Warm Weather, Thin Ice Means Lack of Business & Outdoor Winter Activities
This time of the year, the lakes that surround the Bemidji area usually have fish houses and cars parked on the ice, as well as people skiing & skating. Instead, the lakes remain partially unfrozen.
Winter has caused outdoor people to cut back on or postpone seasonal activities. With no snow and thin ice, accidents have occurred, and it has caused a lot of disappointment within the Bemidji community.
“I was hoping I could take you out ice fishing today, and it looks like we got plenty of ice back here. But I tell you what, this winter of no winter so far here we are at the very end of December, and there’s still open water on Lake Bemidji. Now, it’s kind of foggy, but when you look past just a little ways past that darker colored ice, it’s wide open.” Dick Beardsley said the Owner of Dick Beardsley Fishing Guide.
With the lake having thin ice, businesses that make profits off winter activities, such as Dick Beardsley’s Fishing Guide have to cancel all activities for the upcoming season.
“It affects my business big time because I do fish house rentals in the wintertime out here on Lake Bemidji. And I had my houses all booked for this week and booked for next week and had to call everybody and tell them sorry. And there’s just not safe ice yet. I can’t even get out there. It’s affected me big time.” Beardsley said.
There have been many reports of the ice breaking, as well as taking some of the fishermen with them as they wander off. Beardsley advised on possibly what not to do when considering ice fishing.
“They have anywhere from maybe 5 to 7, eight inches, but it’s variable. You just don’t know. So if you’re venturing out, gosh darn it, you need to be know exactly where you’re going, check the ice for deaths, and personally, I’d stay off any of the lakes until we start getting some colder weather, which hopefully that’ll happen sooner than later.” Beardsley said.
With poor ice conditions and warm weather this month, local County Sheriffs and the Minnesota DNR are warning the public to check conditions and to avoid venturing out onto area lakes until enough ice has formed.