Ice conditions have many spearers calling it a season

Local News

Both yesterday and today you could see people pulling their shantys off of Lake Winnebago after the first weekend of the sturgeon spearing season.

DNR experts expect the season to go the full 16 days, but the weather forecast has many concerns about the ice holding up through the weekend.

Ice expert Don Herman of Sunk? Dive and Ice Service says the conditions were good for the opening weekend, but he still ended up pulling three vehicles out of the water to which he said it was because people were in the wrong places.

I met up with the ice man near a vehicle bridge expecting him to drive up like I did, he rolled up by commuting down Lake Winnebago, he’s an ice expert that knows what he’s doing, but for people like me who aren’t this warm weather makes me a little apprehensive.

I’m not alone, Kris Boche enjoyed her first season of trying to spear that prehistoric fish, but today she pulled her new shanty off the ice because she didn’t know what the changing ice conditions were.

“It’s popping and cracking out there today,” said Boche. “I just didn’t feel comfortable with my new shanty, I’m new to this but it was fun out their especially with the camaraderie.”

That really is the key to listen to your own intuition and if you are not an ice expert to play it safe, Herman said that if these warmer temps continue the shore will be the first to soften and with people heading off the lake their holes they created will stay behind.

“It gets dangerous out there for people traveling because normally those holes freeze, but that’s not going to happen right now and you hit it with your vehicle it causes a lot of damage,” said Herman. “I’ve seen it many times.”

Herman asks that you pound in a pole that marks open water because in these conditions just placing a pole could result in that pole falling over.

And as the shore softens local fishing clubs will move the vehicle bridges, but Herman believes that by this weekend they will have to remove them so that only four wheelers bridges will be out on the ice.

Herman says to stay up to date with the fishing clubs on social media and the ice conditions as they are constantly changing.

Here’s a link to Sunk? Dive and Ice Services.

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