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Wisconsin Fishing Reports

 

Sroll down or click on links below for the most recent fishing reports from DNR and other sites. Additional reports are being developed by SC staff and contributors that will also be posted here.

Outdoor Report – October 11, 2019

Outdoor Report is your weekly snapshot for all things outdoors from across the state. Here is a brief look at what Wisconsin has in store for you this week.

More and more leaves are changing across Wisconsin as the fall color begins to peak across the northern half of the state. Those living further south are in for a treat as the leaves are just starting to turn. You can still discover the best fall colors in Wisconsin with the official Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report.

The state continued to receive its share of rain last week, leaving Lake Michigan tributaries running high and clarity low. Between the rainstorms, anglers were still fishing fall salmon runs, especially at Oak Creek, where anglers were standing shoulder to shoulder. Deer activity is picking up with plenty of scraping, so bucks can make their presence known. High water levels continue to make it challenging for waterfowl hunters, who are finding birds spread out. Ducks, geese and cranes are slowly moving in with a big push of birds are expected this weekend. For more on Wisconsin’s outdoors, check out the full Outdoor Report below.


FISHING

Door County

The number of anglers going out on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay has dwindled to only a handful. Bailey’s Harbor anglers targeting salmon from the shore managed to catch a few throughout the week. Heins Creek is still holding the most salmon/trout out of all the creeks. Anglers fishing on the bayside were mainly targeting smallmouth bass with a few anglers targeting salmon. Smallmouth bass anglers had decent success last weekend, with fish being caught ranging from 15 to 18 inches.

Kenosha County

Fishing activity on the Pike River in Kenosha was low this week. Only a few anglers were spotted fishing for salmon at the mouth of the river. There were plenty of anglers fishing the shorelines and piers in Kenosha, targeting salmon and trout.

Kewaunee County

Kewaunee River fishing pressure was moderate during the week and increased towards the weekend. Those who had success typically caught one to two chinook salmon. Recent rainfall has caused the water level to stay high and the clarity to stay very low. Algoma fishing pressure was moderate this week; most anglers were fishing the Ahnapee River. Early in the week, a decent number of Chinook were caught below the dam off the County Road J bridge.

Marinette County

Rain and high winds kept angling efforts down this week in Marinette. A few anglers targeting Chinook salmon were seen at the Little River boat launch fishing from shore and upstream at the Little River Road crossing. The Menominee River was producing a few brown trout from shore anglers. Anglers reported hooking both chinook and pink salmon also but not being able to land them. Boat anglers fishing upstream from the Highway 41 bridge were catching smallmouth bass and a few walleyes on crankbaits.

Manitowoc County

In the Manitowoc River, there were reports of several chinook salmon being caught by the Shoto dam. At the Mishicot dam, there were reports of a handful of chinook salmon being caught as well.

Milwaukee County

Rain throughout the week limited the number of boats launching out of McKinley, but those that did go out had a fair amount of success with kings inside the harbor. Additionally, many anglers fishing off the ramps were having success with kings. A few anglers were also catching kings from the western end of the pier.

A fair number of anglers were fishing the shoreline near Lakeshore State Park during breaks in the rain. Most successes from the shore came from the anglers fishing off the ramps at McKinley.

Rain all week led to flooding on the Milwaukee River, which limited anglers’ access. Fast-moving water from Kletzsch Park to the mouth of the river made fishing nearly impossible. Oak Creek was incredibly busy this week, with anglers fishing shoulder to shoulder. All anglers were targeting kings, and nearly all anglers saw some action. Most kings were caught near the dam, but access was limited during the week due to flooding.

Oconto County

Only a few shore anglers were seen at Oconto Park II (North Bay Shore Recreation Area) with bluegills and bass being caught off the docks, but size was small. Some brown trout and pink salmon were seen at Stiles Dam on the Oconto River.

Ozaukee County

Sauk Creek in Port Washington was running incredibly high and fast, making it unfishable. Anglers focused their effort primarily within the marina, with a few chinook catches recorded.

