Always up-to-date and accurate…reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County.
Paddling / River Report – 4/17/14
Area rivers are opening up. The South Fork of the Flambeau River opened up around April 10th and the North Fork is open as of April 13th. There may still be ice in some areas, especially on the shoreline. We’ve been experiencing colder than normal temperatures this spring. If you plan to take a river trip, be prepared with cold-water paddling attire.
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 4/16/14
Trails are scheduled to reopen for spring/summer riding on the dates listed below. Check with us prior to traveling; if it is a wet spring the opening dates may be delayed.
April 16 – Tuscobia State Trail
May 1 – Flambeau Trail System & Solberg Trail
May 15 - Flambeau River State Forest Trail & Georgetown Trail
Fishing Report - 4/17/14
May 3 – General Inland Fishing Season Opens
May 31 – Musky Season Opens
June 21 – Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass Season Opens
Variable and rather cool weather for a good part of the last week has slowed up the snow melt and further delayed ice deterioration on lakes across Northern Wisconsin. Most lakes still have about 20 to 22 inches of ice – the top layer is rather soft and grainy, but there is about 10 to 12 inches of solid ice underneath that layer. Some access sites and many south facing shorelines were starting to small areas of open water, but these have mostly iced up again with the cold weather of the past few days. There are still a few panfish anglers getting out and trying their luck, but all access has been limited to foot travel. These late-season ice fishermen have been having spotty success, with just a few light catches of crappie and bluegill being made. The fish have still been found in the deep water areas and been suspended 5 to 10 feet off the bottom, and have been very finicky in biting. Thomas “Skip” Sommerfeldt, DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist
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/.
4/15/14 – It may not feel like it this week but signs of spring are all around us, Robins are in our back yards, Ducks and Geese are swimming around in any open water they can find and the cry of the common Loon fills the crisp morning air. The lakes are starting to open and we will be in our boats in no time at all. There are already some big areas of open water around the river mouths of Lake Duroy and they are filled with every kind of Waterfowl that passes thru our area in their spring flight back to nesting grounds. Long, Elk and Soo Lakes also have good amounts of open water in them showing that ice out on these lakes anyway should be before the May 3rd fishing opener. The annual Redhorse run is starting, Despite the high water in the rivers and the cold weather, customers are reporting catches of Redhorse Suckers. Redhorse are simple and fun to catch, push a y stick in the ground to rest your fishing rod on, tie on a heavy sinker and a hook, bait your line with a night crawler and your ready to catch a Redhorse. As far as an Ice Fishing Report we at Ross’s Sport Shop are urging all customers to stay off of area lakes especially the flowages. This is a good time to pack up your ice gear, make a list of things you may want to add to your equipment for next winters season and get your summer equipment ready. We took our Ice Fishing Inventory off the racks at the Shop earlier this week and should have it replaced with summer tackle in the next few days. John Carlson, Ross’s Sport Shop & Guide Service, Phillips - https://www.facebook.com/RosssSportShop
No report – Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service, www.northlandguideservice.net
No report – Tony B., St. Croix Rod Store, Park Falls
Outdoor Report – 4/17/14
Mother Nature is playing a trick on spring this week and covered our area in a blanket of over a foot of snow, on top of the 15 inches of snow that was still in the wooded areas. Many birds and animals were being seen in the area before this new blast of winter including cranes, trumpeter swans, geese, ducks & robins that had made their way back home. Locals are seeing some daffodil & crocuses emerging. Aspen & lilac bush buds are beginning to swell and the silver maples are getting ready to flower. We are seeing and smelling skunks, and turkeys are gobbling. Maple syrup enthusiasts have been collecting sap, but many had already been having difficulty getting to the trees to collect it.
Turkey, Waterfowl & Grouse Hunting:
The first period of the Spring Wild Turkey season began April 16, 2014. Grouse season will begin September 13, 2014.
White-tailed deer bow season is Sept. 13 – Jan. 4, 2015; Gun season is Nov. 22 – 30, 2014; Muzzleloader season is Dec. 1 – 10, 2014.
The season begins September 3, 2014, and the first period is Sept. 3-9 with the aid of bait and all other legal methods not utilizing dogs; a permit is required and the application deadline was December 10, 2013. Dogs may be trained by pursuing bear statewide from July 1 - August 31, 2014.
All zones have met their quota and are closed for the 2013-2014 season.
Furbearer Hunting and Trapping:
A number of furbearer hunting and trapping seasons are open year-round or during various season throughout the year. 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/.
Fall Color Report – 2014
Fall colors typically peak around October 1st.
Equestrian – Smith Rapids Saddle Trail Bridge Closure
The Smith Rapids Saddle Trail is closed from March 15 – May 1 for spring breakup. There is also a closure 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. The 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.
Snowmobile Trail Report – Final 2013-2014 Season Report
The snowmobile trails closed at midnight on March 31, 2014. The trails are tentatively scheduled to reopen on December 11, 2014. Thanks for the great season!
Cross Country Ski Trail Report – 4/9/14
The trails are closed for the season.
Snowshoe Trail Report – 4/9/14
The snow is deteriorating quickly with snow depths in the woods varying from 0 to 20 inches. Some area trails may still have a good enough base to enjoy an adventure on snowshoes but it won’t last long!