Free fishing weekend June 7-8
On Wisconsin’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 7-8, residents and nonresidents are welcome to fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp.
This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species.
Grants available for fire suppression
Local fire suppression organizations have until July 1 to apply for a DNR grant program for suppressing forest and wild land fires. This program provides funding on a 50 percent cost-share basis.
Forest Fire Protection Grants:
Local fire departments and county or area fire organizations may apply for forest fire protection grants. Grant funding is intended to expand the use of local fire departments and other fire suppression organizations to augment and strengthen the department’s overall initial-attack suppression capabilities on forest and wild land fires.
The grant program provides funds for the purchase of forest fire suppression equipment and training, including: personal protective equipment (clothing must meet NFPA 1977 standards); forest fire training; forest fire prevention; forest fire tools and equipment; communication equipment; dry hydrant installation; rural fire mapping and numbering; and off-road, all-wheel drive, initial-attack vehicles.
Wisconsin fire suppression organizations statewide received notice of this application cycle and were informed of the availability of application materials on the DNR website. The 2014 FFP application cycle is open from May 1 to July 1. Applications must be received on or before July 1.
The Forest Fire Protection Grant Program is one of over 30 grant programs administered by the DNR Bureau of Community Financial Assistance. The bureau issues approximately 3,600 grant awards each year to local units of government, Indian tribes, nonprofit conservation organizations, fire departments, dry cleaners, and individuals. To learn more about these DNR grant programs, visit dnr.wi.gov and search for “aid.”
I’m your life jacket, but you don’t know me
I’m your life jacket, but you don’t know me. I’m here to help you, maybe even safe your life – but only if you’re willing to take the help. Maybe National Safe Boating Week (May 17-23) will help remind everyone that I’m here for you?
You think you may know me, but you really don’t. Because the law says you have to keep me aboard your boat, you think you’re safe. But you put me in places so hard to find, under piles of junk or buried in lockers so deep that no one will ever know who I am, especially if something happens to you, or if something bad happens very fast, like most accidents do.
Of all of the fatal boating accident victims who drowned, almost 85 percent weren’t wearing a life jacket. I wish I had gotten to know that 85 percent. I’ll bet their families do, too.
You’ve never taken me out of my new packaging, or let me meet your family or friends. You barely even talk about me. Everyone knows where to find the fishing rods, the cooler full of drinks, or the sunscreen. But me? Hardly anyone knows I exist.
About the only time you talk about me is when you take little boating guests aboard. You put my large adult-size on a small child, thinking I’ll keep them safe. But sadly, all that little guy has to do is put their hands over their head, and poof! I’ve gone up and over their heads. I don’t mean to, but I just can’t hang on their little bodies. Get a right-sized kids life jacket.
You don’t like the way I feel on hot day? I don’t like the way you sweat either, but that doesn’t stop me from loving you. I’ve slimmed down a lot lately, lost a lot of my size and bulk, and given you lots of room to move around. If you don’t believe me, I have a lot of good, comfortable life jacket friends in all shapes, styles and sizes down at the boating supply store looking for a good home.
Just remember, when you need me, I will be there for you. But only if I’m worn, or very easy to get to, like under your seat. While I’m a little hurt that you may not choose to wear me all of the time, try putting me on a little more frequently. Just try it. I won’t tell anyone you’re doing the right thing.
I’m your life jacket. Remember that I’m here to save to your life, but only if you’ll let me.
WCC welcomes new fisheries director
Ron Bruch will be the new Director for the Bureau of Fisheries Management for the DNR, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp announced April 30.
“On behalf of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, I would like to congratulate Ron on his appointment to this position,” WCC Chair Rob Bohmann said. “Ron has done an outstanding job of reaching out to a diverse set of user groups and getting them involved in managing the sturgeon fishery on the Winnebago System. His ability to engage the public will be a great asset to him in this leadership role.”
Bruch began in his new position on May 5. He replaced outgoing Fisheries Director Mike Staggs, who is retiring after more than 17 years in that role.
