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The fall hunting seasons move into a higher gear this week, with the opening of a large number of hunting and trapping seasons. There is a gun deer hunting season opening Thursday, Oct. 18, in the herd reduction zone of the chronic wasting disease management area, which encompasses much of south central Wisconsin. That season runs through Sunday. The CWD zones this year are Earn-a-Buck, meaning that hunters must first shoot an antlerless deer before being able to shoot an antlered buck. Deer activity is increasing as the rutting season approaches and bucks are displaying territorial behavior with both scrapes and rubs becoming more prevalent.

The pheasant, rabbit, raccoon, fox, quail and other hunting and most major trapping seasons also open on Saturday, Oct. 20. Because a gun deer season will be open in the CWD management area, all hunters--except waterfowl hunters but including archery deer hunters--within this area are required to wear blaze orange clothing.

Also, new for the 2007 is a requirement for pheasant hunters statewide to have a pheasant stamp. Previously the stamp was only required to hunt within specific pheasant management zones. Sixty percent of the funds generated through the sale of the pheasant stamp are directed to the State Game Farm to support the pheasant stocking program and the day-old-chick program, while the other 40 percent goes to managing habitat for wild pheasant populations throughout the state. Wildlife biologists plan to stock 70 public hunting grounds this fall with approximately 58,000 game farm pheasants.

Above normal temperatures continue to delay the movement to fall fishing patterns, but those anglers venturing out have been enjoying the warm temperatures when it hasn’t been raining. Northern lakes are cooling and some of the smaller lakes have begun to turn over. Walleye and musky anglers were finding some active fish and panfish were being caught along weed edges. Fishing has been improving in the south, with game fish actions on the rise. Several anglers at various lakes mentioned hooking up with northern pike. Panfish action has also picked up, especially for crappies.

Fishing on Green Bay has continued to improve. Anglers were reporting limits of perch when wind conditions allow. Smallmouth bass action remained fair to good. Musky anglers had great luck with overcast rainy weather providing ideal conditions for a weekend tournament, with the largest fish caught at 53 inches.

Anglers continue to take chinook salmon and brown trout at Lake Michigan harbor piers, although the numbers appeared to be down a little this week. Anglers fishing tributaries had another good week, with most anglers landing chinook salmon. Only a few anglers ventured out into Lake Michigan this past week, but those that did were able to land a few nice chinook salmon and a couple of coho salmon.

The Mississippi River appears to have crested last week at around 10 feet at Prairie du Chien. Early this week the river had dropped to 9.3 feet. The Mississippi River is still seeing a substantial amount of floating vegetation and debris. Fishing action was good this week, with bluegill and crappie caught in many areas. Walleye action was also good in deeper sloughs and back waters. A fair number of sauger have been taken too.

There have been several reports of moose sightings in northern Wisconsin, which is not that uncommon for this time of year as the bulls travel the country side looking for mates.

With most of the state receiving rain in the last week, leaf drop has accelerated especially in the north. Fall colors are now at or just past peak in central Wisconsin and within a week or two of peak color in the south.

A three-minute audio version of this report can be heard by calling (608) 266 2277.

A new report is put on the line each week.



Park Falls DNR Service Center area

Above normal temperatures continue in the Park Falls area and regular precipitation is occurring. Area Rivers have receded but are still above normal flow and a few people are taking advantage of the beautiful fall days to be on the water. Leaves are well past peak color and continue to fall steadily while much of the area has lost all leaf cover. Deer are increasing scrape activity as the fall rutting season approaches and bucks are beginning to establish territorial behavior. Bird feeding activity is brisk toward the cool evenings as they look for consistent sources of food. Grouse hunters are more numerous and many nonresidents are visiting the area to enjoy what the Park Falls area has to offer. Anglers continue to enjoy the warm temperatures though many boat owners have used the nice weather to prepare their boats for winter storage. Area lakes are cooling quickly and some good fishing is still available. Walleye and musky anglers are finding some active fish and panfish are being caught along weed edges in 10 to 15 feet of water. Trapping season for fisher, bobcat, raccoon, fox, coyote, mink and muskrat opens on Oct. 20 in the north zone.

