Wild Things: Brown Trout Tournament Falls Victim to SARS-CoV-2

Continued concerns over what scientists are now calling Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has forced organizers to cancel the Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament.

A statewide “Safer at Home order” that’s in effect until April 24 and a national social-distancing recommendation until April 30 means the planned April 23-26 event is off. 

Darren Collin, 37, of Little Chute, was one of the many anglers who chimed in on the group’s Facebook page. He said he hasn’t missed fishing the tournament since he was eight years old. 

“The memories of the first few years have me thinking of simpler and better times,” Collin wrote. 

A lot of life lessons were taught in the little Blue Fin boat, Collins said, and he told some stories that’ll get any angler smiling and nodding in agreement (check out the group’s Facebook page to read them). 

“I will miss seeing my local Door County friends, my fishing-community friends, and the nostalgic feeling I get each and every year during the tournament,” Collin said. “But, God willing, there will be next year to bring all of these memories back and always creating new ones.”

Dialed In for Deer

Hunters and anyone else interested in the Door and/or Kewaunee County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) meetings may join a listen-only-mode conference call at 7 pm on April 6 for Door County, and 7 pm on April 8 for Kewaunee County.

Members of the public may provide input by contacting local CDAC members prior to the meeting (visit to find the details) or online during an April 16-29 online comment. 

The Door County call-in number is 855.947.8255, and the passcode is 8570-705. The Kewaunee County number is 888.291.0312, and the passcode is 6926-133. After the code, press the pound (#) sign.

To get up to speed on the issues, head to the website to view a recorded message that covers a season recap, harvest figures, metrics review, various season options and quota setting.  

Meanwhile, the DNR’s spring fish and wildlife hearings and county Conservation Congress in-person meetings have been canceled. Public input will be accepted for 72 hours beginning at 7 pm on April 13. Learn more at

DNR Nets $29.37 Million

The DNR will receive more than $29.37 million in grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a result of excise taxes collected on boat fuel and hunting, shooting and fishing equipment. 

Wisconsin is getting more than $11.7 million from the Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act and more than $17.6 million from the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act. 

The grants are coupled with money from hunting- and fishing-license sales to fund conservation, management and research programs as well as public access, maintenance and hunter and angler education. 

Birds Are Back 

Many species of birds are back and are establishing nesting territories. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to clean out old nest boxes or put up new ones. Using a predator guard – a device installed on or below the nest box to keep predators away from eggs, nestlings and birds sitting on nests – is recommended. 

Looking for some watchable wildlife? Grab your binoculars, and take a drive along the bay or lake side of the peninsula, or visit one of the county’s inland lakes. Many species of ducks are moving through the area. 

Water-Levels Update

As of March 27, Lake Michigan was 37 inches above its 100-year monthly average, 14 inches higher than last year and five inches above the previous record, set in 1986. 

Lake Superior was an inch below last year at this time. All of the other lakes were well above last year’s levels. 

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