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The east side of Lake Winnebago has greater ice thickness than the west side after heavy winds a few weeks ago shoved the ice up onto the east shore, leaving open water behind on the west side.
Since then, big swings in wind and temperatures have continued to keep ice conditions widely varied. There are cracks in the ice on Lake Winnebago and spearers are reminded that no ice is safe. The Department of Natural Resources does not monitor the thickness or condition of ice. Should anyone choose to venture out on it, we highly suggest contacting one of the local fishing clubs for the latest on ice conditions.
DNR fisheries staff checked the water clarity Monday morning on Lake Winnebago and found they could see down roughly 8 feet in most areas.
Anyone who plans to head out onto the ice should remember these simple tips:
Ice should be at least 4 inches thick before walking out onto it, 5 inches if taking a snowmobile, ATV or other vehicle.
Wear proper clothing and equipment dress in layers including wool hats, mittens and waterproof boots. Include a float coat to help you stay afloat and slow body heat loss should you go into the water.
Dont go out alone Go out fishing or spearing with friends, take a cell phone with you, and make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to return.
The 2013 sturgeon spearing season opens Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 a.m. and runs for 16 days, or until harvest caps are reached. More information about the upcoming season, including regulations and harvest caps, can be found on the DNR website by doing a keyword search for "sturgeon spearing".
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