Lingering Lake Ice Threatens to Spoil Minnesota's Fishing Opener

Frozen LakeshoreThe Star Tribune reports some Minnesota lakes my still be frozen for the fishing opener. The ice remains on lakes longer than it has in over a dozen years. 

By Doug Smith 

With less than three days to go before Minnesota’s fishing opener, ice still stubbornly clings to some northern Minnesota lakes, leaving anglers to wonder if the hard water will be gone on their favorite lake by Saturday.

“We’ve had lots of people calling,” said Pete Boulay of the Department of Natural Resources climatology office. “Everyone wants a forecast. It’s just hard to tell. It probably will be a photo-finish for some lakes.”

It’s the latest ice-out since 1996.

Read the rest of this story at Star Tribune.

Pioneer Press ran a similar story. Predicting ice-out is like “predicting what kind of winter we’ll have way back in October,” Jack Shriver of Shriver’s Bait Co. in Walker was quoted in the article. Perhaps he isn’t aware that climatologists already predict what winters will be like, not just a few months in advance, but for hundreds of years.

By Chris Niskanen 

Lake Winnibigoshish, a walleye fishing Mecca in northern Minnesota, was jammed with ice floes Tuesday.

Bowen Lodge, which sits on Lake Winnie’s shores, is booked solid with anglers coming for Saturday’s state fishing opener. Owner Bill Heig is praying for warm weather.

“We have rain and wind forecasted — that’s what we need to get rid of the ice,” Heig said. “Our customers are very loyal, but if there’s ice on the lake, we’ll have to figure something out.”

For the first time since 1996, ice-covered lakes are threatening to keep anglers off some waters for the opener. Shorelines and some bays are open, but ice was clinging Tuesday to major northern Minnesota fishing destinations such as Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lake Vermilion and Lake Winnie.

With 1 million anglers ready to fish Saturday, the late ice-out is big news for many northern resort owners, fishing guides and bait store owners. It also has ramifications for Minnesota Department of Natural Resources workers, who are scrambling to install hundreds of docks this week, and officials with the Superior National Forest, which oversees the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

“We’re getting lots of calls. Everybody wants to know if they can get in (to the Boundary Waters),” said Mark Van Every, district ranger for the Kawishiwi District in Ely. “At this point, we can’t give a definitive answer.”

Read the rest of this story at Pioneer Press.

  • Dan Korzenowski

    It’s just not right that we have to be so cold here in Minn. To global warming I say, bring it on! I can’t wait to wear shorts in February!

  • D.H. Lawrence

    Yes, I too want Minn. to become a tropical paradise- to that end I plan on buying a Hummer to speed up the process!

  • Tim Lucas

    Well, why don’t you guys just move to the south-east? Plenty of lakes in Tennessee and Georgia!

  • Rob N. Hood

    Hey Dan K. it’s your grade school friend Mike C.!

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