Stay off the ice. Iowa’s waterways are inviting this time of year for anglers who enjoy the challenge of winter fishing, but the DNR’s Mick Klemesrud says you won’t find ice good enough for ice fishing anywhere. He’s talked with DNR biologists in the state’s northern counties and Spirit lake’s iced up with plenty of fishing going on, but with mild weather and a couple aeration sites, Clear Lake has a lot of open water. In central Iowa he says ice isn’t safe even on local farm ponds — not a good year for those who enjoy ice fishing. Klemesrud says to see if people have been testing your favorite fishing lake, look first for rocks that people have tossed onto the ice near shore to test it. He says then they’ll inch their way out, cut test holes with an augur and look for clear blue ice, the kind that’s strongest, and at least four inches of it to be safe. What a lot of his ice-fishing acquaintances hope for is a series of nights near zero with calm winds. But with forecasts for near-record highs the next couple days, Klemesrud says it’s likely to be days or weeks before ice is safe to walk or drive on in just about any part of the state.
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