Minnesota:The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 vs. Weather for Halloween 2017

Here’s the weather forecast for our Halloween 2017..could it turn into The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 Local Weather Report whitebirchresort.net
The 1991 Halloween Storm Facts:
At the time, the 36.9″ of snow that fell at Duluth set the state record for storm total snowfall. That was surpassed in 1994.
Snow began in Duluth at about 1:00 pm on October 31st, and did not end until 1:00 pm on November 3rd, meaning that snow fell continuously on the city for about 72 hours.
Moderate to heavy snow fell in Duluth with as much as 2 inches per hour from about 11:00 am on November 1st to about 2:00 am on November 2nd – about 15 hours.
Blowing snow was reported in Duluth for 33 consecutive hours, starting at 2 PM on November 1st. Winds regularly gusted to between 30 and 40 MPH. Visibilities were frequently near zero. https://www.weather.gov/dlh/1991halloweenblizzard

The snowstorm that hit parts of the area starting around Halloween (October 31 – November 3) in 1991 was an impressive storm in many respects, and it is still remembered by many people across the Northland. In fact, this storm was set up, in part, by the weather patterns that caused the “Perfect Storm” that struck the East Coast of the United States, and was famously depicted in Sebastian Junger’s book. Moreover, the “Perfect Storm” was beginning to wind down in the Northeast on Halloween, around the same time that Minnesota was starting to see heavy snow creeping in. To have two exceptional storms impacting the continental United States at the same time is quite rare.

What Happened:
During the height of trick-or-treating- the storm began as rain, then changed quickly to freezing rain and before the evening was over, it was snowing. It continued to snow for two more days, with final totals of 36.5 inches at the Duluth Airport and 45 inches in Superior. A large area of more than 20 inches of snow covered most of the northwest quarter of Wisconsin from Bayfield to River Falls and near the eastern half of Minnesota. At times the snow fell at a rate of two inches per hour and was accompanied by thunder and lightning. In addtion, winds gusting to to 40 mph created huge snowdrifts and zero visibility.

The “Halloween Blizzard” was made possible by a strong Arctic cold front that surged south through the central United States several days prior. On October 28, 1991, temperatures in advance of the cold front were quite pleasant as high temperatures reached into the 70s from the Mid Mississippi River Valley south into North Texas, and into the 80s across much of central and southern Texas. Meanwhile, high temperatures did not crack 20 degrees across most of Montana and Wyoming.

The contrast between the two air masses was stark, and by the morning of October 29th, the cold front was already about halfway through Texas. At 6 AM CST, the temperature in Amarillo, TX had plummeted to 22 degrees with a stiff northerly breeze. Abilene, TX was reporting a temperature of 40, while Dallas came in at 64 – a 24 degree difference over about 180 miles. Meanwhile, morning lows were much more frigid to the north – in the single digits across Montana and Wyoming, and in the teens (with snow) in the Dakotas.

A broad upper level trough, or low pressure area was in place over the western US at this time, with one particular shortwave (a disturbance, or small area of low pressure aloft) lifting northeast through the Dakotas, and another digging to the southeast into the Intermountain West. By October 30th, the cold front had reached the Texas shoreline with the Gulf of Mexico, and stalled in that location. As the shortwave aloft rounded the base of the broad trough and approached the southern Plains, it aided the development of an area of surface low pressure along the sharp temperature gradient near the Texas Gulf Coast. The development of low pressure systems along coastal fronts in this fashion is relatively common in the cool season along the Texas Gulf Coast and along the Atlantic Seaboard near the Gulf Stream current.

From October 30th into the 31st, this low pressure system slowly became better organized over Texas, before it ejected north over the Mississippi River Valley. This trajectory of a low pressure track (almost due north from the western Gulf) is climatologically favorable to produce very heavy snowfall in the winter months because it allows copius amounts of moisture to surge north where they can interact with colder air. Cooler readings lingered at the very end of October across the Upper Midwest, and a re-inforcing shot of Arctic air was just beginning to push southeast through the western Canadian Provinces.

On November 1st, the surface low pressure moved north from western Illinois into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the minimum pressure fell about 24 millibars in 24 hours, indicative of rapid deepening and strengthening of the cyclone. This was when the heavier snow set in across the Northland, and winds became quite gusty – producing some blizzard conditions with visibilities at or below 1/4 mile at times. Snowfall rates occasionally peaked in the 1 to 2 inches per hour range.

