CLEAR LAKE, Iowa- Clear Lake was declared iced over on Saturday. With no ice or open water, no one is fishing there.
“Just over the weekend Clear Lake iced over for the first time, but the ice wouldn’t be safe enough yet,” said Kevin Baskins of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “Certainly there’s a lot of communities that rely on ice, and ice fishermen."
The Clear Lake City Water Department has kept track of the Clear Lake ice coming and going since 1938.
“We were thinking it was going to be a record, because it’s been so warm,” said Paul Fredriksen, superintendent at the water treatment plant. “It got down to 19 degrees Saturday morning, and the Lake actually froze over."
This year Clear Lake was approaching a record for latest ice to come to the water. The record for late ice was December 24th, 2001. The earliest ice to come was November 4th, 1991.
They also keep track of ice leaving in spring. The earliest was March 5, 1931. The latest was April 28, 1951.
At the Crazy Minnow Bait Shop, things have been quiet with no ice fishing.
“Especially the bait and tackle business, a lot of businesses affected of course,” said owner Dan Krauth. “The bait and tackle business is pretty-much non existent until we get safe ice.”
“Right now for the most part ice conditions are very poor,” said Kevan Paul, a Clear Lake-based fishing guide. “We’re all excited to get out there, it’s coming, its just a matter of time."