Conditions vary widely, as Wisconsin anglers take to the state's waters for the opening of the game fishing season this weekend. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said unseasonably cold weather along with snow flurries slowed the spring progression of ice out on many northern Wisconsin lakes. Below average temperatures are forecast through the weekend, and some of the larger, more popular lakes through Bayfield, Sawyer, Price, Iron, Vilas and Oneida counties are still ice covered. Ice only recently went out on the Chippewa Flowage and the Willow Flowage. Most waters in Price and Taylor counties have opened up, but as of mid week, popular lakes farther north, such as Big Arbor Vitae, Minocqua, Big St. Germain, and Muskellunge Lake still were socked in with ice and will almost certainly be for the opener, according to the DNR.
Anglers are being reminded to be very careful with fire this weekend. Fire danger is high in the south and moderate in the north. There were of 50 wildfires in the last week that burned 27 acres, and damaged or destroyed three buildings and threatened another 13. Remember, anyone who starts a wildfire, can be held responsible for the cost of suppression, injuries, and damages.