The Star Tribune reports some Minnesota lakes my still be frozen for the fishing opener.Â The ice remains on lakes longer than it has in over a dozen years.Â
By Doug SmithÂ
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.
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 quotedÂ in the article. Perhaps he isn’t aware thatÂ climatologists already predict what winters will be like, not just a few months in advance, but for hundreds of years.
By Chris NiskanenÂ
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 â€” 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.”