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Now that all the ice is gone, the fish are biting again.

Don Roscovius, owner of Rosco’s Live Bait, said fishermen are catching walleyes in most of the river systems.

“Petenwell, Castle Rock and Lemonweir are also producing some walleyes, catching them mostly with live bait,” he said. “Guys are using walleye minnows, a few are still using artificial plastic baits. They’re doing fairly decent right now, regardless of what you use they seem to be catching some.”

Bigger slot fish have moved in, Roscovius said. Fishermen are catching more of them than they have in the past week or so.

Fishermen heading out to Castle Rock Lake should be aware that the water level was dropped five feet in anticipation of spring melt, Roscovius said. Anyone desiring to fish there should plan ahead and assess water levels. He advised getting there early as fishing space is limited with the shallower water.

“They are catching fish there ... and the Little Yellow River is producing fish, also. There’s a good walleye bite,” he said.

Perch are also biting at most dam locations and fishermen are also finding them in New Lisbon, Mauston and Castle Rock.

“Guys are catching most of them either with a minnow or with a worm, that’s the best way to get them,” he said. “A few of the nicer sizes are showing up now, earlier there were quite a few smaller ones but they’ve been improving in size.”

Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden, said perch are also biting below the Lake Tomah dam. He checked a couple of fishermen catching them there this week.

“There’s not much fishing activity above in the lake; there was one boat that was out using artificial bait and they were catching bluegill and crappie,” he said.

Roscovius had few reports of panfish activity.

“It should be that time of year (when they’re biting), but I just haven’t seen any or had any reports that crappies are being really active right now,” he said. “They should start to come on here shortly.”

In hunting news, the youth turkey hunt is slated for April 13-14.

Despite the snow and rain forecasted for Wednesday through Friday, Modjeski thinks it should be a good weekend.

“The forecast is supposed to be sunny and in the 50s ... so it might be a little wet and muddy, but that’s springtime,” he said.

The 60-unit campground at Buckhorn State Park is open and non-reservable until May 1. Facilities with running water won’t be open until mid-May.

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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