Here are your up-to-date and accurate reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County -
Snowmobile Trail Report – 12/11/13
Price County Snowmobile Trails will not open until December 16, 2013, in consideration of landowners who want to participate in the statewide antlerless deer hunt Dec. 12-15, 2013. Snow accumulation currently is 12 inches. Club members are out packing the trails with sleds and preparing for the season. Lakes are iced over (THEY ARE NOT SAFE TO TRAVEL YET) and swamps have begun to freeze. Order your new snowmobile map today and it will be sent as soon as the map is off the press in the next week or two. Price County snowmobile trails remain open through March 31, 2014.
Cross Country Ski Trail Report
We currently have up to 12 inches of snow and the winter scenery is beautiful. Some trail preparation has begun.
12/9/13-The Phillips School Forest Trail was groomed today, we’re unable to set a track yet due to icy conditions, that said the skating is good to very good.
12/9/13-The Holy Cross Trail was rolled yesterday, did not put down any classic track yet. There is a 5 inch packed base. Conditions are good, you can skate ski, classic (without track) or snowshoe without worry of using rock skis. Someone drove an ATV in thru the south gate and up to the lake loops, I was able to partly fix that portion of the trail, but there may be tire ruts in places yet. I will be contacting Price County Forestry this morning about the problem. Also the north lot off Holy Cross has not been plowed yet, so I will contact the Town of Fifield this about that too. Let’s hope it warms up a bit! I plan on trying to set track at the end of the week if we get a bit more snow.
Timm’s Hill Trail from the Taylor/Price County Line (mile 2) north to the Hwy to Heaven (mile 7) was groomed Sunday night, 12/1/2013. It snowed 6″ Tuesday night and then rained Wednesday afternoon and everything froze Wednesday night. That section of the trail was groomed again Thursday night, 12/5/2013 to break up the layer of ice on top of the snow. There are a few rough spots, but overall it groomed pretty nice. No tracks were set. The section of the THT in Taylor County is closed and will not be groomed until January 1, 2014.
12/11/13-Trail preparation on the Solberg Lake / Squaw Creek Trail has been delayed due to equipment problems. Volunteers hope to have it groomed by Sunday at the latest.
12/9/13 – Trail preparation has begun on the Flambeau Hills Trail and the ski trail has been packed but due to the heavy snow and rain there are a lot of broken branches and some newly fallen trees that need to be cleared before we are able to groom. We are working to clear the trails this week and plan to have them groomed by the end of the week.
High Point Trail will be groomed when conditions allow.
The Newman Springs Trail and Wintergreen Trail will not be groomed until after December 15.
Check back regularly for trail updates; we will post them as we receive them from the trail managers. A statewide antlerless deer hunt is being held December 12 – 15, 2013, and blaze orange is required for your safety.
Snowshoe Trail Report – 12/11/13
We have up to 12 inches of snow and the winter scenery is beautiful. A statewide antlerless deer hunt is being held December 12 – 15, 2013, and blaze orange is required for your safety.
Fishing Report - 12/11/13
With the unseasonably cold weather of the last week, ice cover continues to thicken on lakes across the Northwoods. Some lakes have been reported to have 8″ to 10″ of ice, while others have only been measured with just 5″ to 6″ under an insulating layer of snow. As such, any early season anglers should still be cautious when venturing out and always test the ice before heading out onto the water – especially when traveling with an ATV or snowmobile. The cold temperatures have also kept the early-season pressure down, and there haven’t been too many reports of ice fishing success. There have been a few walleye anglers out and they have been having fair success on tip-ups. The most productive areas have continued to be the mud and sand flats, with small suckers or large fatheads fished just off the bottom at the 4 to 8 foot depth. Most of the walleye being caught have been in the 12″ to 16″ size, and the late-afternoon period has been quite a bit better than the early morning bite. With a slight warm up in temperatures forecasted for the weekend, look for angling pressure to increase on most area waters. Thomas “Skip”Sommerfeldt, Senior Fisheries Biologist
Ice Thickness Guidelines – Clear, solid ice at least two inches thick is usually sufficient to hold a single person walking on foot. For safety’s sake, wait until the ice is at least three inches thick and go with a friend. Keep at least 50 feet of distance between each other. Ice fishing with several friends and gear requires at least 4 inches of ice, and snowmobiles and ATVs require a minimum of 5 inches. Ice will generally be thicker near shore and get thinner the farther one ventures out. Lake ice is generally stronger than river ice. Springs, lake inlets and outlets, and channels can alter ice thickness. Always carry safety spikes, a rope and claws in case you need to pull yourself out of the water or help rescue someone else.
Fishing/Hunting Guide Reports
When you visit the Price County region please consider hiring a guide. Guides are on the water and in the woods on a regular basis and will put you on the right track in order to make your fishing or hunting trip successful and FUN. For more information on guide services please see http://www.pricecountywi.net/recreation/hunting/guides/.
