Ice conditions on Bay of Green Bay less than ideal

Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 2:42 PM CST
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DYCKESVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - The mild start to our winter has left ice conditions on the Bay of Green Bay far less than ideal.

That means ice fishermen venturing out need to be extremely cautious.

Instead of taking out clients today, ice fishing guide Zach Burgess is in his air boat checking how thick the ice is near Dyckesville.

The bay’s deep freeze is well behind schedule.

“I would say we’re at least two weeks behind a normal year, by usually mid-January in this area, we’re at Red River County Park, usually it’s pretty close to driving trucks out or driving trucks out already and currently I found as thin as two inches of ice out here,” says Burgess, owner of Why Knot Charters & Guide Service.

In general, Burgess is finding between six and eight inches on the lower bay, but farther north it’s a different story.

“Yesterday there was waves rolling through Sturgeon Bay yet, so it’s still open water up there, we did get some cold last night so it might have skimmed over but that would be all that it is, is skim ice,” says Burgess.

A satellite image from NASA taken yesterday shows much of the bay has yet to freeze over.

“It might be one of those years where we don’t get out in certain spots that we normally do,” says Burgess.

Even where there is fishable ice, Burgess says a strong wind can pose sudden danger.

“There is no spot on the bay right now that is safe with those winds, because all this ice could shift because of how thin the western shore is and how thin northern parts of the bay are. We already had one ice rescue out here this year and I know of numerous ATVs, snowmobiles that have gone through, so it’s just one of those years, you’ve got to be very cautious this year,” warns Burgess.

Burgess says we need a solid week of overnight temperatures in the single digits for the ice on the bay to really thicken and shore up.

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