Ice Fishing/Outdoor Report: (Final)

It has been a strange winter with deep snow and extreme cold conditions. Until this week when we experienced some warmer weather.  Warmer weather in the 30’s and 40’s with night time temperatures staying above freezing and even rain.   The snow is still deep. but rain soaked and the rain and melting snow has created large puddles of standing water.  This has even brought flooding to homes, streets and into low lying areas.  The lakes are in the same condition.  I think this has brought a halt to this ice fishing season and all of us are more than ready for spring to arrive. But let us not forget that March can be the snowiest month of the year.    

Everyone is aware of the inland lake situation.  Most anglers have decided against ice fishing until we have open water again.  I do not anticipate any major changes in the weather, as long term forecasts are predicting above freezing temperatures during the day time and teens at night.  Accessing the lakes will still be a problem and once on the lake you will encounter slush.  The challenge will continues to be getting out on the lake, but if you are willing to endure the workload it could provide some good fishing.  

Trail Conditions:  The Northwood’s has received some rain and warmer temps the last few days. The temps in the evenings will go back down, but will continue to be at the line of freezing and above during the day.  Many groomers had been out, but with the warm temps and soft conditions groomers have not been out the last few days and there may be sporadic grooming done as it is late season. With that said  there still is a lot of snow out there, especially in the woods.  On the wooded trails there is much more protection from the conditions so the wooded trails are in good condition.  Out in the open and a long roads and routes you will find slush and many bare spots.  Also on the lakes off trail riders will find slush and with the temps cooling back down and things freezing back up you can expect some hard, icy patches.  Advice would be to stay on the marked trails, and after the warm up and then freezing on the lakes those lake trails may be very nice.  Wooded trails and lakes staying on the packed trails will be your best find for riding. 

The Chequamegon National Forest typically closes their trails March 15th, however with the late season they may delay that closing. They have not made that decision yet and do not expect to until Friday.   Please note this closure is national forest only, not county forest and land, all county trails are open.