Around the Badger State

Wet weather has continued into our first astronomical week of summer, with rain falling in some or all of the state every day in the last week. This has continued to keep rivers high and many trails wet and muddy.
The lower Wisconsin River continues to flow at more than twice its normal flow and very few if any sandbars are available. The Oconto, Peshtigo, and Menominee rivers are all at or above flood stage.
One exception is the Bois Brule, which has returned to normal flow and is getting heavy use by paddlers.
Despite high water levels, anglers have been fishing the Flambeau River with some success for musky, walleye and bass. Crappies, bluegills and perch are being caught on northern lakes. A few walleyes are being caught around the mouth area of the Peshtigo River and anglers at the mouth of the Oconto River were having success catching catfish, smallmouth and sheepshead. Trout streams were just getting fishable again but levels are up again and running turbid with a lot of debris making it very tough to fish.
Anglers that got out southern Green Bay in between storms found some success trolling crank baits for walleyes along with a big increase in freshwater drum and catfish being caught. The weather conditions made the smallmouth bite throughout Door County much more inconsistent than past weeks. Some bass are still on beds while others are post spawn. Perch fishing is starting to pick up a bit in the bay side harbors of Door County.
Salmon fishing out on Lake Michigan also suffered some this week thanks in part to the abundance of almost-daily nasty weather. The most frequent catch of the week was steelhead, with a few coho and chinook mixed in. In Milwaukee, a thick cloud of alewives were stacked up on the lake side of McKinley Pier and the catch rate on the pier increased as the trout and salmon followed the baitfish closer to shore, with limits of trout and salmon landed.
Early-nesting species are fledging young now, including killdeer, American robins, eastern bluebirds, eastern phoebes, wood ducks, starlings, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys and more.
New wobbly elk calves and deer fawns are out and are now following their mothers all the time. A large bull elk has been seen feeding off a road in the Flambeau River State Forest with his antlers in full velvet.
In the north, the forest floor is bursting with swamp dewberries, bunchberry, twin flower, buttercups, blue flag iris, false Solomon's seal, Canada mayflower, oxeye daisies, yellow and orange hawkweed are in varying stages of bloom, and blueberries are ripe or soon to ripen. Pink lady slippers are blooming in Door County.
There is a New Moon on Friday so it should be a great weekend for astronomy programs being held this weekend at Kettle Moraine south, Governor Dodge, Wildcat and Devil's Lake state parks. There will also be music performances Saturday at Rib Mountain State Park and at Mirror Lake State Park. Shakespeare in the Park performances and workshops continue this weekend at Havenwoods State Forest Friday and at Devil's Lake State Park on Saturday. For a complete listing of events search the DNR website for "Get Outdoors."