mild ice fishing conditions from a shoreline

Areas that usually have ice on the finish of February — Lake Erie, japanese Lake Ontario, the shores of Lakes Superior and Huron – had been largely ice free at the moment this 12 months. This resulted within the Nice Lakes as a complete having the least quantity of ice on document as of the tip of February.

“The final two years have seen little or no ice on the Nice Lakes,” mentioned George Karaganis, senior meteorologist with the Canadian Ice Service.

This was the third 12 months on document Lake Erie was ice free at February’s finish, and it had the lowest on document in the midst of the month, however the development was additionally seen within the extra northern lakes. For the tip of February, Lakes Superior and Ontario tied their document for lowest ice protection, Lake Huron was at its second lowest cowl. 

Poor ice fishing seasons

Though 2022 was a very good ice 12 months, the variety of years with ice cowl lower than 20% are growing. This consists of six of the final 10 years.

Two seasons with out ice has been exhausting on ice hut operators. On Lake Erie’s Lengthy Level Bay, Jimmy Carroll of Jimmy Riggin’ Fishing Charters didn’t get huts out the final two years. 

“I’ve had the huts for 17 years and the final two have been the primary time this has occurred,” he mentioned. 

At Mitchell’s Bay on Lake St. Clair, Bass Haven doesn’t hire huts however does see a increase from ice anglers. This 12 months there have been 10 days with exhausting water. Proprietor Cathy Shaw mentioned there have been open winters earlier than within the 33 years Bass Haven has been in operation. 

“We’re simply turning the web page as a result of persons are placing boats within the water and we’re promoting minnows,” she mentioned, including that the lack of the ice fishing income nonetheless has an affect.

Lack of ice additionally impacts the lakes and their ecosystems negatively in different methods. Erosion will increase with excessive winter winds, and there may be rising proof that spring ice helps defend fish eggs from winds that may transfer them from prime habitat. 

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