THE WISCONSIN WIRE: Free Fishing Weekend and more

Wisconsin Wire

Getting new people involved in the outdoors helps ensure the future of the sports. The more people that like to fish equals more money towards conservation in the form of license fees and organization dues, as well as educating them about important projects and legislation.   The opportunity to try something free is a great way to introduce people to something that may not have tried otherwise.   The “Take a Kid” free fishing weekend is coming up June 7th and 8th in Minnesota and Wisconsin is having a “Free Fishing Weekend” (and other free fun) this weekend.

Here is the official release from the WI DNR:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Report summary for May 30, 2013

Complete DNR Outdoor Report (Reports from conservation wardens, wildlife and fisheries staff and property managers from around the state)

This coming weekend will be filled with free fun in Wisconsin

This coming weekend will be filled with free fun in Wisconsin with free fishing and free bicycling, inline skating and horseback and ATV riding on state trailson Saturday and Sunday and free admission on Sunday to all Wisconsin state park and forest properties.

People can fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp, including on Wisconsin’s waters of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Otherfishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. Dozens of free fishing clinics are being offered by fishing clubs, local parks departments, community centers and civic organizations. No fishing rod? No problem. Many DNR offices and state parks and facilities have fishing equipment you can borrow on a first come basis. Check out the fishing equipment contactspage for information on who to contact to find out exactly what kind of gear is available near you.

A new offering this year for residents and non-residents is the waiver of registration and nonresident trail pass fees to ride on ATV and UTV public trails on Saturday and Sunday. Again, all other ATV and UTV regulations apply during the weekend.

For more information on events and activities this weekend, search the DNR website for “free fun.”

The slow warm-up has finally increased water temperatures into the low 60s on smaller northern lakes bringing bass and panfish up into the shallows. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass have begun spawning and many dished out nests can be observed in the shallows with the males often sitting tight and guarding the nests. Crappie are also in various stages of nesting activities, while bluegill and pumpkinseed have just started to concentrate near the shallows in the smaller lakes. Musky activity was fair and northern pike action was good over the Memorial Weekend.

The Mississippi River is again on the rise, and is expected to crest later this week at Grant County about a foot higher than its present stage. Several boat landings in low lying areas remain under water. Smallmouth bass were biting on the lower Wisconsin River. The white bass run on the Wolf River is starting to slow down, but anglers are still catching a few. Waukesha County anglers were catching largemouth and smallmouth bass as well as walleye.

On Green Bay, anglers were catching walleye trolling along both the east shore from Bayshore Park north to Potawatomi State Park and west shore north from the mouth of the Pensaukee River north to Oconto. Trollers out of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha harbors were catching good numbers of coho and some chinook over the holiday weekend, but salmon and trout action slowed down at more northern harbors.

Many waterfowl broods are showing up on local ponds and marshes and deer fawn sightings are increasing. Turkey, pheasant and other upland game bird broods should be showing up soon. June berries, wood anemone, trilliums, leatherwood and marsh marigolds are blooming in the north. Mushroom hunters are still finding some morels. And unfortunately, the warming weather has also finally brought out the biting insects, including large numbers of mosquitoes and black flies in the early morning and evening hours.

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