Weather changes affect Lake Winnebago ice conditions

Lake Winnebago ice conditions at Quinney Road Landing, January 24, 2018 (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

QUINNEY (WLUK) -- The changing weather in the past week is affecting ice conditions on many area lakes.

Water flowed into the lake Monday afternoon near Quinney, prompting a plea from fishing clubs for people to stay away from the landings.

And ice experts expect a weekend warm-up could bring more of the same.

Water trickled through the ice of Johnson Creek and flowed into Lake Winnebago Wednesday morning. Area fishermen gathered at the Quinney Road landing to talk about the conditions.

"Just came to check the ice. It don't look too bad right now," said Jason Boerschinger, Whitelaw.

"Just kind of checking conditions out. The other day it was pretty bad. All the water and everything running into the lake," said Mike Lakin, Chilton.

Ice experts say two days of colder weather made a difference in the ice in the area.

"After thawing and re-freezing, and now, it's pretty solid out there as of today. I didn't find any soft spots today when I was out there," said Mark Ecker, Quinney Fishing Club.

Ecker says he checks ice conditions almost daily. He says vehicles driving from Quinney to Oshkosh should stay north of the tree line.

"On the other side, there's a bridge like two and a half, three miles out. But as of now, there are no bridges on the east shore," he said.

Ecker says when temperatures rise, the landings are some of the first places to deteriorate.

"It's going to be in the mid-40s the way it sounds on Friday, which will probably affect it a little bit, be more cracks forming," he said.

And for those venturing out onto the 22 inches of ice,

"They should hold up. We don't have snow running off now, so it should be all right," said Boerschinger.

"You take the good with the bad. whatever comes, comes. Nothing much you can do about it. Just be careful, and be safe out there, that's the main thing," said Lakin.

Fishermen say they are hopeful the warm-up is short-lived.

Many are heading out on the lake to scout areas ahead of the Sturgeon Spearing season, which begins, on February 10.

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