MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Lake Michigan anglers reported significantly improved results for many species in 2016, reeling in nearly 385,000 salmon and trout, including the third highest number of coho salmon since 1992. - - "During much of 2016, favorable weather and water temperatures helped produce solid results and we are pleased to see anglers benefit from ongoing efforts to provide a diverse and balanced fishery," said Brad Eggold, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Great Lakes district fisheries supervisor. "While the chinook harvest showed healthy increases over the past two years, coho salmon proved to be the big story with more than 125,000 fish harvested."
- - MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is teaming up with the Milwaukee Bucks once again for "DNR Nights." - - - - Anyone presenting a 2016 or 2017 hunting or fishing license is eligible for reduced pricing on tickets for select home games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. As an added bonus, "DNR Nights" ticketholders will have a blaze orange Bucks beanie hat mailed to them.
- - MADISON -- Land trusts, conservation groups and government organizations are encouraged to apply for some $6.4 million available to fund wetland restoration projects. - - The money, available from the Wisconsin Wetland Conservation Trust, may be used to cover all aspects of restoration including land acquisition, site construction and long-term maintenance and monitoring. The wetland conservation trust program was created in 2014 as an additional method of wetland mitigation for Wisconsin by allowing the purchase of wetland mitigation credits specified by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and DNR wetland permits.
- - MADISON - Each year, more than 10,000 people use tax season to donate to the Endangered Resources Fund - this simple gesture can help protect and restore endangered birds, bats, turtles, martens and more. - - Video Credit: DNR - - These generous donations, along with sales of Endangered Resources license plates, direct donations and matching funds, provide over 25 percent of funds that support the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation. From bats to bullsnakes, orchids to orioles and native prairies to natural areas, Natural Heritage Conservation program staff work with Wisconsin volunteers, organizations, private landowners and businesses to help sustain Wisconsin's wildlife.
MADISON -- The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the final proposal from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a master plan variance that will classify 75 percent of the state's northern forests as forest production areas. - - The master plan variance was directed by, and compliant with, Wisconsin Act 55, 2015 Wisconsin Act 358 and 28.04(3). The legislation directs the department to propose a variance to the master plans of all northern state forests, except Governor Knowles State Forest, so that 75 percent of all the land is classified as a forest production area. The DNR is conducting the planning for all the affected state forests simultaneously to gain efficiencies and consistency, and to make engagement and review from interested parties more streamlined, according to Carmen Hardin, DNR Director of Forest Management.
MADISON - Taylor Finger has been named the new Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources statewide migratory game bird ecologist. - - Born and raised in Wisconsin, Finger received his bachelor's degree in wildlife management and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a master's degree in waterfowl ecology from the University of Western Ontario.
MADISON -- With spring around the corner, farmers may be looking ahead to a variety of maintenance projects such as constructing new ditches or installing drain tile. - - Approximately one-third of Wisconsin farms depend on constructed drains to remove excess water from the fields. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages farmers to check wetland requirements before proceeding with these projects, which may affect wetlands and require permits to proceed.
- - MADISON - With all 2016 deer hunting seasons officially closed, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources staff would like to thank hunters for another great season in the field. - - Registration totals for the 2016 deer hunting seasons can be found at dnr.wi.gov, keywords "weekly totals." For more information regarding deer hunting in Wisconsin, search keyword "deer."
OSHKOSH, Wis. - When sturgeon spearing gets underway on Lake Winnebago and the upriver lakes this Saturday, spearers can look forward to seeing some big fish. - - John Skahen speared this 161-pound, 77.1 sturgeon during the 2014 spearing season.Photo Credit: DNR - - Ryan Koenigs, Lake Winnebago sturgeon biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said this season should allow for some great opportunities to spot sturgeon cruising beneath the ice. During a recent survey of conditions, DNR crews measured water clarity ranging from 8 to 13 feet on Lake Winnebago; 4 to 5 feet on lakes Poygan and Winneconne and 2 to 4 feet on Lake Butte des Morts.
MADISON - The public is invited to provide input regarding revisions to the Department of Natural Resources' 10-year greater prairie-chicken management plan. - - Greater prairie chicken.Photo Credit: DNR - - A public meeting Feb. 22 at the Fine Arts Center in the McMillan Memorial Library, 490 East Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids from 5-7 p.m. will give attendees an opportunity to receive information regarding the plan revision process, current prairie-chicken population, draft conceptual alternatives and share feedback with DNR staff.
