The fish were biting this past weekend; they just were small.

Matt Modjeski, Department of Natural Resources conservation warden, said when he went out fishing Friday on Lake Tomah the bite was good and he caught fish, but they were smaller than the past few weeks.

Others also seemed to have success, catching a mixed bag of fish species.

“We caught mostly bluegills,” Modejski said. “Talking to others ... they were catching bluegills, crappies, bass and perch. The fish tended to be a little smaller than the past couple weeks, at least bluegills and crappies.”

Besides fishing on Friday, there wasn’t too much activity on the lake, Modjeski said, due to a mixed bag of precipitation.

Nancy Steinhauer of Rosco’s Live Bait, said she didn’t hear much about local fishing as the ice and snow piled around the lake has been inhibiting fishermen, but the fish were biting on the Wisconsin River.

“Panfish are biting,” she said. “A guy came in (Monday) morning and said he caught a walleye and a catfish.”

The due date for shanty removal south of Hwy. 64 has passed, yet there are still shanties on the ice. People who are having difficulty getting shanties off should contact the Department of Natural Resources Hotline to give them information that will be forwarded to the local conservation warden. The deadline for north of Hwy. 64 is March 17.

The DNR reports sandhill cranes continued their flight into southern Wisconsin and that they have reached as far north as La Crosse and Green Bay.

In other outdoor news, Modjeski suspected Monday and Tuesday would be the last days for snowmobiling due to the weather forecast for warm temperatures and rain.

The trails were in excellent condition prior to the rain and sleet this weekend, Modjeski reported.

“The three days of warm temperatures and rain doesn’t bode well; it will make things pretty messy,” he said.

As of Tuesday evening, MonroeTrails.com said the trails were still open and in good condition. Trails in Jackson County were also reported in good condition, but trails were closed Tuesday in Juneau and Sauk counties.

Cross country ski trails were packed and tracked at Black River State Forest and were reported in good condition before the rain began late Tuesday.

Modjeski reminds people there is a feeding and baiting ban in Monroe County for deer.

“I think most people know, but there are still a few now and then that need a reminder,” he said.

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

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