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Around the Badger State

What a difference a week makes! Even far northern Wisconsin is finally making it to spring.
With temperatures in the 50s and 60s, snow is melting quickly in the Northwoods, although it isn't gone yet and it may be awhile before its gone in the woods.
Northern lakes still have up to 2 feet of ice and it's looking at this point that some lakes will still be iced over when the general fishing season opens on May 5.
With all the snowmelt, waterfalls have come to life. Last Friday both Big and Little Manitou Falls at Pattison State Park were completely ice covered, but with warmer temperatures, they both came to life. People were eager to see the transformation with more than 385 vehicles visiting the park over the weekend to view the falls. Both Forks of the Flambeau are also open now and their falls are roaring.
As things are drying out, we're also moving into the spring wildfire season. In the last week, 60 wildfires burned 129 acres in DNR Protection Areas. Half of the fires were caused by debris burning. Stay aware of fire danger and burning restrictions by searching the DNR website for keyword fire.
Redhorse are running on the Flambeau River and suckers are running on many Lake Michigan tributaries. Anglers were still catching walleye on the Menominee, Peshtigo and Oconto rivers, but the bite was slowing down with more suckers coming up rivers. Over 150 boats were put in at the Oconto Breakwater Harbor on Saturday, and many anglers were reporting mixed success. There has still been hundreds of anglers out to catch a trophy walleye on the Fox River, but with the recent weather changes fish haven't been as active.
Lots of boats were out over the weekend fishing during a Door County brown trout tournament. Anglers reported action wasn't great, but some large individuals were caught, including a winning fish just over 22 pounds.
Green Bay side boat landings are still locked with ice and much ice remains in the lower bay including the bays of Little Sturgeon, Riley's, Sand and the mouth of Sturgeon Bay. Melting snow dramatically increased flow rates in streams and steelhead action has been good.
Manitowoc River water levels increased drastically and steelhead fishing has decreased. Anglers, who were dip netting for suckers, have had mixed success.
West Twin River anglers fishing by Shoto Dam were doing well early in the week, but fishing decreased as the water continued to rise and clarity decreased.
Two Rivers pier fishing is starting to pick up as the water temps continue to rise.
Pressure on the Sheboygan south pier was very high this weekend because of the nice weather. Anglers are reporting good numbers of brown trout along with the occasional steelhead. Anglers targeting steelhead on the Sheboygan River near the Kohler dam were reasonably successful despite the fast and high water.
Bears and bear cubs are coming out of their dens.
Tom turkeys are gobbling and displaying for the hens with multiple fanned toms seen among flocks. Turkey hunting is in the second period.
Ruffed grouse are drumming, more American woodcock are displaying and peenting, snipe are winnowing, sharp-tailed grouse and greater prairie chicken dancing activity is picking up and turkey vultures are soaring.
Pussy willows are coming out and maples are budding. Sap was still being collected and cooked in the north, but the season is coming to an end.
Hepatica blooms have been seen in some hardwoods stands and pasque flowers were emerging in southern prairie areas.
And a good sign of spring in the south, spring peepers are peeping, chorus frogs are singing and wood frogs are croaking.
After multiple reschedules and cancellation of Work*Play*Earth Day events last weekend due to properties being buried in snow, this weekend you can help out at 10 different properties Friday and Saturday then stick around to enjoy yourself. For details search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."