My better half and I had a nice drive to Milwaukee and back last weekend before heading to Cloquet, MN, on Wednesday.
We expected to see peak fall color the farther we drove north. However, we were a little disappointed. The Eau Claire area was faded shades of green similar to the Coulee Region.
Color didn't really become apparent until we reached Rice Lake. Yet, there was no brillliant color show, only faded shades of red, yellows and browns.
Color waned farther north, but plenty of leaves were dropping from a strong southern breeze. Suprisingly, the best color show was right in Cloquet where our oldest son and family live.
Meanwhile, closer to home, rivers are dropping in the Greater La Crosse Area, although not fast enough for the Wisconsin-Minnesota waterfowl hunting re-opener on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Mary Stefanski, Winona District Manager of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, urges waterfowl hunters to be extremely cautious.
Stefanski said hunters should be vigilant as flood waters have significantly changed conditions at traditional hunting locations. Excessive current, turbid water and submerged and floating hazards should be expected.
The unseasonably high water will also alter the appearance of backwater areas and could make Closed Area boundaries difficult to locate as signs may be submerged or missing. Hunters should verify the general location of Closed Areas by reviewing maps available at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Upper_Mississippi_River/map.html.
Waterfowl hunters should also be prepared to locate alternative boat ramps to access the Mississippi River between Wabasha, MN and Trempealeau, WI as traditional ramps may be closed due to flooding. The following boat ramps are currently closed and not expected to open for the Saturday re-opener: Halfmoon Landing located near Kellogg, MN; Verchota and McNally Landings on the Prairie Island Dike near Minnesota City, MN; Beef Slough and Pontoon Slough Landings on the Nelson Dike (MN Hwy 60/WI Hwy 25) between Nelson, WI and Wabasha, MN.
For more questions about the availability of boat ramps, Stefanski said to call the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge at 507-454-7351.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.