Always up-to-date and accurate…reports on trail conditions and recreational opportunities in Price County.
Paddling / River Report – 7/23/14
Both the South Fork and North Fork are at the ordinary high water mark and conditions are perfect for a river trip! Paddlers are reporting a slightly quicker trip, but very enjoyable. 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 – 7/23/14
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 - 7/23/14
The continually changing weather and almost constant wind has made for some very challenging fishing conditions for most of the past week. However, fish activity has been relatively steady and anglers that have been out battling the breeze have found some decent action. Water temperatures have been hovering in the upper 60’s to low 70’s on most waters, and this has kept most species spread out from the shallows to deeper water. Relatively light rainfall in our area in the last few weeks has allowed stream and rivers levels to drop a bit, tho many lakes and flowages continue to be somewhat above normal summer levels. Fishing success has been rather consistent in the past few weeks, tho largemouth and smallmouth bass have been a bit of a challenge with the changing weather. The largemouth have been slowly moving to firm overhead cover, with more and more fish being found under docks, around logs and stumps, near the bog edges and in the reed/bulrush beds. Finesse techniques with soft plastics have still been able to produce some decent catches, and the surface bite did show a slight increase in the last week. Smallmouth bass seem to be holding near the mid-depth cover, and finesse plastics have been used to lure a fish nice fish to the boat. Musky action showed a bit of a spike in the last week, with some nice fish being seen by many anglers. Bucktails and bulldawg-type baits have been the lures of choice and fish up to 46 inches have been boated in the past few days. With the generally cool water temperatures so far this summer, northern pike action has also stayed steady, and quite a few small to medium-size pike continue to be found along the weed edges. Walleye fishing has remained rather consistent as well, with some decent catches of fish in the 12” to 16” size being made. A slip bobber with a leach or nightcrawler half have worked best, and the mid-depth rock bars and deep weed edges have been the productive areas. Panfish success has also remained relatively good, with some nice bluegill, crappie and perch being found on the deeper mud flats and along the deeper weed edges as well. Wax worms and nightcrawler pieces fished below a slip bobber have produced some decent catches.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/.
7/22/14 - The cold fronts that moved thru last week slowed the bite down a bit, Fishing was picking up a little by the weekend but fish were hitting very lightly and you really needed to finesse them but they are still eating. Ross’s sport shop guides are still doing well on Walleye, we are finding them scattered from 8 to 22 feet of water and catching the majority of them on leeches. My boat has still been doing best on Slip bobbers or Lindy Rigs. I have been rigging the lindy rigs with a 1/8 ounce Bottom Feeder Tackle walking sinker, a swivel, a 12 to 15 inch mono leader and a soft floating jig. This is a great rig for light biting Walleye because when you feel the bite you can feed the fish slack line without the fish feeling the weight of the sinker dragging on the lake bottom before you set the hook. Cat fishermen are reporting some great catches now that the rivers are more of a normal level. A gob of Night Crawlers or a walleye sucker have been the 2 most popular baits in our shop right now. Musky fishing is still good, we are still doing well on Surface Lures like the Lake X Lures Cannonball JR or Fat B. Globe style lures made by Best American Tackle are also catching musky. My boat also had a great day using Phantoms over the weekend, the fish are starting to act a little more like they should in the summer. If your not seeing fish try speeding your presentation up a little. John Carlson, Ross’s Sport Shop & Guide Service, Phillips - www.facebook.com/RosssSportShop
7/16/14 - The area has experienced some cold fronts this past week. These fronts can really have a negative effect on catching fish. I really like to fish the river systems when we have these weather patterns. I was out on sections of the Flambeau this past week and we raised many muskies. Many of the fish were chasing bucktails retrieved at a high rate of speed. Fish were located off of eddies and current breaks along structure breaks. The biggest fish was a 40′ which followed a bucktail but came back on a top water bait. The rivers can be a great second spot when lakes get to much activity or weather fronts put fish in a negative feeding mode. The walleye action continues to have a consistent morning bite with crawlers and slip bobbers doing the most damage. Weed edges and rocks have been the best locations for my boat. 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 – 7/23/14
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.
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: Birds are now in the peak of nesting season. Many species are fledging young and working on late nests. Many neotropical migrants including warblers and vireos are still singing. 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!