MILWAUKEE - Kids 15-years-old and younger are invited to discover the joys of ice fishing at the 26th annual Kids' Ice Fishing Clinics on Saturday, Feb. 11, at park lagoons in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. - - The free clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will receive instruction on the proper use of equipment and techniques, such as knot tying, ice safety and much more. The clinics are taught by members of local fishing clubs and last 45 minutes, and then the young anglers can begin fishing. Classes are ongoing throughout the day, so stop by any time. The final session begins at 2 p.m.
MADISON -- A new general permit that streamlines approvals for small-scale dredging in the state's lakes, rivers and streams has been drafted and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the language. - - The public comment period on the general permit runs until the close of business March 3, 2017.
- - [EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to indicate the correct dates for the youth turkey hunt are April 15-16, 2017.]MADISON - The 2017 spring turkey permit drawing has ended and 135,307 successful applicants will receive spring wild turkey permits. - - A total of 240,768 permits have been made available for the spring 2017 turkey season - remaining permits will be available through over-the-counter sales beginning March 20 with zone 1.
- - Dane County's Token Creek among - those to get an upgrade - - MADISON -- Ongoing efforts to improve habitat and water quality are paying off with seven streams in Dane and Grant counties receiving an upgrade or making a new appearance on Wisconsin's list of classified trout streams. - - Token Creek exemplifies the long-term commitment behind these important gains, with a 2016 survey documenting naturally reproducing brown trout, said David Rowe, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries team supervisor. The survey collected young of the year fish as well as brown trout up to 15 inches in length.
MADISON - Subscribers to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine will be treated to some dramatic images of some of Wisconsin's most iconic and historic Great Lakes lighthouse in "Picturing Wisconsin lighthouses," in the February issue that is being mailed this week. - - Readers can also learn how Mary Kay Baum, a Madison woman who has worn many hats over four decades of public service, uses her love and dedication to nature to overcome physical challenges, in "Preserving pine relicts a prescription for good health."
MADISON -- Lake Winnebago's sturgeon population is benefiting from a rebound in gizzard shad and other prey species heading into the 2017 spearing season. - - Daniel Bloesl registered this 77-inch, 147.9-pound female sturgeon at Indian Point. It was the largest fish harvested during the 2016 season.Photo Credit: DNR - - Sturgeon spearing opens on Feb. 11 at 7 a.m. and state fisheries biologists expect a season offering great opportunities to experience this unique tradition and pursue the fish of a lifetime. To answer questions about the season, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a live online chat with fisheries and law enforcement experts on Tuesday, Jan. 31 starting at noon.
MADISON -- Wisconsin birders identified and reported more birds through eBird, an internationally popular online bird observation website, than birders from most other states and nations in 2016. - - The tropical kingbird, a flycatcher that is extremely common in the American tropics but barely reaches the United States in Texas and Arizona, was reported by birders for the first time in Wisconsin in 2016. Photo Credit: Ryan Brady - - In 2016, eBird gathered 1,406,422 observations in Wisconsin from 4,111 birders who submitted 110,807 checklists. The Wisconsin eBird site (exit DNR) contains photos, interactive maps, and write-ups sharing the highlights from the year.
MADISON -- Conservation-minded people throughout Wisconsin are encouraged to enroll in the Deer Management Assistance Program to improve wildlife habitat on property they own or hunt. - - DMAP provides resources for wildlife habitat management, which complements land use activities like agriculture and timber management on properties of any size. - - March 1, 2017 application deadline for properties over 160 acres - - The application deadline is March 1 for properties larger than 160 acres, which may be eligible for a site visit and management plan in 2017. While applications may be submitted at any time, landowners are encouraged to apply now to receive immediate access to informational resources, including:
MADISON -- Have a favorite wild turkey recipe that's ready to be shared with new hunters? Share it during a spring Learn to Hunt Turkey event where food always is a major theme. - - Learn to hunt events are about harvesting food by also learning how to hunt with a mentor. Photo Credit: DNR - - "Food is a great way for new and experienced hunters to bond," said Keith Warnke hunting and shooting coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "It's the perfect bridge."
Ice anglers urged to use caution, check DNR website for possible event schedule changes - In addition to organized community events, Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to get family and friends together for a day out on the ice. Click on image for larger size. - - MADISON - Wisconsin's winter Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to discover the fun of ice fishing or introduce family and friends to this hard water recreation. - - During the weekend of Jan. 21-22, residents and visitors anywhere in the state can take advantage of opportunities to check out free loaner equipment or just head out to a local fishing spot. Several special events, listed below, are also scheduled. No fishing license or Great Lakes salmon and trout stamp is needed to fish most Wisconsin waters. This includes inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and other boundary waters; spring trout ponds are not open, however.