Racine County

Water levels on the Root River in Racine increased drastically over the past week, as did the fishing activity. The river upstream of the Steelhead facility saw lots of activity this week. Fly fishing was the most common fishing method among the anglers. The average fishermen walked away with one to two fish. Anglers enjoyed catching a mix of king salmon, coho salmon and brown trout.

Sheboygan County

A few anglers were fishing the Sheboygan River and caught several Chinook at Kohler Dam.


HUNTING & TRAPPING

Burnett County

Some hunters reported flushing four to five grouse per hour. Still a lot of leaves on trees, making hunting difficult. Hunters reported flushing a few woodcock but the peak of migration is not here yet.

Lots of water is scattered around the landscape, making duck hunting difficult. Mallards are present in good numbers in more extensive wild rice beds.

Columbia County

Duck hunters in northern Columbia County are taking advantage of recent rains by using the high water to get into some of the usually hard to get to hunting spots. Only local ducks have been reported and no migrants have been seen in the area yet. Archery hunters have been taking some deer pre-rut. The cooler temperatures have triggered the beginning of the fall fish bite on local lakes and river systems.

Eau Claire County

Deer activity in the woods is in full swing around Eau Claire. Scraping activity is evident along travel corridors, and apples have started to drop.

Outagamie County

Water levels continue to be high throughout Outagamie and Calumet counties, which is making deer and small game hunting difficult for most hunters. The high waters are even causing problems for waterfowl hunters, who are finding the birds are spread out. Waterfowl hunters without a boat or a dog to retrieve game are also struggling to find spots where water does not go above their head. Anyone who is using a boat or canoe to access a hunting spot is asked to remember that life jackets are required to be on board.

Portage County

This is a notice for any bow hunters or other folks planning to enjoy the Little Plover Fishery Area during the fall. Please be advised that the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point faculty and students will be performing numerous forestry management activities at multiple locations through the Little Plover Fishery Area from Oct. 17-22 and Nov. 2-9. These activities will be particularly prevalent in the Land adjacent to CTH R, Roosevelt Drive and Bluebird Drive.


WILDLIFE

Dodge County

Extreme caution is to be used while recreating on the Horicon Marsh and Mud Lake State Wildlife areas after heavy rains. Strong currents and moving cattail mats change navigation routes spontaneously. Ducks, geese and cranes are slowly moving in and a big push of birds is expected Friday and Saturday nights. With last week’s rain, many fields have standing water, so waterfowl and wading birds are widely dispersed.

Iowa County

Waterfowl are showing up in good numbers, and large flocks of geese can be sighted in crop fields. Heavy rains have created numerous areas of standing water, which migrating waterfowl are taking advantage of. Large flocks of sandhill cranes can be found in crop fields along the Lower WI State Riverway.

Lincoln County

Visitors are coming to visit the Council Grounds State Park to view the fall colors, and they are reporting sightings of deer, geese and ducks. The bucks that are being seen are without their velvet coats, which does not coincide with scrapping since this park is not notoriously known for large bucks. Geese are in major migratory patterns heading down south and landing in the water around the park.


SEASONAL CONDITIONS

Douglas County

At Pattison State Park, the sun finally broke through the clouds on Sunday, allowing the fall colors to show all their beauty. Colors are at peak. The picnic area at Little Manitou Falls was golden, backlit by the sunshine, making for a beautiful scene.

Iron County

The lovely autumn color will quickly disappear at the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest with the cold weather incoming, so one is encouraged to get out during the week and enjoy the splendor on the area trails and lakes. Water levels remain very high, so bring waterproof footgear.

Sawyer County

The Flambeau River State Forest has great fall colors with plenty of opportunities to either view on the river or while on a drive down forest roads. The river is above average for water levels with all the recent rain. River canoe sites along with Lake of the Pines Campground remain open while Connors Lake Campground closed at the end of September. Water systems will be shut down this week. The grouse and archery whitetail seasons are here with seemingly endless areas to recreate.

