Well, ice fishing season has officially arrived, as we have our first report of someone fishing on a Lake George bay, perilously close to open water.
A reader sent a photo of an ice fisherman on Harris Bay on Sunday morning, with open water visible all round him. Yes, we had a couple of cold mornings, but would you go out on that ice?
The reader said he watched to make sure the guy survived, and after a short time he ambled off the ice without incident. I was told there were also guys on Warner Bay over the weekend as well.
Lake George is always one of the toughest lakes to read, as wind, currents and bubblers can change conditions dramatically in a matter of yards. Pretty much every year there are rescue calls for those who go through.
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It is also one of the prime ice fishing destinations in New York, which is why many are willing to risk their well-being.
Why anyone would fish the ice as pictured here is beyond me, with dozens of smaller waters offering much safer ice. If a dunk in the icy water didn't endanger rescuers who would undoubtedly be call I don't think many would care. But remember that dozens will risk their own lives to rescue you when/if you go through and can't get out.
Monday's warmer weather is not going to help ice fishing conditions for the holiday week and weekend, but some below freezing mornings later this week should help things stabilize.
The cold of early December and last week has made for 4 to 6 inches on many smaller waters. Anglers were on part of Saratoga Lake over the weekend, while most smaller waters from Lake George north and west are buttoned up. But use extra precaution these days, as the up and down temperature swings will make ice unpredictable.
On another note, if you are fishing Great Sacandaga Lake this winter, a group that is studying walleye growth rates on the lake wants to hear from you, particularly if you catch one of 75 fish that they tagged. Click here to access the survey and website, and here is an article from the Gloversville Leader-Herald about the effort.
-- Don Lehman
Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or email@example.com