The new "Keep It Clean" law in Minnesota will impact many ice anglers this winter.   Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  Schmitt says the law went into effect throughout the state in July but was already in place in extreme northern Minnesota last winter.  The law says that not only do you need to take your trash with you when you leave the lake but now you can no longer leave it on the ice while fishing.  It needs to be in a shelter, a bag or a vehicle.  Garbage of any type is covered in this law. It is a $100 fine if this law is violated.  Schmitt expects there to be an educational process early in the season with warnings.

The slow start to the ice fishing season continues this week with warmer than normal temperatures.  Schmitt says the warmer weather is making ice on local lakes less stable.  Schmitt explains some lakes still have open water and where there is ice, it is 3 to 5 inches locally.  He has no intentions of fishing locally with questionable ice conditions but expects some people to give it a shot.  Schmitt says he won't be the one to tell someone to get out there and fish this time of year.  He says wind and rain can further erode the ice we do have and that is expected this weekend.

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When it comes to fishing in Central Minnesota Schmitt says he fishes lakes he knows early in the year because he knows typically where ice forms and where the sketchy areas are.  He believes in the "check it as you go" approach in regards to ice safety.   Schmitt says bays are typically your best bet and he suggests not fishing alone with ice conditions like they are.

Schmitt says ice conditions north of Brainerd are better.  He is hearing 4-8 inches of ice in the Crosby area.  Schmitt says in the Blackduck, Remer, Ely, Duluth, and Longville areas they are using ATVs on some lakes.  He says they have 5 to 7 inches of ice in those areas in northern Minnesota.  Schmitt says there is still open water on some of these larger lakes like Gull, Mille Lacs and Leech.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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