Good News-Great Ice

Yes, Good News-there’s Great Ice on Lake of the Woods. This great expanse of water in the northland is the sight of near 30 inches of ice and supports many fish houses and wheelhouses.

Jerry Carlson of the St. Cloud Times recently wrote an article while interviewing Lake of the Woods Tourism Director, Joe Henry. Joe Henry with walleyeHe wrote, “For much of the northern part of the state, the ice conditions have been a disaster this winter. Heavy snow, slush and thin ice have had a major impact on fishing.

Normal winter hotspots like Red, Winnie and Leech have all had issues. Travel has been limited to snowmobiles and ATVs in many locations. In some cases, there are plowed roads that are open to truck traffic and wheelhouses, but those are limited. If you are traveling to these lakes in the near future, call ahead for current conditions.

There’s Good News-Great Ice, a bright spot up north at Lake of the Woods. Most of the major snows have missed the area allowing them to develop over two feet of good ice.

This popular winter destination is home to over 50 resorts and outfitters that work Lake of the Woods in the winter. About a dozen of these resorts plow and maintain roads for those that wish to bring their own wheelhouse. bobber in fish hole, Lake of the Woodsgreat ice with sun dogs

The walleye and sauger activity has been consistent. Henry did remind me that as of last year, the limits have changed. An angler can have a total of six fish in possession with no more than four of these walleyes. It used to be eight. There is tremendous wintertime fishing pressure on Lake of the Woods with more than two million angling hours put in last year. In an effort to protect the sauger population, they reduced the limit by two. The protected slot limit for walleyes is still 19.5 to 28 inches. Anglers can keep one walleye over 28. Fishing regulations on Lake of the Woods are different from the rest of the state. Houses are allowed on the ice through the end of March. The walleye season stays open through April 14th.

If traveling to Lake of the Woods, Henry highly recommends using sonar equipment as fish often come in suspended off of the bottom.”

This has been the opinion of outdoors columnist Jerry Carlson. Contact him at

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