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Around the Badger State

Heavy rains across northwestern Wisconsin last weekend and early this week have flooded some roads and caused washouts on some highways, roads, state parks, forests and trails.
According to the National Weather Service the area has received 7 to 12 inches of rain from Friday through Monday.
Several park system property or portions of properties are closed due flooding. Amnicon Falls State Park, closed temporarily, but has re-opened, though some roads, trails and observation areas remain closed. Pattison State Park is open for camping only; all trails, observation areas, picnic and day-use areas are closed. There are washouts on the dam that forms Interfalls Lake and Highway 35 over the dam is closed. A campground and horse trail are closed at Governor Knowles State Forest and the day use areas along the river at Interstate Park are underwater.
All rivers in the region are running extremely high. The falls at both Amnicon and Pattison are roaring, but road closures mean observing the falls now is challenging. The Bois Brule and Flambeau rivers are high enough that some canoe launches and campsites are underwater. The water is making its way downstream and the Lower Wisconsin River is running very high with all sandbars submerged and canoeing and kayaking not recommended. The river is expected to crest Muscoda this weekend at 40,000 cubic feet per second.
Sections of the Tuscobia, Saunders Grade, Wild Rivers and Gandy Dancer state trails are currently closed. People should use caution as they recreate in the coming days and weeks. Stay out of areas, roads and trails posted as closed. Keep a safe distance away from the edge of fast moving water, streams and rivers. Slow-no-wake ordinances are in place on lakes Kegonsa, Monona and Waubesa in Dane County and likely other locations.
Thursday is the summer equinox, the astronomical start of summer and longest day of the year. A lot of people were out enjoying the hot weather last weekend but the storms that followed slowed lake activity and reduced fishing pressure and success in many areas. Trout streams through central Wisconsin are very high and unfishable, but bass fishing on many inland lakes has been very good.
Anglers were still catching walleye on lower Green Bay but the only fish that was biting with consistency and ferocity were freshwater drum. Bass fishing has been excellent across the northern part of Door County but was slower out of Little Sturgeon Bay and Sawyer Harbor.
Lake Michigan anglers out of Kewaunee, Algoma and Manitowoc were coming back with chinook, some lake trout, and rainbows. The fish that are being caught are large, with a 34-pound king caught out of Manitowoc and two 31 pounders were caught on the same day out of Two Rivers.
Bucks now have velvet antlers 8-10 inches and are feeding in alfalfa fields.
Strawberries are ripe and blueberries are soon to ripen, so bears, people and other critters are enjoying the delicious fruit. Bears are highly visible right now as it is their mating season.
Elk cows are moving into cow-calf groups for safety in numbers. The first wave of monarch caterpillars are being seen.
Blue flag iris, dog violet, orange hawkweed, wild columbine, ox eye daisy, wooly yarrow, bellworts and the false rue anemones are blooming.