Upper Chippewa Basin fisheries report (Price, Rusk, Sawyer Taylor and inland Ashland and Iron counties) - With more than 6 inches of rain since the first of October, water levels have increased to near normal levels on most waters across the Northwoods. Water temperatures have dropped down into the mid-50 range, with the smaller, shallow lakes being in the lower 50s. However, the big increase in water levels and the continuing erratic weather seems to have really disrupted fall fish activity. The wet and windy weather has also kept fishing pressure down and musky anglers have provided the bulk of the fishing activity. But musky success has been very inconsistent. Anglers have reported some slow fishing conditions and active musky have been tough to come by. Most anglers were still tossing artificials and the more productive lures have been stick baits and glide baits. Action on suckers has also been on the slow side with anglers reporting quite a few hits on their live bait -- but not a lot of hook-ups. There have been a few positive reports with some mid to upper 40-inch fish being landed in the last few days -- and the big-fish bite should continue to improve into the late-fall period. There has been a recent surge in crappie action, with a few reports of some decent catches made along emergent weed lines and brush in 4 to 8 feet of water. Walleye success continues to be generally slow and most anglers are still waiting for the fall pattern to get established. With the cooling water temperatures, bass fishing is all but over for the year.

Woodruff DNR Service Center area

Area Conservation Wardens and guides report that water temps continue their seasonal downward drop. The smaller lakes in the area have now turned over while the larger lakes are still in various stages of turnover. Musky and walleye activities are expected to pick up as turn over nears completion. Fall colors are now done and this weekend’s wind and rain brought down most of the leaves. Grouse and woodcock hunters are reporting greater visibility in the woods resulting in more birds in the bag. Archery hunters are reporting signs of the pre-rut beginning with both scrapes and rubs becoming more prevalent. There have been several reports of moose sightings in the area. This is not that uncommon this time of year as the bulls travel the country side looking for mates.



Peshtigo DNR Service Center area

The weather put somewhat a damper on the fishing recently.

Marinette County - A few anglers were making attempts on catching walleye on the Menominee River and some were trying their luck for Chinook on Little River. Ruffed grouse numbers look good for the fall with some males drumming due to day lengths similar to spring mating periods. The number of car/deer accidents are increasing due to deer movement and day light hours decreasing. Rain this week will begin to put some water back into the low areas of forest lands and streams. Some remaining Popple are dropping their yellow leaves. Bright holly berries can be seen along roadways in low areas. A Snowmobile Safety course will be held at the Crivitz Village Hall beginning Nov. 6 through the13, Tuesdays and Friday. Please register by calling the instructor at (715) 854-3654.

Oconto County - A few boats were out of the Pensaukee Ramp, likely fishing for yellow perch on the bay. New for 2007, a pheasant stamp is now required to hunt pheasants statewide and that will include Oconto County for the pheasant opener on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Shawano County - An annual waterfowl die off on Shawano Lake totaled 482 coot, four mallards, one teal and one scaup on Friday -- due to an annual trematode issue. Colder weather has brought more waterfowl into the area. The rain is helping replenish things and keeping fire hazards down. Wildlife viewing is especially good on Lindsten Road in the vicinity of the Navarino Nature Center, due to crops being harvested.

Green Bay DNR Service Center area

Brown County - The fishing on the bay over the past week was much improved again this week. The perch are cooperating out of Bayshore and Chaudoir’s with anglers being able to find limits of good sized fish in 15-25 ft of water when wind conditions allow. The perch have also started to move up the Suamico and Duck creeks yielding good catches although many fish are small. The musky action turned up over the past week. Water temps dropped into the upper 50s over the past week causing shad to start to move up the fox. Many shad can be observed off shore at the metro boat launch in green bay. Musky anglers over the weekend had great luck with overcast rainy weather providing ideal conditions. The largest fish rumored to be caught in the weekend tourney was around 53in and extremely fat. Most of these anglers were trolling at or near the mouth of the fox between the first islands. Numerous cats, drum, and some northern were also reported throughout the bay.

