MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The warm weather is keeping the state’s fishers off the ice in south-central Minnesota this winter.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, there were only 111 fish houses counted atop the 59 lakes surveyed during the first two weeks of 2012.
The average tally during the last 35 year is 734, a frequency of about 14 per lake, compared to just under 2 per lake this year.
“We’ve had record-setting temperatures and treacherous ice. It stands to reason that fewer fish houses will be out,” said Lee Sundmark, area fisheries supervisor.
Cooler temperatures over the last few days may foster in a new influx of fish houses soon, but the DNR warned fishers not to be careless.
“Make sure you know your lake and check ice thickness,” said Sundmark.
The DNR says that warm weather might not be the only culprit for falling numbers. Another factor to consider are the fishers now using portable fish houses, instead of permanent structures.
“When we’re out doing our counts during the day, we know we’re missing many anglers that don’t come out until after work,” said Sundmark. “They pop up their house, fish for a few hours and then pack up and head home.”