Lake of the Woods

Most open water anglers have put away their boats for the season and are looking forward to ice fishing, Lake of the Woods Tourism reported Monday in its weekly update. Ice is forming on back bays and different parts of the big lake, the report said, and things are coming along nicely with the recent blast of cold weather.

That being said, it’s not time for ice fishing yet, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Resorts will get the word out when the ice is safe to access. That time is not yet, but it won't be too long.

Anglers should think safety first and be especially cautious near current areas, Lake of the Woods Tourism advised. The Rainy River remains high, with strong flows, so river ice will be especially suspect, the report said; back bays of the river are iced up.

Up at the Northwest Angle, ice is forming, with reports of about 3 inches in some areas, but no ice travel is recommended, Lake of the Woods Tourism said. Resorts will communicate when the ice is safe enough for winter fishing.

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Devils Lake

There’s still a lot of open water on the main basin of Devils Lake, Jason Mitchell of the “Jason Mitchell Outdoors” TV show said Thursday. East Bay appears to have just capped over, Mitchell said, and he also saw ice forming on Six-Mile Bay. During a day of exploring Wednesday, Mitchell said he found 6 to 8 inches of ice on Lake Irvine and adjacent Lake Alice, but there also was open water in some areas. Water clarity was poor, he said. A handful of other smaller lakes Mitchell checked Wednesday in the Devils Lake Basin had 2 to 4 inches of ice, he said.

Upper Red Lake

Anglers had begun walking out on the east shore of Upper Red Lake until a crack opened Tuesday, forcing crews to rescue several anglers stranded on the ice about 50 yards from shore, Forum News Service reported. Ice was 7 to 8 inches thick where the crack opened.

West Wind Resort in Waskish, Minn., closed its access Wednesday and said on its Facebook page that resort staff would re-evaluate conditions Friday before deciding whether to reopen the access. With warm weather and wind in the forecast, ice on the lake is moving around “too much for our liking,” the resort said in its Facebook post.

-- Herald staff reports