Naze: Deep freeze has bundled-up anglers on ice
Winter officially arrives next week, but below-zero chills in recent days sure makes it feel like it’s already here.
Some anglers are bundling up and walking out on sections of the Ahnapee and Kewaunee rivers, as well as the nearshore areas on the county’s inland lakes.
Off the Kewaunee County coast at Dyckesville, ice-building was being hampered by strong winds. As it gradually locks in, expect the annual bumpy ride when things finally thicken enough to allow offshore exploration.
As always, check locally before heading out, and tread cautiously, checking thickness with a spud or chisel as you move away from shore. The ice might be very thin in some spots on inland lakes and rivers, especially near springs, discharges, creek inlets and outlets and any other current areas.
Some lake and river locations had three to five inches of ice this week, but there was a lot of open water yet on Green Bay. For ice cover (not thickness) updates, check the latest satellite image of the bay at https://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/modis/modis.php?region=m.
A meeting on new harvest reporting requirements for Green Bay ice fishing guides will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Brown County Library in Green Bay. A copy of the presentation will be online after the meeting at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Fishing/lakemichigan/GreenBayGuideInformation.html.
Scott Hansen, a DNR fisheries biologist out of Sturgeon Bay, said whitefish running between about 16 and 21 inches spawn in November in Green Bay tributaries such as the Fox, Oconto, Peshtigo and Menominee rivers.
Great recruitment in those rivers has led to a sport fishing boom for more than a decade now.
With their catch in northern Lake Michigan decreasing, commercial netters are seeking a larger whitefish quota in southern Green Bay waters. Potential options will be discussed at meetings in Green Bay and Door County next month.
The new guide reporting requirements begin Jan. 1, but Hansen is encouraging any guides active earlier to provide data right away. The reports will be combined with creel census surveys that gauge average fish size, and the numbers will be put into a model.
Anglers are being asked to keep an eye out for dorsal fin-tagged whitefish — pink in recent years, yellow on some of the oldest fish — to help researchers track movements and estimate populations.
Hansen said crews tagged about 2,800 spawning whitefish in Green Bay rivers the past two years alone. The tags are numbered, and anglers who reel in a tagged fish are asked to call the phone number listed and report it.
Through Monday, hunters had reported more than 290,000 deer so far this fall, including 153,560 bucks and 137,804 antlerless deer.
Locally, the Kewaunee County numbers were listed at 2,210 in the 9-day season, 445 with crossbow, 381 with vertical bow, 118 in the youth hunt and 70 during the muzzleloader season.
Door County hunters have reported 2,745 in the 9-day, 552 with crossbow, 446 with regular bow, 100 in the youth hunt and 89 with muzzleloader.
All gun seasons (except any crop damage lands or those with disabled permits) are now closed in our area; we are not included in the holiday gun hunt. The archery and crossbow deer seasons remain open through Jan. 8 statewide, and through Jan. 31 in metro sub-units such as in Brown County.
New bird ID app
The Merlin Bird Photo ID mobile app can identify hundreds of North American species in photos.
When you open the app, you’re asked whether you want to take a picture with your smartphone or pull in an image from your digital camera. You zoom in on the bird, confirm the date and location, and Merlin will show you the top choices for a match from among the 650 North American species it knows.
Accuracy is around 90 percent if the user’s photo is of good quality.
Photo ID may be downloaded free for iOs or Android systems from the Apple and Google Play app stores. It is included in the Merlin Bird ID app, which was originally released in 2014 and ask users five questions to help them identify a bird they saw.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. He can be reached at [email protected] or 920-883-9792.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Naze: Deep freeze has bundled-up anglers on ice