The low pressure eventually became occluded, weakened, and then continued to dissipate as it pushed east across northern Ontario in subsequent days. When the storm had exited, it had taken quite a toll on the area. Almost every place received at least a foot of snow, with lower totals to the west of the International Falls, Grand Rapids, and Brainerd areas as they were further away from the low, and also east of the Ashland and Hayward areas where warmer air kept snow from accumulating as much. Snow drifts were as high as 6 to 10 feet in some areas, and a few spots saw businesses and schools closed for several days.

We Hope everyone has a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Vacation Goals: Where to Choose

Do you have every one of your vacation goals set for 2018 or do you require a few recommendations? While we can’t choose for you, we can offer you a few hints on the most proficient method to choose and put forth a few inquiries to enable you to get some clarity! The short answer is there’s no single perfect answer, and it really depends on key factors like personal travel style, size of group, length of time you have available, and of course your finances. With so much advertising shoved in our faces these days between print, TV and digital media, all vying for our attention, deciding which vacation destination to pick can be overwhelming. Value your hard earned dollars by putting more meaning into it, so you’ll have a much better chance of a more memorable and rewarding experience. When you get all that figured out, and your options for where you can go, your travels are endless. I’ll leave you with this… “Many things will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those!” believe in accumulating memories, not just possessions why picking your Vacation Paradise.
Sincerely, White Birch Resort

State Fair is arounf the corner!

The Minnesota State Fair is known for foods on a stick, adorable baby animals, great concerts and those infamous butter sculptures. This year’s event, held Aug. 24-Sept. 4, is no exception.

In addition to offering the old standbys, the 2017 get-together has plenty of new exhibits and edibles, including the Great Big Wheel, the tallest traveling Ferris wheel in North America. Sports fans will enjoy the NHL Centennial Fan Arena that celebrates 100 years of unforgettable NHL moments with memorabilia, a virtual reality Zamboni experience and an opportunity to see the Stanley Cup.

Visit the West End Market, a one-of-a-kind destination that celebrates the spirit of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. The area includes the Minnesota State Fair History & Heritage Center, showcasing treasured artifacts and photographs that highlight the fair’s 150+ years of history.

Thrill seekers of all ages will find dozens of rides in the Mighty Midway and Kidway including the new Clown Around ride that takes little ones for a spin. For the grown-ups, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild sells flights of local beers, experts host demos on gardening and eco-living, and merchants sell everything from handcrafted pottery to accessories made of bicycle parts. If you like to knit, visit Minnesota’s largest yarnbomb – a form of street art featuring crocheted, knitted and other crafted yarn creations on the Grandstand ramp.

State Fair cheese curds_square

Music fans of all kinds will find artists they love playing at the Grandstand; this year’s lineup features Nickelback (Aug. 24), Stevie Nicks (Aug. 25), comedian Jim Gaffigan (Aug. 26), Toby Keith with special guest 3 Doors Down (Aug.  27), Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Aug. 28), John Mellencamp (Aug. 29), Pentatonix (Aug. 30), Usher (Aug. 31), Garrison Keillor (Sept. 1), and country star Sam Hunt (Sept. 4).

It wouldn’t be the State Fair without indulging in some one-of-a-kind foods. Mini donuts, cheese curds, French fries, corn dogs and chocolate chip cookies are among the staples, as well as more than 60 things on a stick. Some new dishes for 2017 include duck bacon wontons, deep-fried avocado, cranberry wild rice meatballs and a pizzarito. Discover your favorite with the fair’s online Food Finder.

3-Fun Filled Days along Minnesota’s I-35

Lakes food and beer banner

Curious Goat burger / TJ Turner; Castle Danger beer / Brian Jeremiason

If your first thoughts when reminiscing about summer don’t take you to a lake, you have been doing your summers wrong! Minnesota is teeming with a trifecta of summer fun statewide, with its gorgeous lakes, delicious and unique food selection, and up-and-coming brewery scene.

We’ve compiled three days’ worth of these summer treats to help you experience Minnesota the way the locals do, or if you live here, to ensure you have a summer to remember.