Manitowoc County - In Manitowoc, anglers had good week of fishing with favorable weather and lake conditions. Most of the angler pressure was concentrated around the north end of the marina with anglers catching a mix of rainbow trout and Chinook salmon. Only a few anglers ventured out into Lake Michigan this past week, but those that did were able to land a few nice Chinook salmon. In Two Rivers, anglers had a fair week of fishing for Chinook salmon in the harbor. Anglers trolling out on Lake Michigan were low in number this past week and only a few had successful trips landing Chinook salmon and a couple of coho salmon. Anglers fishing in the West Twin River had a good week of fishing. Angler pressure was high near the Shoto dam with most anglers landing several Chinook salmon. Saturday afternoon was good for a couple anglers who caught their limit of salmon and a nice brown trout. On the East Twin River, anglers pressure and fishing success was low at the Mishicot dam this weekend. Further down stream anglers had more success at Hillcrest and Maplewood roads using spawn sacs. On the Manitowoc River, anglers had a good week of fishing, picking up Chinook salmon at Manitou Park and Mill Road.

Sturgeon Bay DNR Service Center area

Door County – Weather was much more seasonable this week. There are still burning bans in effect in portions of Door County, with some areas requiring permits. The few anglers venturing out on Lake Michigan found there are still some fish to be had trolling in 80 to 300 feet of water. Fair to good success continued to be reported by anglers trolling in the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and between the bridges in Sturgeon Bay. Anglers continue to take chinook salmon and brown trout from the piers on the Lake Michigan end of the canal and along the canal shore, although the numbers appeared to be down a little this week. Up in Baileys Harbor the launch ramp at the city marina is still closed due to a dredging project. There are still kings and browns being taken from all of the northern Door harbors. Smallmouth bass action remained fair to good for anglers fishing the deeper structure using tube jigs and goby imitating baits. There were no reports from walleye anglers this week. Perch are still scattered; however, some nice perch were still being taken from the waters off of Chaudoir’s dock. Little Sturgeon, Sand Bay, the area between the bridges in Sturgeon Bay and along the buoy line from the Bay View Bridge to the Sturgeon Bay ship canal also produced some perch. Minnows fished under a slip bobber remained the bait of choice for most of the perch anglers. Northern pike fishing remained good this week. Crank baits along with jerk baits and various spoons fished along the weed beds in front of the marines and along the channel in Sturgeon Bay, as well as in Little Sturgeon, Riley’s and Sand Bays all produced some northerns.

Strawberry Creek Spawning Facility – Fisheries crews harvested chinook salmon at Strawberry Creek on Monday, Oct. 15 and collected about 300,000 fertilized chinook eggs for hatchery production. The areas was receiving a fair amount of rain as of Oct. 16, and there was some movement of additional chinook upstream and into the Strawberry Creek pond. So, at this time crews plan to harvest chinook salmon at Strawberry Creek on Thursday, Oct. 18. Salmon harvesting will begin by 9 a.m. Given the limited number of fish expected crews could be done handling fish by noon. This will probably be the last egg collection day for hatchery use, and because it is likely near the end of the chinook run, the pump will be shut down for the season. Given that about 95 percent of the flow in Strawberry Creek is a result of the pumped water, it is likely that if it is turned off on Thursday, Oct. 18, no additional chinook will be able to get up Strawberry Creek and into the pond. A related salmon harvesting item: crews plan to process salmon at Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility (BAFF) on the Kewaunee River on Wed., Oct. 17. Although this facility serves as a backup to Strawberry Creek for chinook egg collection, it is one of two primary sites for coho salmon egg collection. Although the coho salmon are not anticipated to be ripe at this time, they have started to run up the Kewaunee River and we will be sorting salmon on Wednesday, returning coho to the pond to allow them to ripen and removing chinook from the facility.

Kewaunee County - A week that felt more like fall came over the area as cooler days and increased winds set in. Anglers fishing off of the piers in Algoma and Kewaunee have had a decent week of fishing off the piers. Browns, and Kings are still being caught almost everyday, but not in very large numbers on most of the days. Casting with spoons or crank baits has been the best tackle, but spawn sacs have been working as well. Low water levels are still present in all of the rivers, but some fish are making their way up the rivers with some fish being caught almost all the way up to the dams in some cases. Most anglers are using spawn sacs, but some have been casting as well. Many fish are still holding closer to shore and in the harbors as well. The few anglers that have been trolling out on the lake have been coming in with a few fish. Most boats are coming in with Kings and browns for the most part. Anglers this week have been trolling in the shallow waters outside of the harbors and along the shore. The best choice for tackle has been spoons and stick baits however some anglers were still using some flies and flashers. Anglers have also been casting spoons from boats inside of the break walls or just outside of them, and having some luck with this tactic as well.

