wing 9th - Hubbard, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Crow Wing 10th - Hubbard, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Deer - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Elephant - St. Louis, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Elk - Clearwater, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Eunice - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Farm - Lake, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Fish Trap - Morrison, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Fladmark - Otter Tail, catch and release Floyd, Big - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Floyd, Little - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Fox - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Garden - Lake, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” George - Hubbard, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Girl - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Haskell - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Horseshoe - Cass, 30” minimum, 1 over 30” Island - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Knife - Kanabec, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Lake of the Woods - Lake of the Woods and Roseau, 30-40” protected slot, 1 over 40” Latoka - Douglas, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Little Boy - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Little Cascade - Cook, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Little Sauk - Todd, 24-30” protected slot, 1 over 30” Little Toad - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36 Little Woman - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Long - Aitkin, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Long - Stearns, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Long - Todd, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Loon - Cook, 30” minimum, 1 over 30” Maud - Becker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Medicine - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Melissa - Becker, 24” maximum Mille Lacs - Aitkin, Crow Wing & Mille Lacs, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Mink-Somers - Wright, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Minnie Belle - Meeker, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Mission, Lower - Crow Wing, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Mission, Upper - Crow Wing, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Mitchell - Crow Wing, 40” minimum, 1 over 40” Movil - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” North Star, Little North Star - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” North Twin - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Norway - Otter Tail, 1 fish bag Ogechie - Mille Lacs, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Otter Tail - Otter Tail, 30” minimum, 1 over 30” Pelican - St. Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Prairie - St. Louis, 30” minimum, 1 over 30” Rabbit, Big - Crow Wing, 24” maximum Rabbit, East Big - Crow Wing, 24” maximum Rachel, Little Rachel - Douglas, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Red, Upper - Beltrami, 26-40” protected slot, 1 over 40” Round - Crow Wing, 30” minimum, 1 over 30” Round and connecting waters - Itasca, 22-36” protected slot, 1 over 36”, bag limit 9 Rush, East and West - Chisago, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Sallie - Becker, 24” maximum Sand and connecting waters - Itasca, 22-36” protected slot, 1 over 36”, bag limit 9 Scrapper - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Shamineau - Morrison, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Sissabagamah - Aitkin, 20-30” slot, 1 over 30” South Farm - Lake, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Spider - Itasca, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” St. Olaf - Waseca, 30” minimum Steiger - Carver, catch and release, spearing ban Sturgeon - Pine, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Sugar - Wright, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Syliva, West Sylvia - Wright, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Ten Mile - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Three Island - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Turtle, Big - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Turtle, Little - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Turtle River Lake - Beltrami, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Twenty One - Otter Tail, catch and release Unnamed (Louise) - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Vermilion - St. Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Wabedo - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” West Battle - Otter Tail, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” White - Iron - St. Louis, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36” Woman - Cass, 24-36” protected slot, 1 over 36”
  9. The weather couldn't seem to make up its mind this week, with several inches of heavy snowfall across northern Wisconsin coming on the heels of daytime temperatures nearing the 40s in large regions of the state. Much of the rest of the state received precipitation in the form of rain. This has made for variable trail conditions across the state. Snowmobile trails have now closed throughout most of the southern half of the state, but remain open across the north with conditions ranging from good to excellent according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Cross-country ski trails deteriorated across the southern and central parts of the state, but were still skiable at some properties such as Blue Mound State Park and the man-made snow loop at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Ski trails remain in good to excellent condition across the north forest properties, including the Brule River State Forest, which will be holding a candlelight ski this Saturday in conjunction with the grand opening of a new ski shelter at the forest. In addition to Brule River, seven other properties will also hold candlelight events this weekend. The end of this weekend is expected to bring temperatures near the 50s, which may drastically alter trail conditions so call ahead or search the DNR website for "candlelight." .
  10. Sometimes the vibration will attract fish. And yes, sometimes it can spook them. I wouldn't worry about it though unless you are fishing shallow.
