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Trail openings on hold for upkeep

Outdoors Report

Last week's snowfall brought good conditions for a snowshoe walk. Pictured is the Germain Hemlocks State Natural Area in Oneida County, Wis. (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Even though more snow is expected, the Tri-County Snowmobile Club won’t open its trail system in the Dickinson County area until after Dec. 15, when the muzzleloading season ends.

A major part of the system is on private land and there may be a lot of hunter activity, the club advised.

Storms last weekend blocked trails across the Upper Peninsula with heavy snow and downed trees. In areas where trails are open, snowmobilers are warned to watch for tree limbs and other hazards.

In Wisconsin, trails remain closed in Florence and Forest counties. They are partially open but in poor condition in Marinette County, according to travelwisconsin.com.

Wisconsin’s 11-day muzzleloader deer hunt opened Monday and will run through Wednesday. The 10-day season in the U.P. opened Friday.

While hunters in the downstate management zone for chronic wasting disease may use any legal firearm during muzzleloader season, that provision is not in effect in the Upper Peninsula, which has only a surveillance zone for CWD, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources advised earlier this year.

Recent storms have slowed ice fishing, but a few people were going out, mostly using waxworms, said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost on M-95.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Fay Whisler said anglers were reporting areas of thin ice covered by both slush and snow.

Black bear and wild turkey hunters in Wisconsin are reminded to submit their applications for the 2020 season permit drawings before midnight Tuesday.

The Michigan DNR reported these Upper Peninsula conditions:

Overall: The entire Upper Peninsula is snow-covered and some areas near Munising had more than 2 feet on the ground. This will make for very poor ice conditions. The little ice that was on the inland lakes will now become insulated and the warm water underneath will continue to deteriorate the ice. If you are thinking about going out, use extreme caution and stay in shallow waters only.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair to good catches trolling the east bank from the “Narrows” north to the Center Reef with stick baits in 30 feet. Some were trolling or casting between the Center Reef and the Day’s River in 18 to 30 feet along the slopes and any structure. The last report stated the Rapid River launch and Ford River launch were iced in. Very cold nighttime temperatures in the extended forecast could put an end to open water fishing.

Two Hearted River: Did have steelhead; however, due to heavy snow in northern Luce County, vehicles will not be able to access the river. Snowmobiles only at this point.

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