Oshkosh DNR Service Center area

Lakeshore team wildlife report – Canada geese have been arriving from the north in great numbers. Populations have been building up in many of the Fox Cities communities. Opportunities for hunting them have improved provided permission has been granted. Look for large roosting sites and food sources nearby. These can be detention ponds as well as fields now showing winter wheat that is greening up from recent rains. Throughout this past week many warbler species have been funneling through on their way south. Wildlife was somewhat sluggish in movements during the daylight hours with temperatures hitting the 80s earlier this month. Deer were reluctant to move much with most of their activity near their bedding areas. On top of that deer food sources were not at the traditional sites people most often see them. Most of these deer seen were near succulent sources of food near dried up wetlands or moist soil wetlands. These most often contained a broad-leafed plant called jewelweed which is highly sought after since it is succulent and nutritious. For us humans it has many uses too. Jewelweed contains compounds that work as an anti-inflammatory and fungicide. If you crush the jewelweed's stem with a repeated application of the juice to a fresh mosquito bite for 15-20 minutes, the itching stops and the bite doesn't swell. This also works on older bites but less effective and is more a temporary solution. Jewelweed also relieves stings from wasps and bees in much the same way as mosquito bites. Finally, when in the woods and meadows when walking, you may accidentally touch a nettle. You can treat the stinging sensation with jewelweed to prevent the itching and swelling. This great plant is one to identify and seek out for many of the reasons given. The disabled deer hunt across Wisconsin that began Oct 6 brought on many hunters with disabilities to take advantage of the opportunity. Locally these hunts were in Outagamie County on private lands. This hunt was slow with little deer movement. More deer activity has presented itself as temperatures cooled last week, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Changes are occurring on the landscape. Leaves are falling due to the wet weather and winds being at higher levels. With the dryness still continuing in Outagamie, Calumet and Brown Counties many trees are near peak color. The asters are still in flower of with about half to less than half of their colors remaining in the field and forest. Most of the prairie grasses are drying down with their amber colors starting to standing out.



Lake Michigan fisheries team report

Sheboygan County - In Sheboygan fishing has been slow on the Sheboygan and Pigeon Rivers as well as in the harbor, but a few coho and browns have been taken off the piers on spoons or crankbaits.

Ozaukee County - Shore anglers in Port Washington have been catching good numbers of chinooks on spawn sacs in the north slip. Anglers near the power plant have been catching decent numbers of brown trout, some in the 15 to 20 pound range. A few chinooks and coho have also been taken off the Port Washington pier on shiners, alewives, or spoons.

Milwaukee County - In Milwaukee a few chinooks have been caught in the Milwaukee River on yarn flies or spawn in Estabrook Park. Milwaukee County has scheduled the opening of the Estabrook dam gates for Wednesday, Oct. 17. On Oak Creek a few chinooks have been caught just below the dam. At the Milwaukee lakefront chinooks have been caught at the McKinley ramps on orange & gold spoons and in Veteran’s Park near the Sailing Center on spawn. Behind the Summerfest grounds shore anglers have been taking browns and steelhead on large fathead minnows, spoons, and crankbaits.

Racine County - In Racine many chinooks and browns remain in the harbor, but fishing there has been slow recently. On the Root River, anglers in the downstream stretches have found chinooks and occasional browns as well as increasing numbers of coho throughout Lincoln and Washington Parks. Yarn flies have been producing the most fish. Fishing should improve yet this week in the upstream stretch of the Root between Colonial Park and the Horlick dam. Nearly 600 chinooks were passed above the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, Oct. 15, and fish will be processed again on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 17 and 18. So far this season DNR crews have handled 2,950 chinooks, 143 coho, 30 steelhead, and 28 brown trout.