Waukesha County

Fall colors are just beginning to peak out at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit. However, the prairie is already providing beautiful fall colors. Arriving at the Scuppernong springs in the morning may provide excellent photo opportunities as mist rises from the river. Keep an eye out for warblers still moving through the area and try to spot the first juncos coming from the north.


PARKS & TRAILS

Adams County

The main gate and camping at Roche-A-Cri State Park are now closed. Parking is in the winter lot on Czech Avenue, and park stickers are required. Trails are in good shape for hiking and only a small amount of fall colors.

Douglas County

Fall colors are at peak condition at Amnicon State Park with about 90% color change. The campground is open, and the season is perfect for getting out and exploring the park. Midweek, many campsites are available, and drinking water will be on, but next week, it will be shut off. Visitors have been enjoying hiking and viewing the fall colors. As of last week, the Amnicon River was up four feet but is now back to normal levels.

Iowa County

Color is starting at Governor Dodge State Park — mostly yellows; however, rain is taking down many leaves already. Fall weather keeps campsites close to full every weekend. Reservations are still suggested through October.

Juneau County

Shorter hike-in campsites at Buckhorn State Park are still open and non-reservable. Far campsites are now closed. Cooler weather is coming, and winterizing has started. RVs can use the frost-free spigot at the park office or fill water in a campground as the dump station is shut down. Hunting maps are available for park and wildlife areas. Boat piers will be removed Oct. 23.

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 7, 2019

Sheboygan County

  • City of Sheboygan: Wednesday morning was windy and chilly, with rough Michigan waters. The Pigeon River was 60°F and in the flooding stage. The 8th St. Ramp is accessible again, but Evergreen Park has been closed until next year. No catches were recorded. Thursday evening Lake Michigan was calmer, but waters within the harbor and nearshore were turbid. The Pigeon River (58°F) was still very high, muddy, and swiftly running. More anglers were fishing by boat and at the south pier, but no catchers were recorded. By Saturday morning, windy and chilly, the Pigeon River was lower and 56°F. Harbor waters, also 56°F, were still turbid and Lake Michigan had very rough waters. Anglers were fishing on the river, by boat, and at the south pier but no catches were recorded. Sunday evening was milder, but still windy. Boaters stayed within the turbid harbor (56°F) or fished along the Pigeon River, which stayed at 56°F but was lower and slightly less turbid. No catches were recorded.
  • Sheboygan River: Thursday evening was cloudy, breezy, and chilly. The Sheboygan River (60°F) was high, muddy, and swift. Few anglers were fishing, but caught several chinook at Kholer Dam. Saturday morning was cloudy, windy, and had a light drizzle. The river was cooler (58°F) and lower, but still turbid and swift. No catches were recorded. A milder Sunday evening

Ozaukee County

  • Port Washington: Wednesday morning was windy, chilly, and cloudy with rough Michigan waters crashing over the piers. Waters at the power plant discharge and within the harbor were turbid. Sauk Creek was cooler (56°F) but incredibly high and fast running, making it unfishable. Anglers focused their effort primarily within the marina, with a few chinook catches recorded.

