Wisconsin DNR

Cameron Strandberg-commons.wikimedia.org

While wet conditions continue from a snowy winter and a cold, wet spring, a DNR ranger says don't be lulled into thinking the fire danger isn't there.

DNR Forester/Ranger John Gillen in Rhinelander says the time prior to 'green up' or the time prior to plants having new leaves, is a time when fire danger can be high. Even though it's been damp, he says things can change quickly...

William Rafti-en.wikipedia.org

About nine million syringe users nationwide administer three billion injections outside of health care facilities. The DNR is hoping Wisconsin's syringe users remember it's the law to not throw them in the trash.

Barb Bickford is Medical Waste Coordinator for the DNR....


"....it's illegal to put sharps in the trash. They should put them in containers that are thick-walled and have screw-on caps, an official sharps container or a bleach bottle or detergent bottle. Then they should mark them with the words, 'do not recycle' or 'sharps'...."


Wisconsin anglers could use motor-boats to troll for fish statewide, under a proposal endorsed at the annual conservation hearings. The D-N-R announced the results this week of votes taken at all of the Conservation Congress proceedings on Monday night in each of the 72 counties. At least some trolling on all lakes statewide was endorsed by 62-percent of the nearly 59-hundred sporting enthusiasts who voted on the question. It's been a hot topic in the popular fishing areas of northern Wisconsin.

Kari-Lee Zimmerman is the DNR's Conservation Congress Liason....

Joshua Mayer / http://www.flickr.com/photos/wackybadger/7967970190/sizes/m/

Lead fishing tackle won’t be allowed on three lakes in Vilas County.  Starting April 1st, the DNR is prohibiting any tackle containing lead on Escanaba, Nebish and Pallette lakes.   All three are research lakes in the Northern Highland American Legion state forest.

DNR fisheries research scientist Greg Sass is based at the Escanaba Research Station in Boulder Junction.  He says small pieces of lead like split shot and jig head can be harmful to wildlife like loons. 


Wisconsin's publicly registered snowmobile total is approaching a quarter-million and Northwoods registrations have increased by 163 percent since 2002.

The state last week released data on the number of registrations in Wisconsin. Oneida and Vilas are among the top five counties registering snowmobiles.

The DNR's Cathy Burrow says this region has seen a large growth in snowmobile registrations...


Though winter is holding on with a vice-like grip, the DNR is reminding those with ice shacks that it's not long until they need to be removed from lakes and rivers.

DNR Conservation Warden Tom Van Haren says the middle of March is a key time to remember....


"....for most waters, there's a north-south line in the state...Highway 64 is the dividing line. If you're north of the Highway 64 line then you have to have your permanent shelters removed beginning the first Sunday afte March 12 each year.....


A DNR spokesperson says they have worked standard protocols to contain Chronic Wasting Disease from a deer at a farm south of Antigo.

81 deer from Wilderness Whitetails shooting preserve near Eland have been quarantined by the state. A five year old buck at the preserve tested positive for CWD after it was shot last November.

DNR Wildlife Section Chief Tami Ryan says they checked the fences at the farm at Eland and a related farm in Portage county and the fences were in good shape....



Fatter-tired bikes are popping up on winter recreational trails and a DNR spokesperson says to keep in mind legalities and safety.

The bikes have ultra-wide tires for traction. Brigit Brown, state trails coordinator for the DNR, says this has led to concern over potential collisions between snowmobilers and the slower bikes. Brown says on the bikes are legal on state-owned linear trails, but can't operate on snowmobile trails not owned by the state...



The state Natural Resources Board voted unanimously in favor of key provisions to change the state's hunting culture -- changes drafted by Texas researcher James Kroll. One key provision eliminates in-person deer registrations at places like bars and gas stations, in favor of online and phone registrations.. Other changes include a reduction in deer management units, the creation of county committees to advise state wildlife experts on deer population goals.


With the World Championship Snowmobile Derby ending Sunday in Eagle River, many enthusiasts are in the Northwoods to enjoy some of the best snowmobiling in years. This is also International Snowmobile Safety Week.

DNR Snowmobile Administrator Warden Gary Eddy says with busy trails, always keep in mind safety...


"....some of the traditional complaints we have out there when it is busy are snowmobilers cutting corners, not staying on the right side of the trail, speeding and just overall reckless operation...."


Anglers are asked to go to the DNR website and fill out a form on what waters they should consider for stocking under the new "Wisconsin Walleye Initiative".


The state has spent $8.2 million for infrastructure improvements and $1.3 million each year for annual operating costs to expand production at DNR state fish hatcheries. Production is projected to increase 60,000 to 120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016. The young walleye will be larger than previously in the hope of having more survivability to adulthood.


The state is adding another weekend of free fishing and it happens this Saturday and Sunday.

The state waives fees and allows anyone...residents and non-residents to hit the frozen water.

DNR Northern Regional Director John Gozdzialski says a free fishing weekend happens in June each year, but instead of boats, you have ice augers...


"...this is an opportunity to enjoy fishing but with with frozen conditions not the open water....

Gozdzialski says it's a great way to get kids involved with the outdoors.


The mining company has submitted it's revised plan to sample iron ore at a mine site in the Penokee Hills, and a DNR spokesperson says they've identified the remaining issues.

The initial plan for Gogebic Taconite's desire to mine the large site in Iron and Ashland counties involves submitting what's called a Bulk Sampling Plan.

DNR spokesperson Larry Lynch says the agency has determined specific permits will be needed...



One Wisconsin wolf hunt zone remains open and a top DNR official says no incidents have been reported.

As of today, 213 wolves have been taken in six zones from a maximum quota of 251. Only Zone 3, which includes portions of Price and Taylor counties, is still open. In that zone, 31 animals were taken from a quota of 71.


DNR Northern District leader John Gozdzialski .....



  Saying he's the eyes and ears in this region for the state DNR Secretary, the Northern Region Director held office hours in Tomahawk. He says they will be doing more of this type of interaction with the public.


John Gozdzialski met with the public at Tomahawk city hall. He says city of Tomahawk officials talked about what they needed in upcoming projects, but also heard from other members of the public...