Kenosha County - Shore anglers in Kenosha have been catching a few chinooks and browns on spawn in the harbor and on spoons near the mouth of the Pike River. Fishing on the Pike River has been slow.

Inland fisheries team report

Fishing has been improving in recent days in the Southeast Region.

Washington, eastern Fond du Lac, and inland Sheboygan counties - Game fish actions seems to be on the rise this past week. Several anglers at various lakes mentioned hooking up with northern pike lately which was expected. One angler was catching walleye while row-trolling very slowly on points and drop-offs. Panfish action has also picked up, especially for crappies.

Waukesha County - Bluegills are moving into there fall patterns, nice catches have been reported from Pewaukee, Oconomowoc, and Golden lakes. Try small jigs tipped with waxies and leaf worms fished around weed beds in 5-11 feet of water. Northern pike have been biting on Pine, Beaver and Keesus lakes, best baits have been golden shiners fished near the bottom on the outside deep weed edges.



Fitchburg DNR Service Center area

Sauk County

Devil’s Lake State Park - Autumn foliage is about 30 to 50 percent turned to colors in the park. Some leaves are falling, while many are still green. Mountain bike trails are temporarily closed because muddy conditions make the trails vulnerable to further damage. Northern Lights and Ice Age campgrounds are now closed, but may be opened as overflow camping on a first-come, first-served basis if needed. For the weekend of October 19-21, only the Northern Lights campground will be opened for overflow camping, since there is a 4-day hunting season in the park that weekend that includes the area of the Ice Age campground. Almost all water facilities are now shut down for the season. This includes RV dump & fill stations, water taps, running water restrooms, and showers. One winterized water tap is available throughout the winter near site #50 in the Quartzite Campground. Pit toilet buildings are open in the camp area. Running water restrooms are open in the Headquarters, Visitor Center, and the main south shore (concessions closed) building. Hunting is allowed in portions of the park. This fall, deer hunting seasons in the park are Oct. 18 - 21 (until noon only), and regular gun deer season November 17 through December 9. Bow hunting is allowed Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2008. Recreational visitors who are hiking around the lake, East and West Bluffs, Parfrey’s Glen, the north and south shore picnic areas, the Nature Center and Visitor Center, and the open family and group camping areas are well within the no-hunting zones, and should not be affected by the presence of hunters. Visitors to other areas of the park which are open for hunting might consider wearing blaze orange or choosing to hike in the non-hunting areas. Saturday, Oct. 27, the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park will host their annual Autumn Candlelight Walk at the north shore of the lake, beginning at the Rock Elm Shelter. Join us for a pleasant 1.5-mile walk along a candlelit trail through the woods and campground on a crisp autumn evening. Refreshments will be available, along with a crackling warming fire. There is no fee for this event, but a valid vehicle admission sticker is required on all cars.



Baldwin DNR Service Center area

St. Croix County

Willow River State Park - Wild Turkeys have been seen frequently from the office in recent days. A Palliated Woodpecker was in the trees outside the office last week. Fall color is still in progress at the park. This week is probably about the end of color. With leaves coming down, hikers will see more, especially at the canyon overlook on the north side of the Willow River. Big wind and rain is predicted as this report is submitted. Dry land training for adult cross country skiers continues Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 5:30 -7 p.m. Meet at the Nature Center. Trail brushing will continue on the next two Saturdays, Oct. 20 and 27. Meet at the service building at 8 a.m. The trails have had scattered puddles and soft spots with all the rain. Water is turned off in all day use and campground bathroom/shower buildings. Pit toilets are open in the beach area, in the campground by site # 62, the boat launch, and at the new parking lot for the group camp. Campers with tanks and small water containers may load water at the service building just down the hill from the office building. Campers may unload at the dump station but there is no rinse or refill water. Day visitors may pick up water at the office. Flush toilets, showers, and the dump station will remain closed until May 2008. Vehicle access to the campground will end in mid November, or at first snow. Along the Trout Brook Trail, recent beaver cutting on trees is obvious. The cuttings are on an oak tree and a cherry tree, which are not a food source for beaver. Coming events include a non scary Halloween party for kids, and a Full Moon Hike for all. Deer hunters will need an annual or day sticker on their vehicles to access the park for hunting. The park will be open for the nine day gun season (no rifles) and the late archery season. Pick up a map at the park office. Open hunting areas will be signed as open with season dates.