12/9/13 – The snow and cold weather conditions kept some fishermen off the ice, but the fishermen that did venture out on the ice found some great Walleye, Pike, and Panfish action! Even with the heavy snow fall mid week the sub zero temps have pushed ice thickness from 7 to 10 inches in most areas and reports of ice thickness close to a foot have been coming in. Walleye and Pike action has been has been good in 2 to 6 foot of water, Pike have been a tight to any weed growth that you can still find. Medium Golden shiners under a Tip-Up have been working well. The Pike action has been going all day and the Walleye bite has been right at dark or early in the morning at first light. With the thicker ice Anglers have been venturing out in the deeper areas of the lake and finding Crappie. They are hanging tight to the bottom and are being caught on Plastics, Minnows, or Waxies. Bluegill action has been good in 6 to 12 feet of water or on cribs. Small tungsten jig tipped with waxies or spikes work well. Some anglers are also having luck on plastics for the Gills. With more sub zero temps forecasted this you might start to see more ATV/Snowmobile or even some smaller Vehicles on the ice. Take extreme caution when venturing out on the lakes as ice conditions can change fast or not be consistent all over the lake because of snow cover or currents. With the cold weather and all the snow I didn’t get out myself this week so no current pictures, but I am attaching a picture of a 30lb class Musky that I caught and released in the Phillips Area on a cold October day that seems balmy compared to the temps that we have had lately. John Carlson, Ross’s Sport Shop & Guide Service, http://www.rosssonline.com/
Outdoor Report – 12/9/13
DNR offers five ways to find a place to hunt, - If you are still looking for a place to hunt this fall, or if you have questions about public land you frequent, check out the following links for information on public lands and private lands open to public hunting. Additionally, Department of Natural Resources experts will host a live online chat to answer your questions about accessing these hunting lands, including state parks, and using DNR’s open lands mapping tools, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, starting at noon. - Read Full Article
DNR expands social media outreach to include Pinterest
In an ongoing effort to increase customer service opportunities, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has launched its presence on Pinterest. The social media site focuses on sharing photos and helping users plan everything from dinner to trips to projects around the home.
White-tailed Deer Archery season continues through January 5, 2014. Muzzleloader season is December 2 – 11. A Statewide Antlerless Hunt will occur December 12-15.
Turkey, Waterfowl & Grouse Hunting:
Fall Wild Turkey season is open December 2 – 31. Ruffed Grouse season opened September 14 and runs through January 31, 2014.
As of 12/11/13, Zone 3 is the only zone open to wolf hunting. All other zones have met their quota. Hunting with dogs will be allowed beginning December 2, 2013. Visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/wolf.html for details.
Furbearer Hunting and Trapping:
A number of furbearer hunting and trapping seasons are open during the fall and winter. To view season dates, go to http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/.
Opossum, skunk, weasel and snowshoe hare hunting has no season limits, bags limits size limits or possession limits. Coyote hunting is a continuous open season except during gun deer hunting seasons. To view a list of all hunting and trapping season dates, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/.
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 12/11/13
The Flambeau Trail System (50″ width maximum), Solberg Trail (50″ width maximum), and Georgetown Trail are open to ATVs and UTVs through March 14. There is currently 8 to 12 inches of snow on the trails. These shared use trails will open to snowmobiling on December 16 following the statewide antlerless deer hunt December 12-15. The Tuscobia State Trail and Flambeau River State Forest Trail are closed to ATVs & UTVs until next spring. For information on all trails, UTV size restrictions, and trail use dates, click on the top index Recreation tab.
Winter Auto Tour – 12/11/13
With the fresh snowfall the area received early in the week, the winter scenery is beautiful. It is the perfect time for a drive through our winter wonderland. For information on the most scenic drives and points of interests, click on the Recreation tab and choose Auto Tours.
Paddling / River Report – 2013 Final Report
Area rivers are at good levels for a fall paddling adventure or float fishing trip. Water temperatures are very cool and paddlers should take safety precautions in case you capsize. When planning a river trip, it is best to check with a guide for the most current conditions and to choose a suitable stretch of river based on experience.
Fall Color Report – 2013 Final Report
Fall color is now past peak.
Equestrian – Smith Rapids Saddle Trail Bridge Closure
A closure has been issued for the bridge at the Newman Creek crossing of the Smith Rapids Saddle Trail, T.40N, R.2E, Section 27, due to instability of the bridge and bank. The remainder of the Smith Rapids Saddle Trail will remain open with the exception of a segment between Forest Road 149 east to the bridge site which is closed. From Smith Rapids Campground, the trail remains open east to Round Lake and west to Newman Creek. Closure will remain in effect until bridge and stream bank are restored to a safe and stable condition. For additional information, please contact the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest office in Park Falls at (715) 762-2461.