Walleye arriving as rivers run high

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Walleye are running up the major Lake Michigan tributaries including the Oconto, Menominee and Peshtigo rivers.

“Boat anglers (on the Menominee) had mixed results with some good catches reported earlier in the week while others struggled to catch fish,” said Scott Poquette, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries technician at Peshtigo.

Shore anglers were finding a few fish during daylight hours, but it was reported that fishing was better at night. Clown colored stick baits were popular among the shore anglers, Poquette said.

Water levels on some rivers will rise through this weekend and into next week as snowmelt continues along with some additional rainfall. Minor flooding will be possible on some of the rivers. Boaters and shore anglers should exercise caution, forecasters said. Many streams may also be running high for next weekend’s Michigan trout opener.

Wisconsin’s first turkey hunting period started Wednesday. Although it was wet across the north, toms have been seen moving frequently.

Michigan’s spring turkey opener is Monday. As of Friday permits remained available for the Upper Peninsula, said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.

Grier advised anyone who has recently purchased a fur harvester license to double-check the date to make sure the state has published the correct year.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Marquette: More boats were starting to head out now that the ice is gone. Most were trolling between the breakwall in the Lower Harbor to the Chocolay River. Coho, brown trout and a few splake were starting to show up and were caught off the breakwall. Water temperatures were about 34 degrees in the lake and near 38 degrees in the rivers. Catch rates have been slow in the Dead River and Carp River. Water levels have been fluctuating daily with most area rivers on the high side. Expect levels to rise even more as the temperature warms up.

Chocolay River: Had slow fishing. Anglers are trying but few fish have been caught. Those lucky enough to catch fish were getting some fresh steelhead. The boat launch at the marina is ice free however no docks are in yet.

Little Bay De Noc: Most of the Bay was still iced over however the ice is dangerous and no one should be going out on it. Several have started fishing the piers at the Escanaba North Shore launch and hoping for steelhead or brown trout, but no catches were reported. The transition to open water fishing could take some time with the cold temperatures at night. Boats could be launched at the Ford River and the North Shore launches but no docks are in yet and floating ice could be a hazard. Steelhead anglers have started fishing the Day’s River and the Ford River but not much to report yet. All area rivers are open and flowing fast.

Manistique River: Steelhead anglers reported good numbers of fish before the snowstorm. Water levels are high and fast making it much harder to wade or see fish. Catch rates dropped but there are still a lot of fish to be caught. Most were casting spawn bags near downed trees or gravel areas. The boat launch is open and the docks are in for those early birds. The cleaning and disposal station are not open yet.

Detour: Snow and ice are still occupying the boat launches in Detour Village. Gusty winds caused a lot of the snow to melt in Detour and the eastern Upper Peninsula however no docks were in yet.

Drummond Island: Ice is still holding at the mouth of the Potagannissing River and Maxton Bay.