Milwaukee County

  • McKinley Marina: Rain throughout the week limited the number of boats launching out of McKinley, but those that did go out had a fair amount of success with kings inside the harbor. Additionally, many anglers fishing off the ramps were having success with kings. A few anglers were also catching kings from the western end of the pier.
  • North City Shoreline: A fair amount of anglers were seen fishing the shoreline nesr lakeshore state park during breaks in the rain. Success with kings was hit or miss near the red lighthouse. Most success from shore came from the anglers fishing off the ramps at McKinley.
  • South City Shoreline: A couple anglers were seen shore fishing this week on the south end of the city. Anglers were mainly targeting salmon and trout but no fish were reported during survey times.
  • South Ramps: The South Shore and Bender Park ramps saw little fishing effort for a majority of the week. No fish were reported.
  • Oak Creek Power Plant: The pier at the power plant was fairly slow all week. Anglers were targeting salmon and trout but were reporting little success.
  • Milwaukee River: Rain all week led to river flooding, which limited anglers access. Fast moving water from Kletzsch Park all the way to the mouth of the river made fishing nearly impossible and the banks were unsafe to access. Water temps were in the low 60s over the weekend. No fish were reported during survey times.
  • Menomonee River: Fishing efforts are still slow on the Menomonee River. Rain and flooding prevented a lot of fishing effort this week and no fish were seen during the survey. River temps were reading in the high 50s this week.
  • Oak Creek: Oak Creek was incredibly busy this week, with anglers fishing shoulder to shoulder. All anglers were targeting kings and nearly all anglers saw some action. Most kings were caught near the dam but access was limited during the week due to flooding.

Racine County

  • Water levels on the Root River increased drastically over the past week. That wouldn’t stop the fishermen though, as the river saw another increase in fishing activity. As fishing activity on the river increased, activity on the lakefront is still much lower than expected.
  • Racine Harbor and Piers: The piers and shorelines in Racine didn’t see much activity this week during survey times. Only a small handful of anglers were seen trying to hook up to a few salmon. The anglers were using a combination of spoons, crankbaits, and spawn in the hopes that they could get something to bite. Unfortunately, fishing success has been low due to the recent rain and cloudy, muddy water that followed. Only one King salmon caught using a spoon was reported. The water temperature off the south pier was about 55 degrees.
  • Racine Ramp: The boat ramp saw very little activity this week. Only a few boat trailers were spotted at the ramp during survey times. The boats that did go out were trolling close to shore targeting salmon. None of the boats that went out could be reached for interviews. No catches were recorded.
  • Root River – Upstream of Facility: The river upstream of the Steelhead facility saw lots of activity this week. Many anglers were still seen trying their luck, even with the large increase in water levels and water current. Many of the anglers are continuing to target either King or Coho salmon. Anglers also have Brown trout and Steelhead on their radars as well. Fly fishing was the most common fishing method among the anglers. Even with the tough river conditions there was plenty of fishing success recorded. The average fishermen walked away with 1-2 fish. Anglers enjoyed catching a good mix of King salmon, Coho salmon and Brown trout. All of the fish were caught on various fly or fake spawn presentations.
  • Root River – Downstream of Facility: The river downstream of the Steelhead facility didn’t see nearly as much as activity this week. Only a small handful of anglers were spotted fishing downstream. They were employing similar fishing techniques to the anglers fishing upstream. The few fishing downstream wouldn’t have any success. No fish catches were reported. Water levels below the Steelhead facility were also very high. Water clarity was very low as well. The water temperature in the river was about 59 degrees.

Kenosha County

  • Fishing activity on the Pike River was low this week. Only a few anglers were spotted fishing for salmon at the mouth of the river. Activity at the boat ramp in Kenosha was low as well. Only one trailer was seen throughout the week. There were plenty of anglers who were fishing the shorelines and piers in Kenosha. They were continuing to target salmon and trout
  • Kenosha Harbor and Piers: There was plenty of fishing activity seen along the shorelines and piers in Kenosha this week. Many anglers were seen using spoons, crankbaits, or spawn to try and catch some salmon or trout. Even with the increase in fishing activity success was very limited. Only one Brown trout was caught using a spoon. The water temperature was about 56 degrees in the harbor.
  • Kenosha Ramp: The boat ramp went virtually unused this week during survey times. Only one boat trailer was spotted. No catches were recorded.
  • Pike River: There wasn’t much fishing activity seen on the Pike River this week. Only a few anglers were seen fishing right at the mouth of the river. The anglers were targeting salmon, but no success was reported.

