Anglers are anxious to get out on the ice to catch perch and walleye, but so far this year they are lucky to even set foot on some North Dakota lakes.
Photo courtesy of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department
The Game and Fish Department says ice conditions across the state are extremely variable and Dakota Tackle says it is feeling the anti-freeze.
"Our sales our down because of the warm weather on ice houses and augers, but lures are still selling," says Wade Anderson, Dakota Tackle President.
The Game and Fish Department says you should be cautious and aware while you are moving across the ice.
"Using your ice auger periodically to check the thickness of ice as you're moving around, or even a cordless drill to poke some holes in the ice and make sure it's still safe enough," says Paul Bailey, Fisheries supervisor.
Bailey says four inches of ice is safe for foot traffic. Eight inches of ice is safe for ATV traffic, and twelve to sixteen inches of ice is safe for motor vehicle traffic.
"Even places that might have offered safe travel for foot traffic a few days ago might no longer be safe. Anglers are definitely cautioned to keep that in mind," said Bailey.
Bailey says safety should be anglers top priority while they are out fishing.
Game and Fish is optimistic that anglers will be out fishing on the ice by Christmas.