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Post Reply - Climate-change were you are.


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Topic - Climate-change were you are.
Posted: September 13 2017 at 9:20am By CRS, DrPH
Thanks, Dutch Josh!  

I am a winter sports enthusiast in the northern US state of Illinois, and used to live & play in Minnesota (borders on Canada).  One of my favorite winter-time activities for the past 50 (!) years has been "ice fishing," whereby I trudge onto a frozen lake, drill holes and catch (or try to catch) any of a wide variety of species of fish. 

Since the 1990s, I've noticed that our northern winters are getting shorter...lakes that used to freeze solid enough to drive onto are now partially open in most winters, and this has impacted the famous ice fishing culture of Minnesota: 


Over the last several years, ice fishing contests, which are a big deal in Minnesota, have been repeatedly cancelled due to insufficient ice thickness on the relevant lake. Some of these contests have been permanently cancelled because the annual cancelations were becoming more frequent. Just now, the Maple Lake Ice Fishing Derby has been cancelled. That’s bad.

But even more disturbing is this

Ice conditions for the Eel Pout Festival have created enough concern to prompt vehicle restrictions, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Tom Burch says vehicle traffic on Walker Bay during the event will be prohibited, but with the following exceptions: snowmobiles and Class 1 & 2 ATVs.

All vehicles must be removed from the ice by noon on Friday. Motorized traffic is no allowed until Sunday at 10 a.m.

This is a big deal because the Eel Pout Festival is different from the previously canceled ice fishing events. All those previously cancelled events, including Maple Lake, are in Central Minnesota, not far from the Twin Cities. The Eel Pout festival is way the heck up north, in a region where even with global warming affected climate, the ice still normally forms hard and thick.