Snow, rain taking a toll on outdoor activities - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Snow, rain taking a toll on outdoor activities


Eau Claire (WQOW) - It has been a snowy, soggy spring here in western Wisconsin, which is just fine to some people. But for others, Mother Nature just keeps raining on their parade. We spoke to the DNR today to find out which activities have been affected as winter keeps rolling along.

"A lot of times right now the ice would be coming off our lakes, and that's not occurring at this time. Things are about two to three weeks behind where they normally are this time of the year," said Heath Benike, Senior Fisheries Biologist with the Wisconsin DNR.

Old man winter is still sticking around here in the Chippewa Valley, and the DNR says that could mean a change in plans for outdoor enthusiasts.

"The early trout season is still open, so those streams are fishable in a lot of locations. On opening weekend, that might be a better alternative too is to actually look at trout fishing for opening weekend of fishing season if for some reason the ice hasn't run off our lakes locally," Benike said.

The cold temps have also been ruffling the feathers of area turkey hunters.

"It's been slow, a few people have gotten birds but the birds haven't been real active in the morning, they're not real vocal. A lot of people who are getting birds are kind of intercepting them between a roosting area and a food source. A lot of turkeys are out in picked corn fields in big groups. When they do start breeding they tend to disperse and you'll see more lone birds," Benike explained.

But after a slow start to the season for maple sap collectors, things have recently started moving faster

"Last year was a very short season with the warm spring we had but this year I've heard a lot of good reports of sap production from trees. Some of the best runs they've had in a long time. Some of the best runs they've had in a long time," Benike added.

Once temperatures eventually rise for good, the water levels are expected to follow suit.

"One positive thing about all this rain and snow that we've gotten this winter is a lot of our lakes have been low in the northern part of the state from the drought we had last year. This should help ease some of those drought concerns and fill those lakes back up," said Benike.

If you haven't touched your tackle box yet, you've got about two weeks left before the first lines will be cast. Opening day for Wisconsin fishing is Saturday May 4th.

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