Smaller Harvests in Wisconsin

The amount of wild rice gathered from lakes in northern Wisconsin is expected to be down this season. Experts from the state Department of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission say the cool, late spring likely means many wild rice seeds remained dormant in lake bottoms and did not germinate. Wild rice harvesting generally runs through the first three weeks of September. Based on surveys, wildlife biologist Peter David predicts the harvest will be one of the poorest in 20 years. Most wild rice comes from Burnett, Washburn, Polk, Vilas and Oneida counties. Wild rice grows on tall stalks in shallow lakes, streams and riverbeds. In Wisconsin, it's harvested by using non-motorized boats and hand flails.


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