WAOW, Wisconsin (WAOW) — If it seems like ice fishing has gotten shorter in the last few years, the data shows you’re right.
Temperatures have been well above freezing this year, and Jake Yang, owner of shop Back Outdoors in Wausau, takes particular note of this.
“We were really cold and I think we froze. The ice fishing season started a little early, but now it’s starting to get a little warmer,” he said.
This is part of a trend that has persisted for more than 50 years as temperatures have risen and ice cover time has decreased.
“Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, and then temperatures are causing water temperatures to rise,” said Alex Latzka, a fisheries systems biologist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. , thaws more rapidly.”
Less ice cover means thinner ice and a shorter ice fishing season.
“On average, we lose about one month of ice cover each year,” says Latzka.
DNR research shows that the ice fishing season has shortened by more than three weeks since the 1970s.
If you haven’t set up camp yet, experts say checking the ice is more important than ever before setting up camp.
“From an angler’s perspective, it not only means fewer days for me to fish, but it also means thinner ice. It means there is,” Ratka said.
Rising water temperatures and thinning ice are also affecting lake fish. Walleye struggles more in warm waters at this time of year, while bluegill and bass tend to be healthier.