  11. Snowfalls ranging from 3 to 6-plus inches that fell in the last week continued to improve snowmobile and ski trail conditions. Snowmobile trails are now open and in fair to excellent condition in about the northern quarter of the state, and partially open with fair condition in many central Wisconsin counties on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR).View of Lake Superior from the Brule River State ForestPhoto Credit: DNRMany state park and forest properties were able to re-groom cross-country ski trails and in many areas set tracks for diagonal stride skiing, with conditions good to excellent in many locations. That's good news for the 10 candlelight events that will be held this weekend at state park properties across the state. In the Northwoods there is a hard crust under the snow, so outdoor enthusiasts can go just about anywhere with little need for snowshoes. Ice conditions on northern lakes are good, but vary depending on the water body. Travel has improved with the thaw and then re-freeze of the snow and water on top of the ice from the warm spell and there are now fewer slush spots. While in the south, the previous mild temperatures have still caused some lakes to have open water in spots. .
  12. It means the site was in the process of re-indexing all posts in the database. Site was just upgraded and it does that.
  13. A mid-week snowstorm dropped from 2 to 6 inches of snow, mostly across southwestern and central Wisconsin, with only dusting reported in the northern and southeastern portions of the state.The snow was wet and heavy and is expected to pack down and not greatly improve snowmobile conditions. As of Thursday fewer than a dozen counties in northern and northeastern Wisconsin were reporting trails open on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR), with conditions ranging from poor to good.The snow did improve cross-country ski conditions in some areas, with properties in western to central Wisconsin able to groom trails, but generally not able to set tracks. The snow was timely for the Red Cedar River State Trail, which will hold its candlelight event this Friday, with a 1-mile ski or hike out to the illuminated ice wall along the trail. The trail was packed for skiing or hiking. .
  14. From Inside Traders Group Owner @monstermoose78: Do "you have a passion for catching and protecting Trophy Sized Bluegills and Crappies". If so, is it possible 'you want be a Bluegill and Crappie Inside Trader then? Where Elite Bluegill and Crappie Anglers are sharing hotspots, knowledge, tips, and talk about where they find the specialized gear they need to catch Trophy Bluegills and Crappies. If you share this passion for catching and protecting Trophy Bluegills and Crappies message @monstermoose78 and let him know you are interested in joining our group. To be allowed in you must have a proven track record of sharing good information and practicing selective harvest. So get sharing good information so you get invited into the Bluegill and Crappie Inside Traders.
  15. Warm weather and rain have literally put a damper on winter recreation activities across much of Wisconsin, and have led to the cancellation of a number of activities planned for this weekend.Temperatures in the 30s and 40s and some steady drizzle, freezing rain and fog have reduced snow cover to minimal in the southern half of the state, and have left snowmobile trails open in only the northern tier of counties, but those counties continue to report good to excellent snowmobile conditions on the Wisconsin Department of Tourism's Snow Conditions Report (exit DNR). Ski trails are also still in good condition in northern parks and forests, though warm conditions have made the trails soft. Most trails in the southern half of the state are now closed, with the exception of the loop with man-made snow at the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle Moraine, which as of Thursday was still planning on going ahead with the Lapham Loppet Ski Races this Saturday.Freezing rain this week closed some park entrance roads earlier in the week but they have now reopened. Many parking areas remain icy, so anyone visiting properties this weekend should use caution. A candlelight event that had been scheduled this weekend at Governor Dodge and a snowshoe hike at the MacKenzie Center have both been cancelled. However, candlelight hikes will go on this weekend at the Nordic Trail in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine and at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center. Both properties are reporting trails are icy and urge people to wear appropriate footwear and crampons of some type. Shuttles will be available for the Horicon event and anyone attending is strongly encourage to use the shuttles as parking areas are icy and muddy, and parking is limited. .
  16. That's a great post Jeremy. Thanks.
  17. What do you think of that?