DNR receives reports of illegal cicada harvesting at Big Foot Beach State Park

The state Department of Natural Resources is reminding people not to illegally take cicadas from state park properties.

The DNR has received multiple reports of people harvesting the insects at Big Foot Beach State Park, the department said in a press release. The park is along Geneva Lake in Walworth County.

Walworth County is a hotspot for cicada activity in Wisconsin, especially in Lake Geneva. Cicadas are a nutritious and welcome food source for many birds, mammals and reptiles.

Brood XIII 17-year cicadas crowd a net-covered bush in Lake Geneva, Wis., on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.
Brood XIII 17-year cicadas crowd a net-covered bush in Lake Geneva, Wis., on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

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State law prohibits capturing and removing animals, including insects, from state parks. There are exceptions for hunting and fishing, but that does not include cicadas.

The department's park staff and wardens have "been instructed to make efforts to first educate the public on cicadas in state parks." Wardens may take enforcement action in response to violations.

You can report cicada harvesting using the DNR's online violation hotline or by texting or calling 1-800-847-9367.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Don't illegally harvest cicadas from state parks, DNR warns