North Park Conditions 11/30/16
Lake John Resort
I did get around to all 3 State Wildlife Areas (SWA’s) today, and here is the latest: Cowdrey Lake would have been fishable if I’d’ve had my gear. I walked out 20-30 yards chopping holes as I went into about three inches of ice, give or take. The lake surface is very irregular and bumpy, so the thickness is probably not consistent. Wind blown and very slick.
Each of the 3 Delaneys had at least some open water. I punched holes in the South Lake in a couple different areas but found only about an inch of ice at each spot. The shallows of the northern-most bay looked like the best ice, however I didn’t get a reading there. There were several large areas of open water.
The North Lake also had a couple large areas of open water, and the ice where I checked it, east of the boat ramp, was just over an inch a few steps from shore. The frozen surface near the dam in the south-west corner of North looked the strongest, but I didn’t climb down the bank to check.
The East Lake had the least amount of open water with just a few holes here and there. I checked the ice at the boat ramp and was able to get out several steps on about one and a half inches of clear, slick surface.
Lake John completely capped off last night. I checked the ice today in both boat ramp areas which were consistent at about 1 inch of clear, slick ice. There were areas around John where you can see some layered surfaces from the wind breaking the ice as it was freezing, however, this was typical on all the lakes.
I believe the ice currently on area lakes is here to stay, barring some catastrophic weather. I’m also quite certain we will see the first of this season’s ice anglers by this weekend. The temperatures are supposed to remain cold, and ice thickness should grow, but do not risk your life on “supposed to” and “should”. Use caution and common sense. If you must fish the “early ice”, bring creepers, ice spikes and a safety rope as a minimum. Don’t worry about the power auger with 3-4 inches of ice, it just adds weight. Bring a good spud that you can use to check the ice in front of you, and dig you out if you happen to need it. Don’t stand together as a group, and by all accounts — if there’s water on the ice surface, the ice is SINKING!
Good luck and be smart.