Most Lakes(Except A Few Notables) Free Of Ice For Fishing Opener

Category: News Release

 May 2nd, 2019 by sworrall 

Modified May 2nd, 2019 at 1:15 PM

DNR’s Mike Vogelsang with a nice walleye from the 2018 DNR survey

Except for all but a few big, deep lakes, a DNR spokesperson says it should be boats and not ice fishing this weekend for Wisconsin’s fishing opener.

Area DNR Fisheries Management supervisor, Mike Vogelsang, thinks there should be open water…

“…99 percent of the lakes should be open by the weekend. I was a little nervous earlier in the week with the cold forecast. But as of now, the only lakes really hanging in there with some ice are Trout, Fence, Big Arbor Vitae and Lake Tomahawk…”


Vogelsang says the main target of anglers looks to be available…

“..Generally speaking, in our naturally reproducing waters, the walleyes are hanging in there. We have a number of lakes that rely somewhat on stocking and other lakes that rely heavily on stocking. Those we need to do some work on. Lakes that have self-sustaining populations, they’re doing really well….”

He says the lakes with natural walleye reproduction would be the lakes with the best results. Vogelsang says walleye spawning should take only three to five days on many lakes due to the late ice-out, though once the spawn is over fish will be hungry and linger close to the shore where they are more easily targeted by anglers.

More walleye fishing opportunities will be available this year as more than 1.9 million extended growth walleye stocked in years 2013, ’14 and ’15 under the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative are now at catchable size.

Trout and other species like Northern Pike open this weekend. The bass and muskie seasons open later.

More than 2 million anglers spend $1.5 billion in Wisconsin annually on fishing.

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