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Anglers begin ice fishing on Lake Monona, DNR provides safety reminders

As temperatures continue to fall in south-central Wisconsin, many anglers are getting anxious to get out on the ice.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 8:53 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - As temperatures continue to fall in south-central Wisconsin, many anglers are getting anxious to get out on the ice.

The Wisconsin DNR says while no ice is safe ice, there are parts of local lakes that are starting to get to the point where anglers are starting to go ice fishing.

Lt. Nathan Kroeplin, Conservation Warden Supervisor with the DNR, recommends staying close to the shore, especially on lakes that aren’t fully frozen over.

“Right now I would say we’re somewhere in that 3-5 inch range depending on what part of the lake or what lake you’re on. Definitely the lakes haven’t even completely frozen over yet on Monona or Mendota, probably getting pretty close to that,” said Kroeplin.

Areas where people have started to fish this winter include Monona Bay, The Triangle, Sqaw Bay, and near Lake Farm Park on Lake Waubesa.

Kroeplin suggests you try to stick to areas where other people have already been or use a spud bar to check conditions as you go.

He also said to be sure to wear inflatables, like a float coat, and keep safety picks on your person in case you fall through the ice. Other tips include never going ice fishing alone, keeping space between you and your partner, and bringing a long, sturdy rope so if someone falls through others can pull them out.

Kroeplin encourages anyone new to ice fishing to check in with the DNR to learn about the species of fish in area lakes and regulations for fishing them.

“This chain of lakes, it’s a great chain of lakes for fishing. I grew up in the northern part of the state where the lakes are abundant and I would compare the fish quality in these lakes down here with any place that I’ve been anywhere in the state,” said Kroeplin.

He also reminds anglers that anyone 16 years old and older needs a fishing license in order to participate in ice fishing.

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