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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

As lakes gain ice, anglers need to think safety first

Nov 25, 2018 06:51AM ● By Editor
Lake of the Woods near Morris Point was covered with ice as of early in the week. Photo: Lake of the Woods Tourism

Regional fishing report as of November 21, 2019

Lake of the Woods

Ice is making progress, and the main basin of Lake of the Woods now is ice-covered, Lake of the Woods Tourism said in its weekly update. Satellite images from Sunday, Nov. 17, showed the majority of the lake locked up with various pockets of open water. A very welcomed sign, but way too early to be on the main lake, Lake of the Woods Tourism said.

The lake also is ice covered up at the Northwest Angle, the report said, but access as of early in the week was limited to airboats venturing between the islands. Current levels are higher than normal, so extreme caution is advised.

Upper Red Lake

The east side of Upper Red Lake has 4 to 6 inches of ice with a 5Ā½-inch average, West Wind Resort in Waskish, Minn., reported Tuesday on its Facebook page. Lake access out of West Wind currently is open for walking, and anglers should check in with the resort for the most up-to-date weekend conditions. The ice still needs to lock up and quit moving, West Wind reported. The only moving ice the resort had found as of Tuesday was more than 2 miles away, but caution still was advised. The resort has an area staked out for reference and asked that anglers not venture beyond the stakes.

Walleye action has been on the slow side for early ice, with a bright jigging spoon on a bobber producing the best action in 8 to 9 feet of water.

Devils Lake

Devils Lake on either side of state Highway 20 was iced over as far as one could see Tuesday, so it won't be long before anglers starting taking their first tentative steps onto frozen water. In the meantime, anglers should think safety, use extreme caution and stick to shallower bays or smaller lakes to the north of Devils Lake, where there have been reports of anglers walking out.

-- Grand ForksĀ Herald staff report