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Published December 04, 2009, 03:24 PM

Devils Lake Still Not Frozen, Possible Late Start For Ice Fishers

We had an unusually warm November, and now it's December and much of Devils Lake still hasn't frozen. This means some anglers might start ice fishing a little bit later this year.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

We had an unusually warm November, and now it's December and much of Devils Lake still hasn't frozen. This means some anglers might start ice fishing a little bit later this year. Although there's ice on some of the western areas of the lake, most of it is not frozen.

Randy Hiltner: "Typically by early December you can walk out on the ice in Devils Lake, but this year most of Devils Lake is still wide open as of today."

There's a lot of steam out on the lake today as the water's cooling down, but still there's no ice yet.

Randy Hiltner: "Typically the ice isn't very safe in early December, and when you don't have a lot of snow on the ice then you can make good ice."

Hiltner says the expected cold weather may help the lake freeze soon and the ice thickness could catch up to where it usually is at this time of year. A lack of snow will also help speed up the process and it may make fishing easier.

Bill Sackenreuter: "If we get a nice open winter, not a lot of snow, I think we'll see the people coming back."

Sackenreuter says all the snow last year made it hard to get around on the ice. But he says he expects this ice fishing season to be a good one.

Bill Sackenreuter: "This year fishing was excellent. That tends to carry over into the winter fishing, too."

The Game and Fish Department has gotten reports that some of the lakes north of Devils Lake have already frozen, and that fishing has been good there so far.

If you're planning to go out on ice, it should be at least 3 to 4 inches thick to walk on. It should be at least 15 inches thick to support a vehicle.

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