This tour loosely follows Interstate 35 from north to south, but feel free to start wherever you choose and create your own adventure.



Gooseberry Falls / Photo by Eve Schrank

If you’re starting your trip in Duluth (the north end of I-35), drive about an hour up the shore to begin your day on Lake Superior. (If you can’t wait to eat, stop at the Duluth Grill and order a hearty plate of corned beef hash and eggs to fuel up.) Hike or bike along the Gitchi Gami State Trail and catch a view of landmarks like Split Rock Lighthouse and the spectacular waterfall at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Snap some pictures and soak in as many beautiful hiking opportunities as possible as you make your way down the shore; the gorgeous and lengthy Superior Hiking Trail connects with the Gitchi Gami at both of these sites.

You’re going to need some hearty food to make it through the rest of your adventurous day along the North Shore. Fuel up at the Rustic Inn Cafe, a local favorite, with menu highlights including the cranberry and wild rice waffle and the Logger’s Skillet, a hash-brown assortment of Italian sausage, cheese and more, including a full side of pancakes. And be sure to save room for pie!

After brunch, continue down the shore to Castle Danger Brewery and kick back in the taproom surrounded by the beauty of the area. The brewery hosts a variety of live music performances and allows outside food to be brought in while you sample the beer selection. Try the summer seasonal Summer Crush ale to get the full “summer” effect.

lake superior canoe ride

Lake Superior / Photo by Alyssa Hei

Lastly, venture back to Duluth’s harbor and rent a watercraft to explore the greatest of the Great Lakes. Be adventurous and kayak, canoe or even take a sailboat excursion along the harbor to discover why it’s Instagrammed so often. Sunset kayak tours are offered through The Duluth Experience, and sunset cruises can be booked via Moon Shadow Sailing and Vista Fleet.

If you’re in the mood for a night cap, head to Fitger’s Brewhouse for some food and beer to reward yourself after an epic day. Other options include Canal Park Brewery (try the Pils Popper), Bent Paddle (try the Paddle Break Blonde) and Thirsty Pagan Brewing (try the Stoned Surf IPA).

>Find places to stay in the Duluth area


lake harriet calm

Lake Harriet / Photo by Shawn Orton

After checking out of your hotel, head about two hours south for a day of urban exploration. Start in the capital city of St. Paul with brunch at the Happy Gnome on Selby Avenue. Try the Bloody Mary bar along with an artisanal cheese plate, or chow down on some apple-bacon pancakes.

Next, cross over to Minneapolis for a combination of gorgeous skylines and soaking up some sun on the calming Lake Harriet. There are walking and biking paths around the lake and other areas to explore, including a rose garden and a mysterious elf who allegedly lives in a tree on the south side of the lake and replies to letters left for him (just look for the tiny door).

Sociable Cider Werks brewery_square

Sociable Cider Werks

Lake Harriet also features a band shell for concerts in the park, food at the Bread & Pickle and lots of rentals, including paddleboards, pedal boats, double-kayaks, and single and tandem bikes. Another popular spot nearby is Minnehaha Park and Falls; be sure to grab lunch at the Sea Salt Eatery if you go.

End your day with a visit to Sociable Ciderwerks in the eclectic Northeast neighborhood. Sociable specializes in cider that even beer lovers will love. Varieties named after biking accessories—Fat Bike, Freewheeler and Spoke Wrench—flood the tap list, and each have unique flavors but remain crisp, refreshing and not full of sugar.

>Find places to stay in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area


Before hopping back on the highway to venture south, have a hearty breakfast at The Buttered Tin in St. Paul’s hip Lowertown neighborhood. This quaint and cozy restaurant has all your breakfast favorites and some great new tries, such as the huevos rancheros Benedict and falafel burger.

Faribault Woolen Mill_Kirsten Alana

Faribault Woolen Mill / Photo by Kirsten Alana

Once you’re fed, head about 45 minutes south to the charming town of Northfield. Best known as the site of the defeat of the notorious Jesse James Gang, it’s now a shopping destination as well. Highlights include The Rare Pair, A Bag Lady, Eclectic Goat and Swag.

From Northfield, continue south to Faribault, home to the historic Faribault Woolen Mill, where throws, scarves, clothes and even puppy blankets are for sale. Tours are also offered every Friday and second Saturday of the month.

