Mississippi isn't expected to drop below 10 feet until Saturday
Could be a big weekend for duck hunters, though maybe a little unusual.
Opening day for the Mississippi and southern zones of Wisconsin is Saturday.
La Crosse DNR warden Ed McCann says he hasn't seen an opener quite like this with all of the flooding. It has made for lots of open water with not much cover.
"I don't think it really impacts them launching their boats as much as it impacts the ability to find places to hunt and to hide their boats," McCann said.
Duck hunters will be out a half hour before sunrise searching.
"A bunch of islands are under water and all the wild rice is knocked down already because of the current," McCann said. "So, there's not going to be a lot of places for people to hide their boats."
But, there are plenty of birds to be had for those who are able to deal with the unusual variable of extremely high water levels, McCann mentioned.
"I haven't seen it like this before in the fall," McCann said. "I've seen high water before, but not where we've had a flood this close to the opening to water fowl season. It'll be interesting.
"But, anybody who has experience on the Mississippi River, I don't think there will be that much different than your normal springtime levels."
The Mississippi at La Crosse isn't expected to drop below 10 feet until after Saturday - 10 feet is still the point where local regulations don't allow wakes behind boats.
Project estimated to cost $800,000
In just a few weeks, at most, a big renovation will begin at Copeland Park in La Crosse.
The La Crosse Loggers baseball team has been planning for major updates at the park for the last couple years. The wrecking ball starts the fun in the middle of October, says GM Chris Goodell.
A city committee will review the $800,000 project, which is being paid for by the team.
"The hope is to get all the base work pieces into the ground here before the snowfall and the flakes start to hit and the ground starts to freeze," Goodell said, "so they can work throughout the winter and have our brand new building and entrance up and ready to go by Opening Day 2017."
Along with a big upgrade in the concessions area and pro shop, the club is also building an actual ticket office and - maybe most importantly - three times as many women's restrooms.
Teams enter matchup a combined 20-2
The area has become a hotbed for collegiate volleyball and, tonight, Viterbo vs. the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse becomes a must-see.
This hasn't always been the case. It may have never been the case. It certainly hasn't been the case recently, as Viterbo has seemingly always dominated this matchup.
At 7 p.m. at Mitchell Hall, however, things could be different. Tonight, UW-L comes in undefeated and looking for the upset. Or are they the favorite?
"Roles are a little reversed record-wise, but I think our confidence is just as high," Viterbo outside hitter Sara Biermaier said.
The Eagles are 9-0 - their best start since going 11-0 in 2007 - and just cracked the Division 3 Top 25 at No. 18.
Viterbo isn't exactly slipping, ranked No. 5 in the NAIA, but Biermaier talked like the 11-2 record was disappointing. That's just the expectations of Viterbo, apparently.
Regardless, the two teams are off to incredible starts, but they're not alone.
Across the Mississippi River, Winona State University is 9-0 and just cracked the Top 10 in Division 2 for the first time in school history at No. 9, while Saint Mary's is off to a 7-1 start.
Back in La Crosse, this intra-city rivalry lately has been about Viterbo's dominance - a perennial powerhouse that's been to the Final Four each of the last two seasons.
The two teams play for the Coulee Cup - a giant gold cup and symbol of bragging rights in town. They hold it up after victory and do whatever it is they do with it that night - Biermaier wouldn't say.
"We've had the Coulee Cup for eight years, which is nuts," Biermaier said. "So, for all my three years, we've had it and definitely, my senior year, I'm not ready to give that up."
La Crosse senior Ida Steingas, however, has other ideas.
"I do feel like, this year, there's this little extra fire in us, not only to become 10-0, but to get the Coulee Cup would be icing on the cake," she said.
While Viterbo has had this cup, this matchup, the last eight seasons, it's UW-L that holds the all-time record at 27-11.