Wisconsin parks and forests booked for Labor Day weekend

Wisconsin State Farmer
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

MADISON - The weather is shaping up to look very nice for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, with most parks and forests reporting that reservable campsites are booked.

People looking for last minute end of summer vacation weekend camping who don't have a reservation should consider camping at the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. The forest has non-reservable sites at rustic campgrounds that will be open this weekend.


Anglers continue to report productive walleye fishing on Lake Winnebago. Yellow perch fishing action has picked up throughout the system, particularly on Lake Winnebago. With fall approaching, some anglers are already eagerly waiting for the fall white bass run and action already seems to be picking up on the Wolf River.

Anglers on the west shore of Green Bay report catching perch and walleye from Peshtigo to the Pensaukee River. Walleye action on the lower bay has also been very consistent, with some limits reached. Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be excellent throughout the Door County peninsula.

Fishing pressure on Lake Michigan has been light with the recent weather, due largely to strong winds and rain that made it difficult to get a boat out. Those that made it out on calmer days reported mainly chinook salmon and rainbow trout were caught, along with some lake trout, coho salmon, and brown trout.

Pier fishermen are starting to see a little success with kings finally showing up in harbors and the river channels. The kings are certainly staging to make their fall spawning run. It's only a matter of time before we see them moving upriver.

The hook and line season for lake sturgeon opens Sept. 2 and runs through Sept. 30 on several major river stretches for a fish that can grow to more than 6 feet long and exceed 150 pounds.


The mourning dove, early teal and early September Canada goose hunting seasons open in designated areas Friday, Sept.1. Early goose season hunters should take note that geese are still hitting grain stubble fields big time. Hunters heading out to the fields this week for dove hunting should be prepared to see large numbers of hunters in the available fields. Sunflower fields were planted late due to wet/cold weather earlier this year and may see mixed results in drawing birds in.

Fawns are losing their spots, whitetail bucks are shedding velvet. Young bull elk have also rubbed off their velvet and are polishing and the older bulls have begun to rub off velvet. Elk cow and calf groups are being approached by bulls for the start of the mating season. Bulls are just now beginning to bugle.

Arrival of fall

The cool nights of the past week have reminded folks that the fall season is getting closer. Signs continue to point to the arrival of fall. Blackberries and hazel nuts are at their peak, acorns are starting to fall, and the brilliant colors of the season are starting. The apple trees are dropping fruit. Goldenrod is in full bloom and New England aster are beginning to show their purple flowers.

Another good week of migration brought many new birds to Wisconsin from their summer haunts in the boreal forests and open tundra of Canada.

Warblers continue to steal the show, as they likely will for the next few weeks yet. Common nighthawk migration is past peak in the north, while southern birders found them by the hundreds on the evening of Aug. 30. Reports from the Sauk County area were particularly impressive.