The cold snap had let up a bit by Sunday afternoon, so my wife and I took our daughter and dog over to Moreau Lake State Park to wander around a bit. It's a great time of year to wander around the park, with the summer crowds gone.
You can also hike the lower trails without worrying about getting shot, as the hunting portions of the park are higher up on the mountain. As an avid outdoorsmen, I am all for hunting, but I hesitate when wandering wooded areas this time of year where I know hunters are active. We've had a few concerning encounters over the years.
As we wandered the blue trail around the lake, I noticed that the northern section of the lake, on the far side of the bridge, appeared to be skimmed over.
As we approached, we threw a few rocks on the ice, and were surprised to see they didn't break through. There was a good half-inch or more of ice on the protected area.
The main section of Moreau Lake was windy and open, but a couple more cold mornings like we had Friday through Sunday might have tempted a hardwater fisherman or two. If there was that cover in Moreau, I wondered what had accumulated on some ponds further north, where temperatures fell into single digits.
I was kind of surprised last night to look at iceshanty.com and not see someone boasting about being out on the ice already. I've known a few guys who will head out onto two inches of early ice, not that it is by any means completely safe. But the fact the surface cooled off as quickly as it did is a good sign for ice fishing season.
-- Don Lehman