Natural Resources

Wisconsin DNR

Growing numbers of citizens appear to be taking an  interest in returning wood  to public waters as a place for fish to live.

Sometimes referred to as "fish sticks", the effort is gaining steam says DNR fisheries biologist Scott Toshner based in Brule. He says a tree can live a century, then be put underwater and stay there at least another 100 years providing habitat for fish and other critters.

He says of 29 projects so far, 25 have been in the northern part of the state. He says returning wood to the water enlivens fish populations...

Wisconsin law orders drivers to move over to protect emergency responders at crash scenes or if law enforcement is talking to a driver. Now the law has been expanded to protect law enforcement on our waters.

DNR boating administrator, Warden Roy Zellmer,  outlines what the change enacted this year means for Wisconsin boaters...

"....they will be required to either give way 100 feet or slow to a slow-no wake-speed for emergency vessels that are on the water and have their emergency lights or siren activated...."


DNR Wardens are heightening their presence on the Minocqua-Tomahawk chain of lakes this summer to enforce catch-and-release rules for walleye newly in place this year.  

As DNR Warden Dave Walz explains, a collaborative plan with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission calls for extra monitoring to ensure no fish are taken.  

National Get Outdoors Day

Jun 13, 2015
Warren Lynn

National Get Outdoors Day is Saturday, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest will be waving its fees in most day use areas. Public affairs officer for the Chequamagon-Nicolet National Forest Hillary Markin says it’s a perfect day to explore outside. "You can find some new places maybe you haven’t been," says Markin. "Looking for a new hiking trail to go explore or a new boat ramp to launch on or a new lake to go fish? check out our website to find a place for you to go out and play this weekend."

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

People have until June 30th to submit written comments to the state DNR on how walleye are being managed in northern Wisconsin’s ceded territory.  That includes feedback how specific lakes should be regulated.

A public hearing held Friday on the topic drew few participants, with just four members of the public attending.  

Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Despite about a hundred and fifty wolves taken in a wolf hunt last winter, Wisconsin’s wolf population has increased. 

Preliminary numbers from the state DNR have put last winter’s population between 746 and 771 wolves.

That’s a thirteen percent increase from the year before, when numbers were as low as 660.    

Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland says the number is on the upper end of what biologists expected when they set a hunting quota last year. 


Mark Miller /

Environmental groups are reacting against a proposal that restricts county shoreland zoning power.


Language within the state budget passed by the Joint Finance Committee says counties can’t employ stricter standards than those the state requires for what’s built on lakefront properties.

Republican Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst says it will create uniformity.

Field Notes: Mysterious Bogs

Jun 9, 2015

Say you were writing a murder mystery set in the Northwoods, and you were looking for a clever place to hide a fictional body. How about bogs? Don’t things just slide into bogs and disappear? Susan Knight is an Associate Scientist at the UW-Madison Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, and she’s actually fielded this question--and many others--in her studies of bogs. Explore this peculiar environment in this month's edition of “Field Notes."

Dick Daniels

June and July bring peak breeding activity for Wisconsin’s birds.  The state DNR says it’s an especially good time to get involved documenting bird sightings for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas.  


It’s a five-year data gathering project that spans the entire state.  


Submitted photo

A talk this week will focus on forest ownership and conservation.


Adena Rissman is on the faculty in UW Madison, studying relationships between people and natural resources.


She says major changes in public and private land ownership patterns have shaped forest conservation.