Well the river is starting to open. Amazing that it is because we are still below freezing about 99% of the time.
Last year when the river started to open I posted about what chaoe it is here from ice out till April 14th. This year is no exception. In fact it is the about the busiest I have ever seen it. The boat ramp at Birchdale broke the record for longest line to get a boat in the water. The river is about a mile and a half from highway 11. The line went from the river to highway 11 and around the corner. It was taking up to four hours to get a boat in the water and they were averaging one boat every 2.2 minutes. Do the math on that one.
Friday the temperature when I went to work in the morning at 5:00 AM The temperature was +7° F. At 5:30 AM there were already 100 vehicles in at the Frontier access. To top it off, the boat ramp was covered in at least a foot of ice and shelf ice at the ramp. There was a 2 ½' drop from the ice surface to the water they were shoving boats off. Getting them back out was fun to watch.
We had a backhoe come in Friday at noon and rip the ice off the boat ramp at Frontier, which was in some ways, the ice was better than after they ripped the ice off. They have dropped the river level over fears of run off thanks to the ton of snow we had. That put the water about three feet from the end of the cement pad. At the end of the pad, once the ice went out of the bottom, it left a hole at least two feet deep pretty much the width of the ramp. It's deep enough that if you drop the wheels off it, you land on the trailer frame and rip the axel off the trailer. I have a photo of one that took it clear off.
I shot some video and took a bunch of photos. I may put something on youtube so I can show you guys what the Spring Walleye season is like here. You need to see it to believe it.
On the bright side, I actually got a few casts in today. I took my new 14' Thomas and Thomas and fished for about half an hour off the shelf ice for about an hour. I watched about 25 boats setting near where I was fishing and never saw a fish caught. I had one hit and missed it. It's still to cold for the lake fish to start running the river. Maybe if I get lucky, the fish will run before the 14th, which is the end of the season. I'm worried that because it's been so cold and everything is running late the we will have the fish spawning after opener and that's never a good thing. There are to many people that abuse the fishery when that happens. I'm pretty certain we will still have ice on the lake for opener.
Aaaand it's 27° and snowing right now.