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Judy Nugent's Articles

November 2006

  • Brule: A River of Presidents

    Brule: A River of Presidents

    It is hard to imagine Wisconsin without its most famous river, the Bois Brule, or simply the Brule to those who know her best. Nestled in the pines of Douglas County, the Brule flows unimpeded 49 miles north until it empties into Lake Superior. Early explorers came up the Brule to meet its cousin,...
  • Coho Stocking and Migration

    Coho Stocking and Migration

    With spring just around the corner, fishermen in Indiana and Chicago are already thinking of Coho. With any luck these fish will be heading to southeastern Wisconsin by April 15th. Several variables influence the actual migration patterns and timing, including stocking rates and weather. With ice...
  • Coulee Trout

    Coulee Trout

    My fly rod thumped vigorously as I stripped line on a native trout that had engulfed my homemade fly. I was in Grant County in late April casting for trout on the last day of the early season. I spent the night in a tent next to the gurgling brook and was awoken at first light by a rousing chorus ...
  • Electroshocking


    Why is shocking necessary? The southwest corner of the state boasts a large concentration of trout streams and the fish populations keep getting better. But it wasn't always this way. Back in the 1930's water quality and erosion were so bad that carp and suckers were showing up in the warm shall...
  • Fall Fly Patterns fit for a King

    Fall Fly Patterns fit for a King

    When the air is crisp and the days get shorter, thousands of anglers head for the Lake Michigan tributaries to catch the migrating Chinook salmon, or Kings. Those monsters of the open lake are now struggling upstream to spawn. The adrenaline rush you get when you see a dozen 18 lb salmon in one sm...
  • Forgotten WI trout streams

    Forgotten WI trout streams

    The Upper Midwest has thousands of miles of trout streams especially in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. But the best of the best is in southwestern Wisconsin. In an area known as the Driftless Area, clear, cool limestone creeks cascade through rolling hills and under sandstone cliffs. Loc...
  • History of the Salmon Run

    History of the Salmon Run

    The abundance of salmon found in Washington State and Oregon is now in Wisconsin, but it would die tomorrow without the continued efforts of the DNR. For the past four decades fishermen have timed their fall fishing outings with the annual spawning runs of the Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead. What se...
  • Mississippi Fall Run

    Mississippi Fall Run

    For serious sauger fishermen there are two times to fish the Mississippi River, the spring run and the fall run. Simple, but deadly. During both of these times of the year the elements are the same: cold weather and hot fishing. For most of us the weather alone is a mess and we are reluctant to l...
  • Mississippi River Walleyes (or Best Spot by a Dam Site)

    Mississippi River Walleyes (or Best Spot by a Dam Site)

    Spring fishing on the Mississippi River centers on one thing - walleyes. Every year in April, the fish move upstream to spawn in the annual ritual. These fish are big and hungry, giving you your best chance at a trophy. Walleyes between 8 to 10 lbs are not uncommon with the occasional fish tippin...
  • Mississippi Walleye

    Mississippi Walleye

    For serious walleye fishermen there are two times to fish the Mississippi River, the spring run and the fall run. Simple, but deadly. During both of these times of the year the elements are the same: cold weather and hot fishing. For most of us the weather alone is a mess and we are reluctant to ...
  • Native Brookies Return

    Native Brookies Return

    As the fog slowly lifted from the valley floor, I heard a turkey gobble from the ridge above. The brook trout didn't seem to mind as I silently landed my sixth fish in the past hour. For those of you who haven't visited southwestern Wisconsin, you're in for a treat. Concentrate on native brook tr...
  • Pike and Root River Bonanza

    Pike and Root River Bonanza

    Two of Wisconsin southeastern rivers are home to a flurry of salmon as they return to spawn each fall. Other species come to gorge themselves on the egg feast. The Pike River in Kenosha County and the Root River near Racine play host to this urge to procreate and are poised for one of the best fal...
  • Poaching Still a Problem

    Poaching Still a Problem

    Every fall thousands of fish enter the tributary streams of Lake Michigan, and where there are fish there are fishermen. While the vast majority of anglers are honest and ethical, there are still individuals who poach and find the salmon an easy target. I recently got the chance to talk to Joe Je...
  • Recent Fish Kills

    Recent Fish Kills

    Sorry to say there have been at least 9 fish kills in SW Wisconsin this year so far. In February 6 miles of the west branch of the Sugar River were killed. Recently removed from the federal list of degraded waters, this stretch of river had been improved after $900,000 worth of restoration work. ...
  • River Runners

    River Runners

    It is fall and for anyone who lives near Lake Michigan, fall means salmon. In the next few months salmon and trout leave the deep waters of the lake in search of shallow gravel beds upstream. The sheer abundance of these trout and salmon make it a fishing bonanza. There are different sizes and ty...
  • Shocking Results

    Shocking Results

    In a previous article I gave an account of a typical shocking run conducted by the DNR. In general, the workers use probes to send electrical current into the water to locate and briefly disorient trout. The fish are then netted, measured, weighed, and returned to the water. In a recent visit to ...
  • Stoddard – Panfish Magnet

    Stoddard – Panfish Magnet

    One drive through the Mississippi River town of Stoddard, and you'll know if fish are biting. In the spring, trucks parked up and down the road mean walleye. But in late December the traffic means hot bluegill action. Squeeze into the first parking spot you find and get ready to fish. Stoddard's...
  • The Future of Yellow Perch

    The Future of Yellow Perch

    There has been an on going tension between residents of Wisconsin and residents of Illinois and it has nothing to do with the football rivalry between the Packers and the Bears. This tension is about the apparent disparity over the yellow perch regulations on Lake Michigan. There is a saying that ...
  • The Transformation of Coon Creek (Feature)

    The Transformation of Coon Creek (Feature)

    Southwestern Wisconsin is synonymous with great trout fishing. Here beautiful hills surround cold spring fed creeks that are rich in invertebrates and teaming with trout. But it wasn't always this way. In 1977 the DNR initiated its Trout Stamp program and started an impressive 27 year run of impr...
  • Upcoming DNR Fish Netting

    Upcoming DNR Fish Netting

    The Lake Michigan fisheries netting and surveying has already started for 2005. Yellow Perch, Steelhead, Lake Trout, and Walleye are all on the agenda, making this spring very busy for the DNR. Underway already by the end of last year, the first species to be completed this year was the Yellow ...
  • WDNR Fish Surveys

    WDNR Fish Surveys

    Every year the Wisconsin DNR completes a series of fish surveys. They use both nets and electroshocking to catch the fish and keep track of the health of Lake Michigan. The species on the agenda for this spring are yellow perch, Steelhead, Lake Trout, and walleye, making this a very busy time for ...

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