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Warm winter weather cuts ice fishing season short in Michigan, causes concerns

Ice Fishing
Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-27 22:33:32-04
  • Warm winter weather caused the ice fishing season to be non-existent.
  • This caused some businesses to struggle and caused concerns surrounding fish for others.
  • Video allows you to hear from two businesses.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

"I honestly think it's a dying sport in Michigan, I really do."

Ice fishing is something many people do in the winter season.

Setting up shanties, drilling holes, and casting a line to catch a big fish.

While hanging out on a lake that's been iced over.

Anna Werner is the owner of Grand River Bait and Tackle in Lansing.

She says she typically depends on the ice fishing season to bring in money.

"Consistent business from about right around New Year's up through maybe early March," Werner said.

But she says recent ice fishing seasons haven't been the same.

"The last couple of years we've had almost no ice-forming conditions. Actually, last year it was even worse than this year."

And it took a bite out of her bottom line

SOT - "It makes it much much harder to keep the bills paid through the winter. I'm forced to try to find ways to increase cash flow in the summer and try to put money aside for the winter. Which has gotten harder and harder because expenses for everything have been going up," Werner said.

Mid-Michigan did get a spell of true winter weather back in January that gave Anna some hope.

" Kind of saved my butt. I did probably a month's worth of business in five days and if it hadn't been for that I don't know how I would have my bills paid," Werner said.

But the business side isn't the only concern out there.

Over in East Lansing Cole Hazeltine, the store manager at Nomad Anglers says it could affect fly fishing.

And they fish they try to catch.

COLE - "My main concern is the populations with the trout and what they are going to be like this summer," Hazeltine said.

COLE - "If we have a warm winter and happen to have a particularly warm summer that could lead to fish kill," Hazeltine said.

At this time some people think the future of ice fishing is up in the air.

Anna believes warm winters are something we should get used to.

"I think that from now on we should expect winters are too warm for ice fishing," Werner said.

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Tianna Jenkins

12:23 PM, Jan 12, 2021

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Tianna Jenkins

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