Here are your up-to-date and accurate reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County -
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 5/15/13
The Tuscobia State Trail and Flambeau River State Forest Trail are open to ATVs & UTVs. The Georgetown Trail is open to ATVs, UTVs, and off-road motorcycles. The opening of the Flambeau Trail System in the CNNF has been delayed until May 24 due to soft trail conditions and trail rehab work. Maintenance workers and equipment will be present on the trail on May 24 and there may still be washouts in need of repair, so please use caution. The fire danger is currently very high; spark arrestors are required on all OHVs (off highway vehicles) traveling on public lands. For information on all trails, UTV size restrictions, and trail use dates, click on the top index Recreation tab.
Paddling / River Report – 5/15/13
The North and South Forks of the Flambeau River are very high and the current is fast, making for some great paddling conditions. Water temperatures are still quite cold in most areas and hypothermia could set in rapidly should someone capsize, so only experienced paddlers who are well-equipped and outfitted with cold water gear should be on the river at this time. Check with a local outfitter for more information. Always take appropriate safety precautions and check with a local guide to determine a suitable stretch of river based on experience.
Fishing Report - 5/15/13
Nearly all lakes in the area became ice-free by last weekend and there are now only a few of the large and deep-water lakes in Sawyer County that still have some ice cover on them (but that ice should be gone from those by the weekend of May 17). Even though most anglers had open water for the 2nd weekend of the fishing season, the constantly changing weather made for some very erratic fishing success. Walleye have been the main species of interest and action has been generally slow. A few anglers found some concentrations of walleye and reported some nice catches of fish in the 14” to 18” size, with a few in the low to mid 20-inch size also being landed. Jig and minnow combinations and large minnows on a slip bobber rig produced that best success, and the crankbait bite seemed a little slow with the cold water conditions. But look for the action on crankbaits to pick up as the water warms up into the 50-degree range. Currently most lakes had water temperatures in the mid to upper 40-degree range, but look for that to climb into the 50’s with the warm weather predicted for the next few days. Skip Sommerfeldt, Senior Fisheries Biologist
The general inland fishing season began Saturday, May 4. The Musky opener is May 25 and Bass season begins June 15. Panfish season is open year-round.
Anglers can now purchase a 1-day fishing license ($8 resident /$10 non-resident) and can upgrade to an annual license if they wish.
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/.
5/13/13 – After a late ice out the warm air temps last week shot the water temps into the low 50′s but another major cold front showed up just in time for the weekend. Air temps plunged and the water temps fell back into the upper 40′s. High winds made navigation and fishing a chore and even dangerous for smaller boats. Those that did brave the weather did find some fish that were willing to bite. The smaller male walleye were biting pretty good on jig and fatheads, while some anglers did catch a few nicer fish as well. Panfish and Crappie action was good in the middle of last week when the water temps were hitting 52 to 55 degrees in the shallows but shut of on the weekend when the water temps fell. This weeks warm weather should get the panfish rolling again. John Carlson, Ross’ Sport Shop & Guide Service, Phillips – Website: http://www.rosssonline.com/
5/13/13 - Cold, wet and windy weather met many anglers this past weekend fishing in the northwoods. Weather conditions were more of mid March instead of May. There were some hearty anglers who fought through these conditions. For those who did spend time on the water there were mixed results. The walleye action was sporadic. Anglers fishing jig and minnow combinations were catching fish. Most of these were males in the 12-15″ size. Fish were shallow in the 3-6ft range. With the overcast windy conditions on Saturday anglers were able to get bites during the day. Early evening provided more consistent action but the bites were still a few at a time. Sunday brought high skies and tougher conditions until evening. Walleyes were on the small size with floating raps twitched in the shallow water and jig and minnow combos getting the majority of bites. Anglers who were pursuing northern pike and some success in the shallow back bays using spinnerbaits and raps. Reports of some nice fish in the 36″ range with most activity coming during mid day. Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service – http://www.northlandguideservice.net/
Outdoor Report – 5/15/13
The spring peepers are singing loudly, along with chorus frogs and wood frogs. The grass is beginning to turn green; spring flowers are blooming, the trees are budding, and lots of birds are building nests and visiting area feeders. Bears are emerging from their dens this time of year, and they will be looking for food sources. Bird feeders, garbage cans, grills, pet food and any items that smell like food can attract bears, even during the day; so it is recommended that these items be kept inside a building where they can’t get at them. Bucks are beginning to grow antlers. Turkeys are gobbling, strutting and displaying, and several hunters have reported success getting a nice bird. Robins, geese and ducks have been seen in the area and they are now sitting on nests. Ruffed grouse begin drumming this time of year, and woodcock are doing their spring mating dance. Eagles are actively tending nests now and can also be seen migrating through the area this time of year. Canada geese goslings usually start hatching around mid-May. Gypsy moth caterpillars hatching will pick up in northern Wisconsin in about one week. The tan-colored egg masses should be scraped into a container of soapy water to prevent them from hatching. Spring Beauties, Blood Root and Marsh Marigolds, trout lily, Dutchman’s britches, and hepatica are up. There were reports of morel mushrooms popping up. The wood & deer ticks are also out.
Staring down from space, satellite measures Wisconsin water quality
Staring down from space with an unsleeping eye, scientists are using satellites powerful lenses to peer into Wisconsin lakes and measure, on a grand scale, what human lake watchers and water scientists have been doing from a much lower vantage point, for decades. - Read Full Article
Turkey, Waterfowl & Grouse Hunting:
The regular Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season is in full swing; Period D is May 1 – 7; Period E is May 8 – 14; and Period F is May 15 – 21. Permits remaining from the 2013 Wisconsin spring wild turkey permit drawing are available for purchase on a first come, first served basis. As of Wed., May 1, permits remaining for Price County are for Zone 4 – Period F only. The early Canada Goose season is September 1-15. Ruffed Grouse season is September 14 – January 31, 2014.
There are no deer hunting seasons open at this time. Bow Deer season is September 14 – November 21 and Novebmer 23 – January 5, 2014. The Youth Deer Hunt is October 5 & 6. The regular Gun Deer season is November 23 – December 1; Muzzleloader season is December 2 – 11; and the Statewide Antlerless Hunt is December 12-15.
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://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/dates.html.
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://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/dates.html.
Fall Color Report – Final 2012 Report
Fall color is finished for the season. Start planning now for a trip in 2013 – our fall colors begin to show in early September and peak around October 1st.
Snowmobile Trail Report - Spring 2013 Final Report
Price County snowmobile trails are closed for the season! We had the best season in years! Trails will open December 16, 2013, conditions permitting. We hope to see you then!
Cross Country Ski Trail Report – Spring 2013 Final Report
With the recent warm weather, the trails are no skiable. See you next season!
Snowshoe Trail Report – Spring 2013 Final Report
There is still quite a bit of snow in the woods, but it is melting fast. See you next season!