La Crosse DNR Service Center area

Dark-eyed juncos arrived in the area last week. Noted Wisconsin ornithologist Sam Robbins stated in his book "Wisconsin Birdlife" that even though birds know nothing about political boundaries, the US - Canadian border approximates the summer and winter range of the dark-eyed junco. These birds generally summer north of the border and spend winters south of it. Juncos are easily identified by their uniformly slate-gray head, back, and breast, along with white outer tail feathers. The bill and belly are whitish. Juncos readily patronize bird feeders.

Mississippi River - Trematode caused die-offs of waterfowl have begun again on the Mississippi River near La Crosse. So far coots have been nearly the only species affected, however that will change when more scaup and ring-necked ducks arrive. The trematodes are carried by an exotic snail, which the ducks and coots eat. The trematode, or fluke, does severe damage to the bird's intestinal tract. Large die-offs have occured in spring and fall since 2002. People, dogs, birds of prey and other animals are not affected by these trematodes.

Crawford County - The Mississippi River appears to have crested late last week around 10 feet. Early this week the big river has dropped to 9.3 feet. The forecast is for a very slow decrease throughout this week. It is anticipated that by next weekend the river should be around 9 feet. The Wisconsin River and Kickapoo Rivers have stabilized, but are still higher than normal. The Mississippi River is still seeing a substantial amount of floating vegetation and to a lesser degrees debris like trees and limbs. Some of the boat landings on the Mississippi River are full of weeds. Late this week the Lynxville boat landing had a substantial clump of weeds causing some difficulties. The Cold Spring landing is about the same, however a lot of boat traffic is going in and out making a pretty good path. Fishing action was good again this week. Bluegill and crappie action was good in many areas of the Ambro Slough complex and in the Lower Bottoms just south of Prairie du Chien. Try fishing the snags with small minnows for crappie or small ice fishing jigs (red or yellow) tipped with red worms for bluegills. Cold Spring heated up again earlier this week but was spotty near the end of the week. Bluegills are being located in 3 to 8 feet of water in slack or slow moving sloughs. Walleye action was also good. Trying fishing at Lock and Dam #9 at Lynxville or further down stream near the Harpers Ferry slough. Casting or vertical jigging One-Eyes have been productive. Walleye are being located in deeper sloughs in the back waters also. The Roseau and Black Sloughs have produced well. Walleyes have been biting up in Pool 9 in the deeper backwater areas south of the Lansing dike. Wing dam action was slow. Also try trolling crank baits. A fair number of sauger have been taken too.Most are finding bass action pretty good. Some of the wing dams have produced bass but the best action was been in the backwater adjacent to deeper water. Some however are finding active bass in the recently flooded shallows. The duck season re-opened last weekend. Rain, cooler weather and dropping water levels met duck hunters during the second opener. The duck activity has been spotty. Some hunter report very good action in the Lower Bottoms outside Prairie du Chien and up in the Ambro Slough Complex however some days and locations were better than others. Some areas of Pool 9 like the Copper Creek, Buck Creek, and Rush Creek bottoms produced well on some mornings. The Winneshiek and Big Slough complex south of the Lansing dike was fairly slow. Successful hunters report a mixed bag of teal, mallards, wooduck, pintail, widgeon, shoveler and gadwall. Hunters report slow to moderate action at the island complexes outside Lynxville (Deer Island) and Ferryville (Capoli Island). Very few diver ducks are being seen in Pool 9. The lower Wisconsin River is full of acorns and water. Some hunters found decent wood duck, mallard and teal activity in the Wisconsin River bottoms. Hunters in the bottoms of the Wisconsin River need to scout around to find active duck spots. Archery deer hunters continued their fight with mosquitoes even though cooler weather settled in. On a positive note some crop fields are coming down, leaves are starting to fall and pre-rut activity is starting. Deer hunters are reporting rubs and a few scraps showing up. Hunting field edges has been productive for some archers. Squirrel hunters are having pretty good success now that the leaves are starting to fall. The fall colors around the Crawford County area is beginning to show signs. Even though many trees have all ready dropped their leaves. Black Walnut, sumac, some hickory, and many elms have dropped most of their leaves. Many of the oak are still green. Some maple trees are starting to turn color along with aspen, cottonwood and ash. Poison ivy and stinging nettle is still present in many areas. The river bottoms are still full of nettle and poison ivy. Mosquitoes remain out in force especially in the river bottoms. Hornets, box elder beetles and Asian beetles were a little less active later in the week because of the cool and wet weather. This is a great time for bird watching. The fall migration of hawks is just beginning. Also the white Pelicans can be seen throughout the Mississippi River. Waterfowl numbers are still relatively low on Pool 9 as the migration has yet to come.

