The amount and quality of ice on most of Iowa’s lakes has been drastically reduced with temperatures hitting the 50’s and 60’s this week. Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Ben Dodd says the cold spell in January wasn’t enough to build a lot of solid ice.
“And with this warm weather, it’s melted quite quickly,” Dodd said. “We really aren’t recommending folks get out on the ice. We’ve already had one incident in Madison County. We know it’s tempting to get out there, but we recommend people stay off at this point.”
Authorities say 64-year-old Linda Jones and her friend, 80-year-old George Pierce, drowned Monday while ice fishing on a farm pond in Madison County. Dodd said many ponds and lakes had good ice as recently as Saturday, but Monday’s temperatures in the mid 60’s forced the D.N.R. to cancel some trout stocking and ice fishing events scheduled for this coming weekend in central Iowa.
“The ice was just not thick enough for doing that this year,” Dodd said. Ice fishing conditions are slightly better north of Highway 20, but Dodd said anglers are encouraged to use caution even in northern Iowa.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City