Thursday, January 26th, 2023
Thursday, January 26th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Access a worry for North Dakota ice anglers

Bismarck, N.D. (AP) — Anglers who enjoy ice fishing are finding
it tough going on some popular North Dakota lakes because of the
heavy snow this winter.

Many anglers have pulled ice houses off Lake Sakakawea bays.
Officials say access also is difficult on neighboring Lake Audubon,
and anglers have a hard time moving their fish houses around to
follow the bite.

The heavy snow cover not only impedes access but also pushes
down on the ice, forcing water up through the holes anglers drop
their lines in. And anglers who earlier got fish houses onto the
ice are having a difficult time getting them off.

“The bad thing is that people are not allowed to leave fish
houses in parking lots, on the auto tour route or the grasslands,
regardless of snow conditions,” said Jackie Jacobson, a spokeswoman
at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Audubon.

The situation is much the same on Devils Lake. Resort owner Kyle
Blanchfield, one of the people who works with the local Chamber of
Commerce on winter lake access, said he worries that the $10,000
allotted for snow removal won’t be enough.

“In a tough winter, we’ll use all of that $10,000 and then
some,” he said. “And we seem to be in the midst of a tough
winter.

“We’ve done some plowing already, but there are going to be some
challenges the way the snow keeps coming,” Blanchfield said.
“Fishing has been decent and the guys have had some success, but
they need to be mobile out there, too.”

Blanchfield said the Spirit Lake Casino has helped with funding
in recent years. He said he is confident that if more money is
needed, it will be found.

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