“The Congress has enjoyed working with Mike and his staff on a wide variety of fisheries issues through the years and we wish him all the best in his retirement. We’ve worked closely with Ron on a number of projects in the last couple years, including the creation and co-facilitation of the Wisconsin Fish Advisory Council, and we look forward to continuing to build on our relationship and working closely with him in his new role.”
Share your wild adventures
Big buck? Big fish? Did something interesting happen out on the lake or in the woods or even your own back yard? Share your pictures and/or story with us.
For pictures, include your first and last name, town you reside in, size of the catch, location (you can be vague if you want to protect a secret spot) and date to: The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua 54548 or email us at email@example.com. Include a phone number for questions we may have and an SASE for photos to be returned.
If you’d like to share a story of your adventure, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and include a phone number with your information.
Tuesday, May 13
Acoustic bat monitoring training: 5-7 p.m., North Lakeland Discovery Center, 215 County Highway W, Manitowish Waters. Learn how to be a part of the monitoring team and conduct surveys on your property. Volunteers of all ages welcome. Free, but pre-registration is required. Information: 715-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.
Wednesday, May 14
Turkey hunt: Spring turkey hunting, period E, opens. The period runs through Tuesday, May 20.
Thursday, May 15
Wildlife-based recreation: 5-7 p.m., North Lakeland Discovery Center, 215 County Highway W, Manitowish Waters. Explore why wildlife viewing draws people to live, recreate and visit Wisconsin’s Northwoods. The field of wildlife-based recreation explores this growing area of interest as well as what it means to wildlife, humans and the natural resources of our region. $10/members; $13/non-members. Part of the Nibbles ‘n Knowledge program series. Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.
Friday, May 16-Sunday, May 18
Chamber annual walleye tournament: Headquartered at the Presque Isle Community Center, 8306 School Loop Road, Presque Isle. Starts Friday with registration and orientation 10-11 a.m. Fishing on five lakes in Presque Isle Friday noon-8 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-noon and 3 p.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday 7-11 a.m. Cash prizes and fish fry lunch included. $25 individual entry fee. Information: 715-686-2910; 888-835-6508; or www.presqueisle.com.
Saturday, May 17
Canoeing and Birding Paddle: 8-9:30 a.m., Allequash Lake, Allequash Lake Road, Boulder Junction. Join a Discovery Center naturalist-guide for an opportunity to view eagles, catch warbler migration in full swing and more. Pre-registration required. $12/members; $15/non-members (BYO boat and paddle or equipment rental available). Information: 877-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.
Flatwater canoeing for beginners: 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Treehaven, W2540 Pickerel Creek Road, Tomahawk. Learn the basics of canoeing. This program is ideal for families and kids age 10 and older. Equipment and guided instruction is provided. Register by May 9 online at www.uwsp.edu/treehaven or call 715-453-4106.
Tuesday, May 20
Clean Boats Clean Waters workshop: 1-3:30 p.m., second floor Boardroom, 415 Menominee St., Minocqua (above the library). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
Wednesday, May 21
Turkey hunt: Spring turkey hunting, period F, opens. The period runs through Tuesday, May 27.
Saturday, May 24
Season opener: Muskellunge season opens north of State Highway 10.
Lions Kids Fishing Contest: Held on all the lakes in Presque Isle starting sunrise, May 24 and ending sunset Sept. 1. Register fish at Up North Sport & Gifts, 8293 Main Street, Presque Isle. Information: 715-686-2636.
Sunday, May 25
Classic Sled Roundup: 7 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Germain Community Park, Highway 70 and Highway 155, St. Germain. Enjoy vintage and antique sled shows and swap. Music and food all day. Judging and awards at 3 p.m. Sponsored by Arctic Cat, Inc. of Thief River Falls, Minn. Information: 715-542-4463 or www.snowmobilehalloffame.com.
If you’d like to include an upcoming outdoor event in our Outdoor Calendar: Email your information to: email@example.com, stop by The Lakeland Times office, or mail your information to The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548.