Northern Wisconsin Expected To See Average Wild Rice Harvest For 2015

Biologist Says Harvest Usually Begins Late August, Early September


Northern Wisconsin is on par to see a decent harvest for wild rice this year, but it’s sort of a mixed bag where rice beds are doing well.

Peter David, Great Lakes Indian and Wildlife Commission wildlife biologist, said they’ve been doing aerial surveys of wild rice beds and the crop looks about average or a little bit better this year.

“It seems like in Wisconsin, the beds that are good, some of them are quite good, but then there’s also a higher level of failures in northern Wisconsin,” he said.

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David said it’s difficult to say what’s playing a role in that as rice beds tend to fluctuate between good years and bad.

“We aren’t able to sort of monitor the things year to year that trigger abundance changes. Certainly, water levels are one of the biggest ones, temperature and nutrient cycling in the system can be another one,” he said.

David said cooler weather might affect when the rice is ready for harvest, which is typically around the end of August or early September.