Northern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 7, 2019

Manitowoc County

  • Fishing success this weekend for salmon was moderate with a small handful of salmon being caught. In the Manitowoc river there were reports of several chinook salmon being caught by the dam near south county highway J using flicker shad. Unfortunately due to the rain and wind there were no fishermen located near the Manitowoc ramp, piers or harbor. At the Shoto dam many fishermen were successful catching chinook salmon using spoons, spawn sacks and a hook with a fuzzy orange ball usually used in crafts. One angler in particular had success using a spoon with orange, purple and neon green coloring at the Shoto dam. At the Mishicot dam there were reports of a handful of chinook being caught as well using spoons and spawning sacks. One particular observer reporting that spinners with coloring of red/silver and blue/silver seemed to be successful.

Door County

  • Northern Door County Lakeside: The number of anglers going out on Lake Michigan has dwindle down to only a handful. A few anglers were seen going out of Rowley’s Bay, however they stayed in the bay itself. No interviews were conducted from the boaters. The few interviews conducted from shore resulted in a couple smallmouth bass being caught using minnows. Bailey’s Harbor anglers targeting salmon from shore managed to catch a few throughout the week. Majority of the salmon were caught on spawn sacs, with a few being caught off of crankbaits. Gills Rock area reported of salmon being caught during the middle of the week at Weborgs Dock however I was not up there when the fish were reported to be there. Heins Creek still is holding the most salmon/trout out of all the creeks that are checked. Only two anglers were interviewed which resulted in one salmon being caught. That salmon was caught near the culvert pipe using a spawn sac. There were fish being reported at the culvert as well as further downstream. Shiver Sands Creek had a few salmon moving upstream as well on Saturday, however no anglers were found fishing the creek. No anglers were found fishing Whitefish Bay this week.
  • Northern Door County Bayside: Anglers fishing on the bayside were mainly targeting smallmouth bass with a few anglers targeting salmon. The main place that anglers were targeting smallmouth bass were in Ellison Bay and in Fish Creek/Peninsula State Park. The anglers targeting salmon/trout were located in Sister Bay. The smallmouth bass anglers had decent success last weekend with fish being caught ranging from 15 to 18 inches. There were a total of 6 smallmouth bass caught by one angler. That angler was using minnows and night crawlers with minnows producing the most fish. The anglers fishing for salmon had little success in Sister Bay, however they did manage to catch a few yellow perch.
  • Sturgeon Bay Canal: The number of shore anglers and anglers targeting salmon from a boat were fairly low throughout the week. There was a group of five anglers who tried off of barge road floating spawn sacs with no luck. However, a group of anglers fishing for northern pike from barge road had some success. The pike were caught on sucker minnows under a slip bobber. The key for the fish being caught was that the current in the canal had to be minimal. An angler fishing near the Michigan Street bridge targeting northern pike had no luck when the interview was conducted on Wednesday. However, that angler reported catching a few northern pike on Sunday. The pike on Sunday came off of a crankbait.
  • Chaudoir’s Dock, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon Bay: No Report is available this week. Please check back again next week. Thank you for your patience.

Kewaunee County

  • Kewaunee: Fishing pressure was moderate during the week and increased towards the weekend. Many of the anglers interviewed this week were fishing near Bruemmer Park. Those who had success, typically caught 1-2 chinooks. Anglers had luck casting spoons, as well as floating spawn sacks. Recent rainfall has caused the water level to stay high and the clarity to stay very low.
  • Algoma: Fishing pressure was moderate this week, the majority of anglers interviewed were fishing in the Ahnapee. Early in the week, a decent amount of chinooks were caught below the dam off of the county road J bridge. Green/silver and orange/silver spoons seemed to produce the most fish. The water level is still high due to recent rainfall, which has caused low water clarity as well.