Eau Claire DNR Service Center area

Brunet Island State Park - The open water game fish action has been fair with the heavy rains. Bass action on leeches and small minnows has been productive; walleye action has been good with live baits. Crappies have been very active between storm fronts. Fall colors are still ablaze though do appear to be past peak in our area. We are expecting the colors to be short lived this season. The heavy rainfalls we’ve been receiving have been taking the fall leaves down fairly quickly. Species of birds we have been seeing or hearing include: great blue herons, ravens, a variety of wrens, phoebes, turkey vultures, northern juncos, piliated woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, osprey, bald eagles, and Canada geese.The park will be undertaking a major road renovation project through mid-October. Existing pavement on nearly all park roads and parking areas will be ground up and new pavement will be placed over it. The main park road will be widened slightly to accommodate a bicycle/pedestrian lane. All work will be done during daytime Mondays through Fridays. If you are planning a trip to Brunet Island during the construction, you may want to call ahead and check the status of the work. Campgrounds are still with pit toilets and drinking water available. The showers and dump station will be shut down soon.

Chippewa Moraine Ice Age State Recreation Area - - Fishing luck has varied with the recent rains but some anglers have had good luck on Reserve lakes. Musky fishing has been good at surrounding lakes. With the summer birds gone, hiking on the Reserve is quiet except for Canadian geese and sandhill cranes that can be seen and heard in large flocks preparing for migration. Recent rains have contributed to the trail being slippery and muddy in spots but its well worth taking some time to hike, as leaves are still colorful and bugs are go. Kettle lakes within the Reserve are slowly replenishing their water levels with the recent rainfalls, but are still well below normal levels. The Reserve is open for hunting and maps can be picked up at the Visitor Center. All game and state rules apply which include no overnight tree stands, ATV use, or wheeled carts. If you plan on hunting the Reserve, make sure you know where public and private lands intersect.

Wisconsin Rapids DNR Service Center area

Buckhorn State Park - The boat boarding piers and fishing pier will be removed on Wednesday, Oct 17. The park is open for early and late bow seasons. Deer can be registered at the park office when it is staffed. New hunting maps are available at the park office and on the park website for parkland, Buckhorn wildlife area (formerly area A), and yellow river wildlife area (formerly area B). The yellow river wildlife area (area B) is open to everything in the regulations. Buckhorn wildlife (area A) is open for small game, waterfowl, trapping, and deer bow hunting. The far campsites are closed. 8, 9, 16 are open year-round. Sites in the group camp are open, 10-12, 25, 23-24, 26-29. Drinking water will be available at the park office and group camp. The 2008 photo contest started Oct. 1.

Roche-A-Cri State Park - Turkey vultures have been congregating on the mound as they take part in their annual migration. Deer and Turkeys have been abundant throughout the park. Many fall mushrooms have been present throughout the park. Take an evening hike and listen to the owls, coyotes, and turkey vultures of Roche-A-Cri. The Pumpkin Walk is near! The annual Pumpkin Walk and Haunted Hayride will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 from 3 to 8:30 p.m. Activities will include games, a jack-o-lantern lit walk through the park, haunted and non-haunted hayrides, concessions, and “Wolf Howlers,” an interpretive program presented by special guest naturalist Janna Misener. Camping is currently available on a first-come first-served basis, and the campground will remain open through Oct. 18. The 2008 photo contest is now underway. The Roche-A-Cri Woods state natural area east of State Highway 13 is open for hunting.
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