As we approach our 2020 opener we’ll look back and wish things were as simple as “is the ice off yet?”!
That may be the simplest to answer. No, not everywhere. Trout, Star, and South end of Big Arbor Vitae, Fence, Big Crawling Stone all report ice still being on the lakes. Not good ice, but enough to keep boats off as of today.
One of the other issues facing the opener is the lack of public piers. Our public landings ARE open, yet due to a lack of manpower since many LTE’s (limited term employment) people are not back to work, very few piers are in. Once again, as of this writing. So, be prepared and bring your tall boots to launch just in case. Also, due to road limits which are still on in some places, the trucks can’t deliver the Docks. State campgrounds in the Lakeland Area, Nicolet, Willow, Turtle Flambeau will open May 1st.
The question of social distancing is being asked a lot. It’s also the hardest to answer in terms of our fishing and opener. Following conversations with wardens here and in Madison, anglers are expected to adhere to the social distancing recommendations of 6’ between persons. Meaning if you’re fishing with someone from another household you must keep 6’ apart. Fines could run $250 - $500 dollars depending on the court (not the warden). Whether or not a warden would fine someone would be at the discretion of the warden. I’m just the messenger here, so no need to respond. Had enough questions that this needed to be answered.
Water temps running 34-46 degrees depending on lakes that are open and how large (or small) and how clear (or dark). Should be a great Walleye opener, with plenty of options for pre-spawn to spawn fish.
Remember, things changing daily…this report as of April 28th, 2020.
We will be open at the shop, full of live bait and tackle. We will however only be allowing up to 4-5 customers at a time in the store to comply with distancing rules, so please be patient with us.