Fox River and Green Bay Creel Report: October 7, 2019

Fox River

  • Fox River: This week was very slow for these landings. The only launch that was being used was metro. During the week there was an average of just 2 to 3 boats launching. Then on October 5th there was an average of 5 to 10 boats. The only day I got interviews was on 9/30 and only 2 of 4 interviews I got were anglers. One of the anglers were targeting smallmouth bass. He has success catching 3 but released them all. The other angler caught 1 walleye but he released it due to the size being to small. The other two boats I interviewed were duck hunters.

Oconto County

  • Very little activity this week with rain, wind, and high water seen across the county. Only a few shore anglers seen at Oconto Park II with bluegills and bass being caught off the docks but size was small. Some brown trout and pink salmon were reported seen at Stiles Dam on the Oconto River. Catch rates were low as anglers reported fast currents making the fishing difficult. Water temps dropped in the river from around 60 degrees early in the week to the mid 50’s by the weekend.
  • Geano Beach: This landing has been slow all week during my shifts. The average count of boat trailers was between 2 to 5. I didn’t get a single interview during my shifts from this landing.

Brown County

  • Duck Creek, Longtail Point: On October 3rd and 5th there was an average of 5 to 7 boats launching between the two sites at Duck Creek, but most of them were duck hunters. There was nobody shore fishing from these sites during my shifts. On October 5th I got 4 interviews, but they were all duck hunters. Nobody seems to be using Longtail.
  • Suamico River: It was slow during my shifts with an average of 4 to 6 boats launching from here. The only interviews I got were from a couple shore anglers on October 5th. They were both targeting perch but neither of them were having any luck.
  • Bayshore Park: No Report is available this week. Please check back again next week. Thank you for your patience.

Marinette County

  • Rain and high winds kept angling efforts down this week. A few anglers targeting chinook salmon were seen at the Little River boat launch fishing from shore and upstream at the Little River Road crossing. Spawn sacs were taking a few fish at both spots. The Menominee River was producing a few brown trout from shore anglers and from fishing off the Hattie St. bridge just below the dam. Anglers reported hooking both chinook and pink salmon also but not being able to land them. Boat anglers fishing upstream from the Highway 41 bridge were catching smallmouth bass and a few walleyes on crankbaits. The water temps in the river were at 60 degrees early in the week and dropped to the mid 50’s by the weekend.

Root River Fishing Report for September 30, 2019

Water levels on the Root River increased drastically over the past week.  That wouldn’t stop the fishermen though, as the river saw another increase in fishing activity.  As fishing activity on the river increased, activity on the lakefront is still much lower than expected.

Upstream of the Weir: The river upstream of the Steelhead facility saw lots of activity this week.  Many anglers were still seen trying their luck, even with the large increase in water levels and water current.  Many of the anglers are continuing to target either King or Coho salmon.  Anglers also have Brown trout and Steelhead on their radars as well.  Fly fishing was the most common fishing method among the anglers.  Even with the tough river conditions there was plenty of fishing success recorded.  The average fishermen walked away with 1-2 fish.  Anglers enjoyed catching a good mix of King salmon, Coho salmon and Brown trout.  All of the fish were caught on various fly or fake spawn presentations.

Downstream of the Weir: The river downstream of the Steelhead facility didn’t see nearly as much as activity this week.  Only a small handful of anglers were spotted fishing downstream.   They were employing similar fishing techniques to the anglers fishing upstream.  The few fishing downstream wouldn’t have any success.  No fish catches were reported.  Water levels below the Steelhead facility were also very high.  Water clarity was very low as well.  The water temperature in the river was about 59 degrees.

Root River Steelhead Facility Report

 

Root river fish display

Our sixth Fall 2019 processing day at the Root River Steelhead Facility was Wednesday, October 9.

The river level has dropped significantly since our last processing day. Flows were 301 cfs when we began processing this morning. Although the water is still turbid, the temperature has dropped, and the decrease in flows has led more fish to move in to the weir.

Boulder Junction Area

Eagle River Area

Hayward Area

Lake Michigan

Minocqua Area

Tomahawk Area

Southeast Wisconsin