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Great Lakes Article:

DNR: Warm weather keeps some migratory birds away

Article courtesy of the Associated Press
November 11, 2001

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The unseasonably warm weather has delayed the arrival of many migratory waterfowl from the north, but diving ducks and Canadian geese have started showing up in larger numbers throughout Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

Horicon Marsh State Wildlife area reported late last week about 150, 000 Canada geese were in and around the marsh, according to the DNR' s weekly outdoor report.

Red-necked ducks, bluebill and ruddy ducks also were flying into Horicon and northern Wisconsin waters.

Other signs of the coming winter included chipmunks disappearing into hibernation and songbirds arriving in Wisconsin. Several areas reported flocks of snow buntings, which generally aren' t seen until late November and December and often are harbingers of approaching cold fronts, the DNR said.

Archery deer hunters and waterfowl, small game and turkey hunters reportedly took advantage of the mild weather over the past week, the DNR said.

The fall turkey season closes Sunday, and early reports indicate hunters generally had good success.

Mating season for buck deer has begun, and there have been many reports of bucks chasing does. DNR officials warned motorists to be especially careful driving for the next few weeks.

Anglers have seen fishing activity drop off in most of the state, although the department reported some good fall musky and walleye fishing in the north.

Snow that fell there two weeks ago has melted, and the warm weather has kept water temperatures in the low 40s, slowing action for larger muskies, the outdoor report said.

In the south, walleye fishing remained good on the Rock River and on Lake Wisconsin, while fishing action dropped off considerably on Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

A few anglers had some luck fishing for walleye and bass off Door County, and shore angling at most harbors has been slow.

Anglers on the Sheboygan River have been catching a few rainbows, browns and coho near the Kohler dam. A few browns were being caught on the Milwaukee River, and anglers continued to catch a few coho and chinooks on the Root and Pike rivers, DNR officials said.

For those outdoors enthusiasts considering a hike or camping this weekend, the department is waiving admission to all state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. The Wisconsin DNR is joining with the National Park Service in opening parks for free for a " weekend of hope and unity, " to honor the victims of recent nation tragedies along with the country' s veterans.

On the Net:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us

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