Ice depths looking good for contest
It appears the Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza will be good to go Jan. 22 on Gull Lake.
A permit for the annual event has yet to be issued by the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department, but Sheriff Todd Dahl said based on ice depths taken Wednesday morning a permit should be issued soon.
Dahl said numerous holes drilled in the contest site on Hole-in-the-Day Bay off Highway 371 showed an average of 18 to 24 inches of ice throughout the contest area.
The sheriff's department in the past has required at least 16 inches of ice before issuing and permit for the ice fishing contest.
"We're very pleased," with the ice depths, Dahl said. "At this time in the last few years it's kind of been nip and tuck whether we were going to be able to go with it. With the recent cold days and extreme cold nights we've made some good ice."
Dahl said he's optimistic a permit will be issued for the contest.
One problem encountered by ice anglers recently on area lakes has been several of inches of slush between the solid ice and frozen top snow. Dahl said on Wednesday they found no sign of slush.
Measurements taken by a Dispatch staffer this past weekend found 14 3/4 inches of ice on the southeast side of the contest site, 13 inches on the north side of the contest site and 15 inches on the northeast side of the site.
Dahl said with the expected cold weather next week it is hoped more ice is made.
After high temperatures in the teens through the weekend, the National Weather Service in Duluth's forecast calls for highs of 2 to 7 degrees and lows of 5 degrees below zero to 10 degrees below zero on Sunday; high of 15 to 20 degrees and lows of 8 degrees below zero to 13 degrees below zero on Monday; high of 2 to 7 degrees and lows of and lows of 12 degrees below zero to 17 degrees below zero on Tuesday; and highs of 3 to 8 degrees on Wednesday.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.