The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ice piles up at Saxon Harbor


Ralph Ansami/Daily Globe

SHORE ICE from Lake Superior has piled up at Saxon Harbor. The breakwall, at far right, is obscured by the ice build-up on a snowy Thursday morning

SAXON, Wis. - There's good and bad news for fishermen who'd like to get out on Lake Superior from Saxon Harbor to ice fish.

The good news is that the ice has been forming rapidly with the sub-zero temperatures.

The bad news is massive ice mounds are building up along the shoreline, which will make it difficult for fishermen to get out farther onto the lake, where the fishing's the best.

There was open water as far as the eye could see at the harbor just a week or two ago.

The cold weather could lead to an early start to ice fishing on the lake. In some years, it's late February before there's safe ice.

Elsewhere, the frigid temperatures have slowed ice fishing on Lake Gogebic, according to Barry Drews, of Bear's Nine Pines Resort. He said both walleye and perch fishing worsened with the weather.

Fish are coming from 20- to 24-foot depths. The slush pockets on the lake have firmed to allow snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles safe travel, but there still might be some hidden slush.

Most ATV operators on the lake are using chains.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said the extreme temperatures have affected both ice anglers and snowmobilers. They urge anyone staying outside for any length of time to use caution and watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Extreme cold can cause frostbite to occur within 30 minutes of outdoor exposure.

Anyone experiencing lack of coordination, slurred speech or confusion out in the cold should dial 911 immediately or see a doctor.

After a brief respite from the cold in which the temperature was expected to rise to a high of 16 in Ironwood today, the National Weather Service predicts a high of only minus-9 for Sunday and Monday.

There's a 40 percent chance of snow Saturday, with a high around 14 and low of -20.

A warm-up isn't forecast until next Friday, with a high in the upper 20s.


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