Nothing says “July is here” like popping a few freshly picked blueberries in your mouth while swatting at swarms of mosquitoes.
The Northwoods is reporting a good crop of both this year. Raspberries and June berries are ripening up, too. Wild cherry and service berries are also developing a good amount of fruit.
Heat has been the “hot” topic in Wisconsin with lots of boating and swimming activity on lakes and rivers. Area rivers still have good current and lots of people have been enjoying canoeing, kayaking and tubing.
The Flambeau River water levels are slightly higher than normal so the river is near perfect conditions for paddling. The water in the upper Wisconsin River has gone down and is beginning to drop on the lower Wisconsin with some sandbars beginning to pop up and more expected by the weekend, when the river is expected to drop to about 8,000 cubic feet per second from its current flow of 10,000 cfs.
Catches of walleye and catfish have been seen on Lake Poygon. Anglers are trolling and using a night crawler harness. Walleye fishing has been good on some Northwoods lakes with most fish found in 10-12 feet of water with bobber and leech. The water level in the Chippewa River has receded and is near the normal level. Muskies were being caught along the river from dams in Eau Claire and Altoona down to the Carryville.
Anglers have been reporting increased catches of walleye and perch over the last couple weeks at Oconto and the catch of walleye has been steadily increasing out of the Metro boat launch in Green Bay. The catch numbers for freshwater drum have also been decreasing as the week progressed
The smallmouth spawn is almost over in most areas of Door County with the exception of the northern most areas around Ellison Bay, Gills Rock and Washington Island. Anglers were still catching some nice fish from the piers but fewer fish have been caught than past weeks. Fishing has been picking up on perch and walleyes around Sturgeon Bay with many of the good bites coming from early in the morning.
Salmon fishing has been relatively slow on the big lake but some lucky anglers are coming in with good numbers of steelhead. Anglers who were targeting chinook are catching more rainbows and lakers than salmon. Farther south out of Milwaukee mostly coho, rainbow and lake trout with the occasional chinook continue to be landed.
Spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities are peaking with younger eaglets fledging from their nests, loon chicks riding alongside of or on their parents, and song birds being seen in family groups. Some goslings are already half the size of their parents.
Ruffed grouse broods are being seen with chicks about the size of golf balls. Turkey broods with but to 15 poults with two hens are being seen. The elk cows are moving into cow/calf groups for safety in numbers. Black bear sightings are becoming more common as they are moving around more due to the breeding season.
Eastern yellow swallowtails and monarchs are very active in Wisconsin. These warm and humid evenings have been perfect for watching fireflies, which have been abundant in many areas.
Orange hawkweed, oxeye daisy’s, buttercups, bird foot trefoil, yarrow, joe- pye weed and butterfly milkweed dot roadsides and trails.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that the State Highway 35 Bridge at Pattison State Park reopened last Friday. There are still repairs being made to the dam under the bridge. Caution is needed when traveling in the park.