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Around the Badger State

With the equinox not just a week away, summer is moving into full swing with visitors steaming into parks and campgrounds filling up. Pattison State Park had over 1,100 vehicles come through last weekend with many attracted by high flows over the waterfalls.
The hexagenia mayfly hatch has begun, making for great fly fishing on central Wisconsin streams.
Walleye fishing on the Winnebago System has been very good, with many anglers catching limits of 15- to 20-inch fish and some anglers are starting to target and catch yellow perch. Anglers are having the best luck trolling in the mud flats on Lake Winnebago. Lakes Poygan, Winneconne and Butte des Morts are also producing fish for anglers through a variety of presentations.
Fewer anglers were out on the Menominee, Peshtigo and Oconto rivers this past week in part due to cooler air temperatures and high wind. Some anglers were still having successful trips catching northern pike, smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, crappies and rock bass. A couple anglers reported catching a musky at the mouth of the Peshtigo River.
On lower Green Bay, anglers at the Metro launch were catching their limit of walleye or close to it. Many anglers reported high numbers of freshwater drum and catfish being caught. High numbers of white bass were still being harvested at Voyager Park.
Bass fishing is picking up in northern Green Bay. Many anglers were catching smallmouth off the beds from Egg Harbor north to Ellison Bay. Water temps are still cool in the upper 50s, but should continue to warm. The bass catch was good at Stone Quarry with the numbers reaching the 90s for some parties.
Lake Michigan anglers were reporting a variety of catches, but mostly king salmon and lake trout with a few coho and rainbows were caught. There was heavy pressure out of Algoma where anglers were limiting out. Fishing was good to start out the week in Manitowoc and Two Rivers, but as the week progressed fishing slowed down a little bit. Salmon fishing was picking up out of Sheboygan and Port Washington. The Sheboygan Salmon Cup Tournament was held last weekend and competitors registered some nice chinook, many of which weighed in the high 20s. Trollers out of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha reported mainly lake trout and coho along with a few kings.
Fawns and bear cubs are a more common site as they are getting pretty mobile.
A variety of snakes are being seen in sunny spots including garter, western fox, ring necked and water snakes, all nonvenomous. Snapping and other turtles are finishing up laying their eggs. Swallowtail butterflies are busy looking for nectar from blooming dogwoods and high bush cranberries.
Chickadees are starting to look for food for their newborns.
Blackberries are in bloom and some wild strawberries are ripe for the picking. Bunchberry, false lilly of the valley and star flower are still in bloom, and the lovely maroon flower of the pitcher plant is starting to show up in the bogs.
This week is a new moon and this weekend half a dozen properties are holding astronomy or Universe in the Park programs, so if skies are clear there should be some excellent viewing.
For a list of all events search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."