BOONE – Monday’s temperature hitting the middle 60s followed by middle to upper 50s on Tuesday has reduced the amount and quality of ice in central and southern Iowa. With little ice to lose and above normal temperatures in the 14 day outlook, anglers will need to head north to ice fish for the remainder of the winter.
“We had quality ice in central Iowa as recently as Saturday, but the warming trend has ruined the ice in central and southern Iowa. Ice fishing around here is no longer an option,” said Ben Dodd, fisheries biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in the Boone office.
Ice fishing options improve on lakes north of Hwy. 20, but anglers are encouraged to use caution even in northern Iowa.
“I would test the ice often, regardless of its location because of the inconsistent weather that we have had,” Dodd said.
Dodd said anglers should avoid wet or dark spots on the ice, approach the ice with the same caution as if it were early in the season, bring a set of ice picks and don’t go out alone. Other safety tips include having at least 50 feet of rope and a throwable floatation cushion.
“Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t look right, don’t go out,” he said.