Always up-to-date and accurate…reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County.
Paddling / River Report – 8/1/14
The North Fork of the Flambeau is at the normal summer level and conditions are good for a paddling trip. The South Fork level has dropped, but it is high enough for a river trip; you may need to avoid rocks. Check with an area rental/shuttle/guide service before venturing out to select a suitable stretch of river based on experience.
ATV, UTV & Off Road Motorcycle Trail Report – 7/29/14
The Flambeau Trail System and Solberg Trail in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest are open and in good condition. The Flambeau River State Forest Trail and Georgetown Trail are open and in good condition too.
The Tuscobia State Trail is open. The resurfacing from Forest Road 162 in Sawyer County eastbound to the trail terminus in Park Falls is approximately 80% done. You may still encounter large equipment on the trail for the next two weeks. Be prepared for rapidly changing trail conditions and ride with caution.
Fishing Report - 7/30/14
The constantly changing weather, multiple cold fronts and periodic rain showers have kept fishing activity at relatively low levels for the past week. The wind and the rain have made it a challenge for anglers to get out on the water – but fishing success has been pretty good when conditions allow. Water temperatures have been in the low to mid-70’s on most lakes and weed abundances have been holding at a moderate level on most waters. Largemouth bass have provided the most consistent action and success could be termed good to excellent. The mid-day hours have produced some of the best catches, with soft-plastic baits being the most productive. The largemouth are mainly being found near woody cover, in the mid-depth weeds & bulrushes, and along the deeper bog edges. Smallmouth have been a little tougher to find, tho some nice fish have been caught around woody structure near deep water areas. Tube baits and finesse plastics have provided the best action. Walleye fishing has gotten a little erratic, tho some nice catches have been made in the deep weed beds during the low light periods. Weedless jigs tipped with a leech or crawler piece dropped into open pockets in the weed beds have been a fairly successful method. Musky fishing has continued to be good, with many anglers finding fish along the deep weed edges and around the points. Bucktails, slower topwater lures and bulldawg-type baits seem to be the most productive lures for the last few weeks. Panfish action has also stayed fair to good, with some nice catches of perch, bluegill and crappie being picked up over and near mid-depth weed beds. Also, rock bass have been especially active and are providing many anglers with at least some sort of action! Thomas “Skip” Sommerfeldt, DNR Senior Fisheries Biologist, Park Falls
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/.
7/29/14 - The muskie action really varied this past week. I spoke with a lot of anglers who struggled to get a few follows and then a few who were quite successful. The thing which separated these anglers was the ability to target fish during the major and minor moon phases along with the moon phase of under foot. The two hour period around the major and the one hour period around the minor brought success to those anglers. Anglers who had follows prior to these peak activity periods went back to those fish and caught them. This speaks highly to those anglers who take fishing to the next level to be successful. The moon phases are an extremely important tool for successful anglers and there should be more attention to this. Couple this with a falling barometer, sunrise or sunset and this could lead to a fish of a life time. There are web sites which post these moon phases and outdoor magazines also. The muskies have been active on topwater lures and fast moving bucktails over and on the weed edges. Walleye action has slowed and fish are still being caught on slip bobber leech combos especially during low light conditions and wind swept shorelines. The Butternut Lake Muskie Tournament is Aug 9 & 10th. First prize is $10,000 based on 60 teams. Entry fee is $350.00. Contact Jim at 715-762-3237. Good Luck Fishing Joe Brezinski, Northland Guide Service - www.northlandguideservice.net
Outdoor Report – 7/29/14
Adults bucks are being reported with nice velvet racks. Fawns are being seen everywhere. Turkey broods that were born early are now old enough to avoid predators by flying into trees. Lots of goslings, ducklings and grouse broods are being seen and growing large. Wild cucumbers and hops vines are climbing. Red Baneberries and red elderberries are ripe. Raspberries and Blueberries are ready for picking.
Grouse Hunting: Grouse season will begin September 13, 2014. The drumming count on all four of Price County’s ruffed grouse survey routes were up from 2013. A good fall grouse population will be the result of good nesting and brooding weather. The DNR conducts a 10-week brood survey in July and August which is a better predictor of the upcoming fall grouse population. You can view the statewide 2014 Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey results at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/documents/reports/finaldrum.pdf.
Turkey Hunting: The Fall Wild Turkey season will begin September 13.
Waterfowl Hunting: The Early Canada Goose season is September 1-15, 2014.
2014 spring waterfowl surveys reflect mostly good to excellent breeding populations MADISON – Waterfowl breeding populations in 2014 are mostly good to excellent in Wisconsin and North America, according to recent surveys by state, federal and Canadian wildlife officials. - Read Full Article
Dear Hunting: White-tailed deer bow season is September 13 – January 4, 2015; Gun season is November 22 – 30, 2014; Muzzleloader season is December 1 – 10, 2014. New this year is a crossbow deer hunting season which will run concurrent with the regular archery season; during the regular gun deer season, a gun deer license will authorize bow and crossbow use. It is important to note that persons purchasing a traditional bow and a crossbow license will receive only one set of tags. The DNR is hosting an online crossbow chat at noon on Thursday, July 24. An online chat regarding bonus antlerless tags will be held at noon on Tuesday, August 12. Additional chats to answer general regulations questions will be held on Tuesday, September 2, and Tuesday, September 9.
Natural Resources Board approves 2014 deer hunting season structure – The Natural Resources Board approved the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ recommendations for the 2014 deer hunting season. With board approval, antlerless quotas, antlerless permit levels and an updated CWD affected area have been established for 2014.
Black Bear: The season begins September 3, 2014, and the first period is September 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.
Wolf Hunting: The harvest quota for the 2014-2015 season has been set at 156 animals. Visit DNR Wolf Hunting & Trapping for details.
Furbearer Hunting and Trapping: A number of furbearer hunting and trapping seasons are open year-round or during various seasons throughout the year. To view season dates, go to http://ua.dnr.wi.gov/topic/trap/. The 2014 Muskrat and Mink Trapping seasons will begin on Sun., October 25, 2014, and end Sun., March 8, 2015.
Bird Watching: Adult shorebirds breed in the high arctic and boreal forest and have been reported migrating back south. August is the peak of this shorebird migration. You can report bird sightings to Wisconsin eBird (www.ebird.org/WI) so the migratory bird populations can be tracked.
Other: 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 start showing in early September and peak around October 1st.
Equestrian – Smith Rapids Saddle Trail Bridge Closure
There is 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
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
The trails are closed for the season. See you in December!
Snowshoe Trail Report
The trails are closed for the season. See you in December!