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GREAT LAKES

Strawberry ripe; Besadny is next

More than 1,000 chinooks have made their way into the pond at the DNR’s Strawberry Creek salmon egg-taking facility in Sturgeon Bay this week. Ripe fish were spawned Monday and Atlas Bait Company took eggs still in the skein. The second collection is going on this morning; spawning likely will take place twice a week until mid-month.

The DNR also turned on its pumps this week at the Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility on the Kewaunee River. The site will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with horse-drawn wagon rides, guided tours, demonstrations, activities for kids and a chance to adopt and release a young sturgeon.

Many chinook and coho salmon — and a few trophy brown trout — are being seen at Besadny’s underwater viewing windows.

Lakeshore, stream and pier anglers are making occasional catches on spawn, Power Bait, nightcrawlers, marshmallows, spoons, jigs, flies and stickbaits, but illegal foul-hooking has been a problem in some areas.

Meanwhile, when the winds allow, boaters have been reeling in younger salmon and steelhead on Lake Michigan and mixed sizes of perch, walleyes, bass and pike on Green Bay and its tributaries.

■ Members of the Door County Fish, Farm & Game Club, sport fishermen, charter captains, food pantry friends and Door County Custom Meat workers spent nearly two hours cleaning salmon from the Strawberry Creek facility Monday, packing and delivering nearly 800 pounds of fillets to food pantries in the area.

■ The Walleye Federation is hosting a walleye event Saturday at Sturgeon Bay. The top anglers will win a Cabela’s National Team Championship bid for the May 2014 event on Green Bay. Get more info at www.walleyefederation.com.

INLAND WATERS

White bass smackin’ baits on Winnebago

A gorgeous start to the week won’t end nearly as well, with strong west winds and much colder air expected Sunday after a wet stretch starting today.

Panfish, bass and pike have put on a solid bite on most waters, but could get a lot more finicky as the cold front arrives. All species are cruising 5 to 15 feet of water.

Probably the hottest action has been for white bass on the Lake Winnebago system. The fish are hammering minnows, jigs, spinners and small swim baits.

Up north, muskies are following and occasionally smacking bucktails, jerk baits, crankbaits and topwaters. The sucker bite should improve with falling water temps next week.

■ Cabela’s North American Bass Circuit’s North Region World Bass Championship is set for Oct. 11-12 on the Chippewa Flowage at Hayward. Forty teams will compete for a share of more than $30,000 in cash and prizes. This year’s qualifiers included events at Sturgeon Bay, the Mississippi River and two Minnesota lakes.

■ Cabela’s National Walleye Tour will hold its 2014 championship Sept. 18-20 on Lake Winnebago at Oshkosh. One of the qualifiers will be Aug. 29-30 on the Bays de Noc at Escanaba, Mich.

HUNTING

Bring on the blaze for youth deer hunt

Thousands of kids ages 10 to 15 will be afield with mentors this weekend for the annual youth gun deer hunt. All other hunters, except those after waterfowl, will need to comply with blaze orange clothing requirements those two days.

Even though rifles will be allowed statewide for firearm deer hunting soon — subject to local municipality restrictions — the new rule will not be in place in time for the youth hunt.

Farmland fields and adjacent cover will be popular ambush points this weekend, and any stands of oaks that haven’t been hammered by deer, squirrels, turkeys and other wildlife also should be good bets.

Waterfowl hunters report many wood ducks, mallards and Canada geese are in the area, while most grouse and woodcock hunters are getting far more flushes than kills. As leaves drop, success rates will improve.

The southern zone duck and south exterior zone goose hunts are closed next Monday through Friday, reopening Oct. 12. Black bear hunting ends Tuesday.

■ The Green Bay Duck Hunters Association will have a presentation on the Tom Roster Wingshooting Technique to improve your shooting at its 7 p.m. Monday meeting at Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve in Suamico. Public welcome.

WILDLIFE

Wildlife experts to discuss wolves

Wildlife management professionals from across North America will discuss wolves, whitetails and many other topics at The Wildlife Society’s annual conference in Milwaukee.

Following the main wolf session, former DNR wolf program leader Adrian Wydeven will give a presentation on Wisconsin’s wolf conservation efforts.

Meanwhile, the state’s second wolf hunting and trapping season begins Oct. 15, with more than 2,500 permits awarded and a quota of 251 wolves. For more, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/wolf.html.

FIELD GUIDE

Throw bird seed at the bride, groom

Attending an October wedding at which you plan to throw rice on the bride and groom as they’re leaving the ceremony? Consider using wild bird seed instead. It’ll be cleaned up naturally within a few days, providing food for various species of birds.

■ Green Bay chef Christopher Mangless is among 10 Wisconsin and Minnesota chefs competing in a sold-out Lake Superior Fish Classic cook-off and tasting event Friday night in Duluth, Minn. There will be 350 pounds of Lake Superior herring and whitefish on the menu. More info: www.seagrant.umn.edu/fisheries/classic.

■ Trees and shrubs can be ordered for spring delivery from three DNR nurseries. See what’s available, the minimum order and pricing at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/treeplanting/order.html.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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