River Currents

by Free Speech on April 2, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi WI-4/2/09

by Gary Engberg

©2009 Gary Engberg Outdoors

I’ve been writing about the inconsistent weather this spring; with temperatures up and down, strong winds from the east and north, and the snow that we got over the weekend. These factors coupled with cold water that has been hovering from the upper 30’s to the 40 degree mark have prevented consistent walleye and sauger action in the Wisconsin River and the upper reaches of Lake Wisconsin.

Hardy and persistent anglers have been getting their fish, but overall most fishing has been hot and mostly cold. The Wisconsin River is at a good level with a couple of gates open and creating a good river flow that should help fishing. The rain of last week, the snow over the weekend, and the slow melt of snow and ice from northern Wisconsin all are contributing to the increased flow.

Ray Wahl of Spring Green, Wi. with a nice Richland County trout.

Ron Barefield guides another happy client to an early spring walleye on the Wisconsin River.

Today, the flow on the Wisconsin River was 12,270 cubic feet per second at the Prairie du Sac Dam. Farther up the Wisconsin River, the flow at Castle Rock was 6,640 c.f.s. and the flow at Wisconsin Dells was 8,120 c.f.s. which means that the water in our area of the Wisconsin River should go down over the next few days unless the threat of rain on Tuesday is substantial. What anglers need to get fish moving and active is warmer and stable weather and water. A warm rain would even help getting the walleyes spawning and then fishers could look forward to a good post-spawn bite. I know that I thought that walleyes would be spawning by now, but things (meaning the weather) have not worked out thus far. The rest of the week looks like temperatures in the 40’s and chance of precipitation a few days. This may be enough to get water temperatures high enough for spawning (42 to 45 degrees) as long as the nights don’t cool off into the 20’s. I’ll keep you posted or go to my website at www.garyengbergoutdoors.com for up-to-date reports and videos.

Sand bagging at Crystal Lake near Schoepp's Resort.

Sand bagging at Crystal Lake near Schoepp's Resort.

The situation at Crystal and Fish Lakes is getting worse everyday. I really feel for the residents of these lakes and all those at Schoepp’s Cottonwood Resort. These people can not take too much more water before everything that they own is lost! I also don’t understand how the Lake Delton situation can be fixed in a year or less and little can be done about the disaster at Crystal/Fish Lakes? I realize that there are many groups involved in this project, but something has to be done soon for these people. I suggest that people keep contacting their elected officials like Tammy Baldwin and others. Elected officials don’t like negative emails and phone calls, so keep on these people. We need to have this mess fixed once and for all instead of in-fighting from many groups who should be working together. I realize that there are permits and studies that must be done, but there’s been enough time for all that and immediate action is needed! I heard the there may be Stimulus money available from the Feds. If so, please get on it now for all those who must face the rising waters every day.

I haven’t written about the early catch and release trout season that opened March 7, 2009. You must use only artificial lures and barbless hooks during this season that closes April 26. All trout must be immediately released with the daily bag limit and possession being zero during this period. The season is open in most surrounding counties like; Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, and more.

Ray Wahl of Spring Green, WI with a nice Richland County trout.

Ray Wahl of Spring Green, WI with a nice Richland County trout.

A friend from Spring Green, Ray Wahl, has been fishing the numerous streams in the southwest coulee counties like Richland, Vernon, and Crawford Counties and doing well catching brook, brown, and rainbows. Those using ultra-light gear are doing well with small Mepps and Panther Martin spinners for their trout. The top fly that fly-fishers are having success with is the pink squirrel. The recent snow and rain may have muddied up the streams, but they are mostly at a good fishing level and clear. A few days of stable weather usually clears most area streams up for anglers.

Turkey season is not that far away. This past week, the DNR Automatic Licensing System was busy with hunters buying extra turkey permits for the zones and periods that didn’t sell out. There are still a few permits left, mostly for the last hunting period. But, the last season can sometimes be a good one. Check the DNR website, any licensing center (ALS), or call 1-(877)-945-4236 to see what permits are still left. This is also the time when you should sight your gun in and do some scouting. I recommend that you bring a few calls with and see if you get any turkeys to respond. Also, try to “put the turkeys to bed” before dark with some calling. Don’t wait until the last moment to get ready for turkey hunting. Now, is a good time to be in the woods scouting and shed hunting if you’re not fishing? Fishing licenses expire March 31, 2009, so don’t forget to buy a new one and if trout fishing get your new trout stamp. Spring will come, just be patient!

Clements Fishing Barge on the Mississippi River at Genoa is open. This is a great place for early spring anglers to get in on some quality fishing. The float is in a good fishing spot with northern, walleyes, and sauger now being caught. If your boats isn’t out yet or not ready then this is a great place to go. They have everything that you need with a new cabin for staying over-night and a shop with all the gear you need for fishing the Mississippi River. Check out their website at www.clementsfishing.com or call Mark at 1-800-903-4903 for information and details.

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