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Keith Pamperin of Challenge The Outdoors, left, and SteveNooyen hold a chinook salmon caught off Algoma this past summer. Nooyen donated $30,000 to CTO, a group dedicated to serving the recreational needs and desires of the physically challenged sportsperson. / Submitted

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GREAT LAKES

Conditions perfect for making bay ice

An extended period of cold weather and a return to northerly winds are working in favor of Green Bay ice anglers itching to venture farther off shore.

Right now, the best bets are to stick to protected bays, harbors and nearshore areas, where there have been 6 or more inches of ice reported in many locations.

However, the latest satellite images show a large crack not too far off Door County and plenty of open water between Peshtigo and the Bays de Noc. There’s also continued ice-breaking activity around Sturgeon Bay.

More on ice fishing: Ice fishing news from around the state | Your ice fishing photos | Build a map | Read ice fishing reports

To see the latest views from space, click on http://coast watch.glerl.noaa.gov/modis/region_map.html.

The best advice for those who haven’t been out is to get the latest information from a bayside bait and tackle store or hire a guide who has been out in recent days.

Social media posts by guides and other avid anglers this week are showing fair numbers of whitefish, yellow perch and walleyes on the bay and an occasional brown or rainbow trout from Lake Michigan tributaries.

INLAND WATERS

Plenty of places to soak some bait

While there are still a few large waters or active flowages with thin spots or even open water, many if not most of Wisconsin’s popular winter fishing lakes are locked in with 6 to 10 inches or more of ice.

The Winnebago chain has been popular for panfish and white bass, with some walleyes and pike caught as well. Depending on the spot, much of the fishing is being done near bottom in 5 to 15 feet of water.

Jigs or jigging spoons tipped with live bait tip-ups set with shiners or fatheads are the most popular setups.

Farther north, many anglers are reporting that afternoons are best for panfish and pike, with some walleyes hitting at dusk. Those using fish locators or underwater cameras to watch for suspended fish often have an advantage on panfish.

■ More than a half-million anglers ages 16 and older are expected to fish through the ice this winter. Those who’ve never done it and don’t have a fishing license are invited to give it a try Jan. 18-19, Wisconsin’s second annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend.

HUNTING

Fresh powder ideal to track in

Recent snowfalls allowed rabbit, pheasant and coyote hunters to look for and put their dogs on fresh tracks, and moderating temperatures should improve scent-trailing conditions.

More light snow is expected overnight, with additional accumulation possible Sunday followed by a return to much colder air Monday.

■ The CWD zone holiday hunt begins Tuesday and ends Jan. 5. Outside of ag damage permit deer hunting on limited properties throughout the state, it’ll be the last chance of the season for gun-deer hunters to don blaze orange and try to fill tags.

■ Bow-deer hunting runs through Jan. 5 in most units, but extends to Jan. 31 in metro units. Goose hunting ends Saturday in the southern zone.

WILDLIFE

Public land atlas available

A new atlas showing all lands open to the public for outdoors recreation is available to download off the DNR website. A 470-page print copy also is available for purchase. It will be updated every two years.

To learn more, check out the “green sheet” from last week’s Natural Resources Board meeting at http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/2013/Dec/12-13-5B2.pdf, or visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/lands/PAL.

■ In his new position, former DNR wolf program expert Adrian Wydeven is a forest wildlife habitat specialist. His job involves working closely with foresters on public lands to make sure wildlife is being adequately considered in timber management programs and with private landowners through the Young Forest Initiative encouraging them to manage lands for deer, upland game and songbirds.

FIELD GUIDE

Disabled group gets $30K boost

Steve Nooyen of Home Instead Senior Care presented Challenge The Outdoors president Keith Pamperin with a $30,000 check this year, the largest single donation the organization has received.

CTO is a group dedicated to serving the recreational needs and desires of the physically challenged sportsperson.

For more information, visit www.ctoforme.org. For more on Nooyen and his donation, check out a 3-minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4rMMT3p004.

■ First Day Hikes will be held Jan. 1 at nine Wisconsin State Parks, including Peninsula (10 a.m.), High Cliff (1 p.m.) and Whitefish Dunes (2 p.m.). For cold weather hiking tips, check out americanhiking.org/cold-weather-hiking.

— Kevin Naze, wildtimes@wizunwired.net

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