Pelicans are returning to the Coulee Region.
"Junior" and I watched a dozen or more sail over our heads on Tuesday when checking out the spud poles at Ol' Tom's boathouse on French Island.
"I wonder where are they going?" asked Junior.
"Probably to Catgut Slough," I replied. "That's where I got photos of them last year."
There were more than pelicans congregating near the south end of Catgut Slough when I drove past later.
Anglers, from shore and boats, were crowding around the culvert on the north side of Clinton Street. Perch were the target, although I saw one small northern pike boated. A couple of small perch were also caught and kept.
"How they bitiin'?" I asked one shore angler as I walked past.
"Not much at all. And those you do get are running small," he said, hoisting an almost empty net.
Many veteran fishermen believe the perch spawning run is just about completed. I agree. Nonetheless, anglers keep trying.Anglers were lining the shoreline along the French Island beach, also hoping to bring in perch and any other game fish willing to take their baits. Action was also slow there earlier this week.
Walleye and sauger action is improving below locks and dams up and down on the Mississippi River.
Meanwhile, deer and turkeys remain active near our condo in the valley. It won't be long before does will be kicking out last year's offspring as she prepares for new fawns in May and early June.
Tom turkeys are gobbling on the roost just before dawn, but then turn silent during morning hours. A large, long-bearded gobbler struts his stuff in silence while his harem of hens feed in the huge field bordering our condo.
Across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, stationed in La Crescent, spent time checking angling activity below dams. Walleye and perch activity seem to be picking up. An angler was found to have an over-limit of walleyes. New size and possession limits are now in effect for both Minnesota and Wisconsin waters.
With increasing flows, large trees were seen floating down the channel. Anglers should be cautious of submerged and surface debris.Mitch Boyum, a Minnesota DNR conservation officer in Rushford, reports working a busy week on the Mississippi River. Fishing was fair to good and most folks caught some fish. Compliance was high. Violations encountered were no license in possession and an over-limit of walleyes.
Boyum received a phone call from a concerned farmer about one of his cows. He had found the cow dead with various parts missing. Upon further investigation, it was determined the cow was shot from the road and someone stole the prime cuts of meat. Anyone with information should call the Mower County Sheriff?s Office. Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports the river is high, but people have found areas to catch walleyes, northern pike and perch. Hemker checked a boat with three people and three limits of walleyes. Shortly after the check, he observed one of the anglers throwing a walleye from his boat to another boat. Hemker explained the party fishing rule to the anglers.
There also was a lot of catch-and-release trout fishing in the area.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.