Fall colors, leaping salmon are good reasons to take a ride
Next egg-take set for Monday at Strawberry Creek
Fall colors are ablaze across northern Wisconsin, and will peak here over the next week or two.
Now’s a great time to take a ride on a wild side – and back roads rule.
You might even want to check out some of the area’s rustic roads.
There’s a new interactive map available to help you locate them: Here’s the link for Northeast Wisconsin: wisconsindot.gov/Pages/travel/road/rustic-roads/northeast.
Fall salmon run
Two of the rustic roads are little more than a Paul Bunyan cast from the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility west of Kewaunee, and the Strawberry Creek Salmon Facility near Sturgeon Bay.
If you choose those routes, you’ll be a very short drive away from a fantastic opportunity to see the annual fall salmon spawning run.
The Kewaunee site features an observation walkway and two viewing windows. Strawberry Creek, meanwhile, offers a chance to watch DNR fisheries and hatchery crews in action Monday and Thursday mornings the first two or three weeks in October, depending on the run.
More than 1,000 salmon have been handled at the two sites in the past week.
Chinook egg-taking is well on its way toward meeting goals.
Next up at Kewaunee will be the coho salmon run.
Youth deer hunt
Wisconsin’s youth gun deer hunt is this weekend, Oct. 8-9.
It’s an opportunity for hunters ages 15 and under to gain valuable hunting experience under the watchful eye of seasoned hunters.
The youth must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older.
Many times, it’s a parent, grandparent, uncle or aunt that tags along.
The mentor must be within an arm’s reach of the youth at all times.
If the youth has not completed hunter education, or is under age 12, qualified mentors may only take one youth hunter out at a time.
Young hunters must have a valid gun deer hunting license.
Since the bow and crossbow season is also underway, that hunting is legal, too.
Mentors are encouraged to go over the four basic rules of gun safety:
• Treat every gun as if it were loaded
• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
• Be sure of your target, and beyond
• Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot
Meanwhile, the southern zone duck hunt opened last weekend.
It takes five a break after this weekend, then reopens Oct. 15, the same date as the open water duck zone opener.
Other seasons opening Oct. 15 include pheasant, Hungarian partridge, southern zone cottontail rabbit, Zone B ruffed grouse, fox, bobcat (with permit) and raccoon hunting (residents).
More regulations are available on the Hunt Wild app, the print version (wherever licenses are sold) and online at: widnr.widen.net/s/pdq5r2sdqc/2022wi_huntregulations.
Those still looking for good spots to try this fall can get some ideas on public land at dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands.
Wolf count update
Wolves killed at least four more dogs and injured five others in the past week in three northern Wisconsin counties, moving the yearly total to at least 18 dogs killed.
The deaths over the weekend came just days after the DNR announced its ballpark estimate of the 2021-2022 over winter wolf population at somewhere between 812 and 1,193 wolves, and the number of packs ranging from 243 to 352.
The agency believes there were most likely at least 972 wolves in 288 packs, but the newer way of estimating leaves a lot of wiggle room.
The population estimate was about 14 percent lower than the previous winter, but that was expected after a February, 2021 harvest season that saw 218 wolves killed and dozens more taken by government trappers.
Keep in mind, too, that the estimate was made prior to this year’s new litters, which average four to six pups per pregnant female wolf.
The DNR uses data from multiple sources to monitor wolves, including GPS-collared wolves and winter snow tracking surveys.
A final draft of an updated wolf management plan is expected for public review sometime this fall.
The agency said it’s important to take the time necessary to ensure the draft is reflective of the input received from the Wolf Management Plan Committee, Wisconsin’s tribal nations and the public.
The DNR is seeking volunteers with a desire to teach safe hunting and firearm skills to become certified hunter education instructors in Wisconsin.
Since the program’s creation in 1967, more than 20,000 volunteers have educated hunters in the state, certifying more than 1 million hunters.
The program has also contributed to a significant decrease in hunting safety incidents.
Interested volunteers can either serve as an apprentice under a sponsoring instructor and assist with at least two complete courses or attend a one- or two-day certification training session hosted by a DNR Outdoor Skills Trainer.
To learn more, reach out to regional outdoor skill trainer Kayla Sasse at [email protected].
Weekly Fishing Report: Check out the night bite on the Fox
Walleye and perch fishing on Green Bay remained good, with changing conditions being the norm.
Cooling overnight lows have dropped water temperatures into the upper 50s and lower 60s, triggering shad to start moving into the Fox River.
Not far behind, walleyes are also moving into the river.
A good bite is going on the Fox trolling downstream from the Hwy. 172 bridge.
Flicker shad and flicker minnows have been the best baits there.
Up by the De Pere dam and around the washout hole, jigging ripper minnows, binks spoons, hair jigs, bat lures, blade baits and small jigs with crawlers are taking fish.
Around the lower bay of Green Bay, crankbaits are taking fish in University Bay, Vincent Point, Bayshore Park and Geano‘s Reef, Oconto.
The reefs of the east shore are also taking fish.
For perch, fathead minnows and nightcrawler pieces are working for big perch around Oconto, Vincent Point, Geano’s Reef, Suamico and Duck Creek.
Muskie fishing is going well, as large body crank baits like Tyrant Raz shads and shallow diving lures are taking these big fish.
Shore fishing at night is really getting good at the Metro Boat Launch at the mouth of the Fox River with huge walleye, pike and muskies being caught.
If you get the chance to go, please be safe and always take a kid fishing.
To find out where to fish and what to use, call us at 920-593-1749.
Yah, only at Smokeys!
– Capt Jerry Ruffolo,
Anglers Plus Guide Service, 920-973-2868