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OUTDOORS REPORT: Area fishing, trails, skiing report

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fishing Grand Forks, 58203

Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

Lake Winnipeg

Conditions after another March storm have eliminated any hope of vehicle travel on Lake Winnipeg before the season in southern Manitoba ends March 31, according to fishing guide Jason Hamilton of Winnipeg. Colder-than-average temperatures are continuing to thicken the ice, forcing anglers to use 12- to 18-inch extensions. Snowmobiles or other tracked vehicles are the only way to get around right now, Hamilton said, and anglers who venture out with pickups are asking for trouble. As for the fishing, walleye action is good early in the day in shallow water but tapers off about 10 a.m., when anglers should move to areas with 12 to 15 feet of water under the ice. Look for fishing to improve if warmer weather in the forecast comes to pass.

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Lake of the Woods

Walleye and sauger fishing on the reefs at the north end of Minnesota waters improved this week with good reports near Knight and Bridges islands in 26 to 34 feet if water. Some of the walleyes are suspended, and there are tullibees and jumbo perch in the mix, as well. Pike are being caught in the pre-spawn areas adjacent to bays in 4 to 12 feet. At the Northwest Angle, walleyes, saugers and jumbo perch are hitting best in Canadian waters, and the crappie bite is reported as average.

Devils Lake

Don't even bother trying to access the lake without a snowmobile or some other kind of tracked vehicle, reports Devils Lake fishing guide Mark Bry. With the amount of ice and snow cover, extensions also are needed. During the past couple of weeks, a mixed bag of walleyes, white bass and big perch have come from 28 to 40 feet of water, Bry said, and fishing should continue to improve when (if?) the weather straightens out and more spring-like conditions arrive.

Bemidji area

The area received another 10 inches of snow earlier this week, which basically shut down fishing options on most lakes. The few anglers who have ventured out also are reporting deep slush below the snow on all lakes and that, too, is limiting where they go.

Blackduck area

It was difficult to move around on most lakes last week because of deep snow and slush, and with additional snow this week, fishing opportunities have pretty much come to an end.

Leech Lake

Snowmobiles are the only option for travel throughout the lake, and that's been difficult with the slush. Resorts have given up plowing roads and that has prevented anglers from getting on the lake, which has meant no fishing options or reports this week.

Lake Winnibigoshish

Another round of snow this week has pretty much shut the lake down. Resorts have given up trying to keep roads open, and increasing amounts of slush have made travel impossible. Until some of the snow melts fishing options will remain limited.

Downhill skiing report

• Buena Vista Ski Area near Bemidji: 26- to 50-inch base, packed powder, 6 inches of new snow. Open 2 to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; snow-tubing hours 4 to 8 p.m. today and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Info: bvskiarea.com.

• Frostfire Ski Area near Walhalla, N.D.: 20- to 25-inch base; 5 inches of new snow. Open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Info: frostfireskiarea.com.

Cross-country skiing report

• Grand Forks Greenway: Ski trails from Riverside Dam to 47th Avenue South were scheduled to be groomed Thursday. There's no shortage of snow, thanks to Blizzard Fiona, and the trail in Lincoln Drive Park, which includes a skate ski trail, again is available. Info: greenwayggf.com.

• Turtle River State Park, N.D.: Trails are open and in good condition and were scheduled to be groomed Thursday; 5 inches of new snow; local snow depth 14 to 24 inches.

• Grahams Island State Park near Devils Lake: Trails were groomed Tuesday and are in excellent condition; 10 to 12 inches of new snow; local snow depth 40 to 42 inches; next grooming set for March 29.

• Icelandic State Park, N.D.: Trails were open and in excellent condition as of last update March 1.

• Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Trails haven't been groomed since March 6 and are in poor condition; 14-inch base; local snow depth 28 inches.

• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Trails are groomed and in very good condition; 9-inch base; 21 miles groomed; local snow depth 32 inches.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Trails are groomed and in excellent condition; 15-inch base; 10 miles groomed; local snow depth 32 inches.

• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in good condition; 14-inch base; seven miles groomed; local snow depth 24 inches.

• Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Trail isn't groomed and is in poor condition; 14-inch base; local snow depth 28 inches.

• Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Trails are partially groomed and in very good condition; 14-inch base; seven miles of trail; local snow depth 31 inches.

Snowmobile trails report

• Red River South Trail (Grand Forks and Walsh counties): Trails are open and in very good condition and will be groomed by the weekend; 6- to 8-inch base; 5 to 7 inches recent snow; local snow depth 20 to 30 inches.

• Red River North Trail (Pembina and Walsh counties): Trails are open and will be groomed by the weekend; 5- to 7-inch base; 6 to 8 inches new snow; local snow depth 20 to 26 inches.

• Northeast Trail (Cavalier, Pembina and Walsh counties): Trail system is open except for the Cavalier Trail from St. Thomas, N.D., to the warming house south of Cavalier; 4- to 6-inch base; 6 to 8 inches of new snow; local snow depth 30 to 40 inches.

• Lake Region Trail (Nelson and Ramsey counties): Trails are open and in excellent condition and will be groomed by the weekend; 6- to 8-inch base; 10 inches new snow; local snow depth 20 to 30 inches.

• North Central Trail (Benson, McHenry, Pierce, Ramsey and Towner counties): Trails are open and will be groomed by the weekend; 8- to 12-inch base; 10 inches new snow; local snow depth 24 to 30 inches.

• Peace Garden Trail (Bottineau and Rolette counties): All of the trails except for No. 6 are open, but a report from the western portion of the trails wasn't available; 6- to 8-inch base; 4 to 5 inches new snow; local snow depth 25 to 35 inches.

• Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in good condition; 14-inch base; local snow depth 28 inches.

• Itasca State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in very good condition; 9-inch base; 32 miles groomed; local snow depth 32 inches.

• Lake Bemidji State Park: Trail is groomed and in excellent condition; 10-inch base; three miles groomed; local snow depth 32 inches.

• Lake Bronson State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in very good condition; 14-inch base; three miles groomed; local snow depth 24 inches.

• Old Mill State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in good condition; 14-inch base; one mile groomed; local snow depth 28 inches.

• Zippel Bay State Park, Minn.: Trail is groomed and in very good condition; 14-inch base; two miles groomed; local snow depth 31 inches.

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