Interest in Fishing Likely to Continue this Winter; Trash a Concern with Ice Campers

Interest in Fishing Likely to Continue this Winter; Trash a Concern with Ice Campers

December 8, 2020 News -- KRJB-KRJM-KKCQ 0

By Mark Askelson markkrjb@loretel.net (12/8/20)

Detroit Lakes, MN — The boats have been put away for the year and back out are the ice shacks and portable fish houses for Minnesotans. Many of our area lakes have begun to freeze over and some of them have even had safe, fishable ice for the past couple weeks. But will ice fishing be as popular as open water angling was this year?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources saw a significant increase in licenses sales this past open water season as Minnesotans looked for something safe to do while most of the state was shut down. Detroit Lakes Area Fisheries Supervisor Nathan Olson says that trend continued for all outdoors related activities this year.

Olson expects that trend of increased fishing pressure to continue to the hard water, which was evident this past weekend when thousands of ice fisherman converged on Upper Red Lake to the point of causing traffic jams near the various accesses on the lake.

Something Olson and the DNR is most concerned about this year is trash on the lake. He adds that they will be paying extra attention this year for people who litter and those caught will be issued fines

And still up in the air is whether or not people will be allowed to host fishing tournaments this winter, and a lot of that depends on the Governor and how long he extends his ban on social gatherings. However, Olson says they hope to work with area tournament hosts to provide alternative formats to safely allow anglers to compete.

Just recently, the Brainerd Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza, which brings in more than 10,000 ice anglers to Gull Lake for one of the largest ice fishing derbies in the world, announced they would be hosting their derby virtually this year. Competitors will be allowed to fish any lake in Minnesota and upload their catches via a mobile app.

Listen to the full interview with Detroit Lakes Area Fisheries Supervisor Nathan Olson during the Kaleidoscope Program this Friday at 9am.