Kevin Naze column: Winds could slow busy boating weekend

Jun. 28, 2013

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Once the last showers move through sometime this morning, cooler weather pushed by strong north winds might rough up plans for boaters on Green Bay and Lake Michigan.

With a small craft advisory possible later today, boaters need to be aware of what could be rapidly changing conditions.

The winds should slow down some Sunday and lighten even more Monday, with a nice stretch of sunny weather and highs in the 70s.

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Boaters who do venture out should expect stepped up patrols by DNR conservation wardens as part of the 5th annual nationwide Operation Dry Water.

The focus, the DNR says, is to get the message across that boaters should have fun but save any alcohol for when they’re done on the water.

DNR wardens say it’s important to never drink while behind the wheel of anything, whether a boat, car, ATV or snowmobile.

Wardens say there will be zero tolerance for boating under the influence, and the public is encouraged to report violations by calling (800) TIP-WDNR.

Meanwhile, there will be volunteers and staff at a number of boat launches over the holiday break to provide free boat inspections and educate boaters on how to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species to new lakes and rivers.

The holiday landing blitz will run July 4-7 at more than 250 landings in the state.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) says today through July 7 is expected to be the busiest 10 days on the water of the summer season.The group encourages the use of lift jackets, patience at landings and on the water and sober boating.

Photo contests

Getting kids outside in summer shouldn’t be that hard, but for many parents today, limiting their kids’ “screen time” has too often become one of the day’s biggest challenges.

Studies have shown that kids who spend more time outdoors show improved attention spans, better overall fitness, less anxiety and higher overall test scores.

Fishing, camping, biking, boating and hiking are among the many fun things to do outside in summer. Kids with cameras can also try their hand at nature photography as a way of connecting and appreciating nature.

The National Wildlife Federation website has a number of features on photography, including tips for kids, online at

Kids 13 and under are invited to enter their photos in Ranger Rick’s Photo Contest at; kids 13-17 can enter the youth division of a national contest at

Turkey, wolf tags

We’re less than five weeks away from the Aug. 1 deadline to apply for fall wild turkey, bobcat and wolf permit deadline is less than five weeks away.

A winter that didn’t want to end and a cold, wet spring might mean reduced turkey recruitment this year, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see fewer fall tags awarded.

On the other hand, it appears the DNR is listening to hunters, dog owners and farmers in getting more aggressive at reducing the state’s wolf population, though still not fast enough for many.

The Natural Resources Board has approved the 2013 Wisconsin wolf season quota of 275 as proposed by the DNR Wolf Advisory Committee. The quota was set with the intention of continuing to reduce the state’s wolf population toward the minimum management goal of 350 wolves outside Indian reservations.

It is unknown whether or not the state will allow hunters and trappers to fill the quota given to tribes if they again choose not to use them.

A year ago, in the inaugural season, the hunter/trapper part of the 201 quota was 116; the season closed early and 117 wolves were harvested.

This year, if the DNR again treads lightly with the tribes, the hunter/trapper harvest would be a maximum of 160 wolves, a number not likely high enough to lower the population when you factor in

new pups born each spring.

The wolf permit application fee is the same as last year, $10, but the license cost has dropped to $49 if drawn, down from $100. The season is set to begin Oct. 15.

— Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoor writer. Call him at (920) 883-9792 or email

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