Wisconsin DNR

A meeting next Monday in Rhinelander could have an impact on future recreation in the Northwoods.

The DNR is hosting the meeting to get feedback about outdoor recreation for a Recreation Opportunities Analysis they are doing.

DNR recreation specialist Cameron Bump says the analysis is examining existing outdoor-based recreation opportunities. Bump says they held an initial set of meetings in March and have put together a draft document for the public to provide input...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

We waited for the warm sunny days to return and they have, but a DNR spokesperson says that also means the chance of wildfire has also risen sharply. Governor Walker has declared a state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions.

Catherine Koele is DNR wildfire prevention specialist in Woodruff. She says Northwoods is at the peak of wildfire season...

Wikimedia Commons

Reports indicate a truck went through the ice on the Willow Flowage this week. No injuries were reported, but a DNR recreational safety warden says the recent warming spell has changed the dynamic out on the hard water.

Northeast Wisconsin Warden Jeremy Cords says the melt water caused by warmer temperatures causes runoff from melting snow. Even though that water is cold, it is warmer than the ice.

He says you can see how this rotting of the ice happen when you pour a cold drink....


A DNR official explains the new proposal to raise some recreational fees after the agency reported a deep deficit in the Fish and Wildlife Account.

Wisconsin DNR

A Montana-based sportsmans group with a Wisconsin chapter has gathered a petition with more than 1,700 signatures for the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board to think again about selling some public land. The Board is meeting Wednesday in Madison to consider the next round of public land sales. The legislature in 2013 told the DNR to sell 10,000 acres by 2017.

Wisconsin DNR

In light of the recent flooding in northern Wisconsin, well water safety has become a cause for concern. Floodwaters and runoff can affect private wells and people with flooding should assume their well is contaminated. DNR private water field supervisor, Marty Nessman says people in the affected areas should have their wells checked before using the water again.


Michael Murphy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports eight states in the Midwest have gotten more than $200 million dollars as part of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. One of those projects is based here in the Northwoods. The federal funds were received for a study of bobcats.

DNR animal researcher Nathan Roberts based in Rhinelander is doing an extensive study on the elusive cat. He says they need to find out the population size so they know how many can be hunted and maintain a sustainable population ...


A DNR ecologist thinks the coming deer season in Wisconsin will be similar to last year's hunt. Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says indicators from the bow hunting season and from from eyewitnesses find this season is shaping up like last year. While agricultural areas continue to see good deer numbers, the Northwoods is still trying to recover...

"....the northern part of the state is still in a recovery period following a bad winter a couple of years ago. Across the state, our reproduction was pretty good this year...."

Meyer Critical Of Parts Of DNR Reorganization

Jul 29, 2015
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

The  D-N-R unveils a major reorganization this week that consolidates most air-and-water pollution enforcement into one division -- and moves hot-button issues to a new unit that supports businesses. Officials say the changes are designed to make the agency more responsive to all its users -- from business-and-farm permit applicants to hunters and anglers. It comes amid an 18-percent decline in the D-N-R's workforce over the past 20 years. The new Business Support and External Services unit is planned as a "one-stop" center for business help.


Some lands  outside the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest are among the parcels the DNR has put up for sale.

In the last budget, the legislature said the state had to put up for sale at least 10,000 acres of state-owned property located outside the scope of state project boundaries.

The DNR's Steve Miller says this includes some property outside the Northern Highland land and some land in Lincoln county. He says you can find the listings on the DNR website...


Biologists say habitat preservation is critical to preserving wildlife. The DNR reports turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters contributions have led to large increases in habitat preservation.

More than 500,000 acres of land have been restored for both turkey and pheasant hunters each  says DNR ecologist Krista McGinley.....

"....over three-quarters of pheasand and turkey stamp revenues has gone to restoring, maintaining habitat for those species in the state..."


The DNR's Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearings happen Monday in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  One topic area  is likely to draw considerable discussion.

DNR fisheries biologist Jon Hansen says they're studying 100 lakes...many in this region...to look at putting tighter restrictions on panfish to see if larger fish can be grown.....

"....we're interested in trying three different options for bag limits. We have an elaborate evaluation plan that we are going to evaluate over the next 10 years...".


Hibernation is ending for the Northwoods growing bear population, and conflicts with property owners can be avoided says a DNR spokesperson.

Wildlife damage specialist Brad Koele says the food you leave for birds and your pets also is tantalizing for bears...

"....garbage cans, grills, if anyone feeds pets outside coming to the pet food. Be aware, take a look around and reduce those attractants...."


Wildfire danger is increasing as the snow leaves the Northwoods and warmer, dryer air comes in.
Conditions have changed so fast that burning permits are not allowed in most places.

DNR Wildfire Prevention Specialist  Catherine Koele in Woodruff says the fire danger is very high in most places, with extreme fire danger the northwest corner of the state. She says conditions are prime for fire...


Time to get the ice shacks off your favorite fishing hole.

Anywhere south of Highway 64 the shacks had to be off the hard water this past weekend. North of Highway 64, the deadline is this coming weekend says DNR Recreational Safety Warden Jeff Dauterman in Antigo. He says the warming temperatures this week could mean your home away from home could become stuck in the ice...