After you’ve picked up some local flair, get your daily brew at F-Town, which serves up glasses of beer with quirky names such as Nutso and Flex Less. Brewery tours are offered on Thursdays and Saturdays.

From F-Town, you can easily get to the Cheese Cave and have yourself some delicious, locally made cheese. Faribault’s esteemed blue cheese of three different kinds (they also serve artisan sandwiches, like the raved-about grilled cheese or southwest beef panini) are the perfect snack as you continue exploring southern Minnesota.

Sunset fishing in Fairmont_Greg Abel

Photo by Greg Abel

We can’t forget the lake on this leg of the trip, so we saved Albert Lea, dubbed “the land between the lakes,” for your last stop on the journey. Experience Fountain and/or Albert Lea Lake and all of the activities on them: fishing, boating, waterskiing, or just relaxing and taking a dip.

Be sure to soak up the natural landscape around these lakes at Myre Big Island State Park and Edgewater Park. There are also special events like the Bayside Water Ski Shows on Thursday nights, June through August. The Pelican Breeze II offers guided boat cruises from June to October, with themes nights and other surprises. Or bike along the Blazing Star Trail for a memorable end to your trip.

River Fishing the Land of 10,000 Lakes

St. Cloud 2 CW_Outfitters_TheEuls_5637.jpg

Photo by Chelsea & Eric Eul, courtesy of Clear Waters Outfitting

On a blue-sky summer day, the Mississippi River curves and flows around St. Cloud’s Beaver Islands, where anglers easily find solitude along this scenic stretch in a boat, canoe, fishing kayak, or simply casting from parks along the shore.

“This stretch [of the Mississippi from St. Cloud to Anoka] has become one of the top river smallmouth bass fisheries in the country,” says Dan Meer, owner of Clear Waters Outfitting Co. “Smallmouth bass are known to be the best fighting fish per pound,” which makes them a fun challenge to catch.

The famed Mississippi originates humbly at Itasca State Park and journeys more than 600 miles through Minnesota, including its 1.7-mile-wide Lake Pepin. Commercial boat traffic can go as far as Minneapolis, but even the busier, southern stretches of Mississippi appeal to paddlers and anglers who find the bluff country’s quiet backwaters rich in wildlife and a variety of fish including northern pike, walleye, muskie, largemouth bass, crappies and catfish.

Fly fishing Root River in PrestonMinnesota boasts more than 6,500 natural rivers and streams comprising more than 69,000 miles. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers fishing classes, maintains more than 30 state water trails, and numerous state parks where you can check out free rods and reels and tackle boxes. Check the DNR fishing page for where to go and updates on access points, fishing piers, river landscapes and wildlife, rapids and water levels, fish consumption advisories and outfitters that can provide shuttles, watercraft and maps.

River anglers also can join organizations such as Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association or team up with someone who can leave a vehicle at the final pullout destination so you can go with the flow on your river of choice. Kayaks generally maneuver shallow waters better than boats, and can be easier to get onto the water. Newer designs include hands-free propulsion and modern electronics for locating fish.

Beyond the Mississippi, here’s a sampling of Minnesota’s better-known rivers:


Flowing through the rolling hills and woods south of the Twin Cities, this rural river yields northern pike, black crappies, catfish and smallmouth bass.


Boat on Minnesota River in Bloomington fallFrom its confluence with the Mississippi River below historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, this placid river flows 370 miles south to Mankato and west to Big Stone Lake at Ortonville. Known for channel and flathead catfish (including a 50-pounder), it’s also possible to reel in walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass and sauger. Big Stone LakeLac qui Parle and Upper Sioux Agency state parks all offer fishing kits to borrow.


Flowing north along Minnesota’s northwest border, this warm, muddy river harbors channel catfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, sauger and lake sturgeon. Campsites can be found along the shore at East Grand Forks’ Red River State Recreation Area.


Smallmouth bass, catfish, rock bass and more can be found in this gentle to moderate flowing river through southeast Minnesota. Some spots may harbor brown trout, which thrives in the region’s smaller streams.


St Croix River at William O'Brian State ParkWith the Dalles rocky bluffs and glacial potholes at Interstate State Park, this river dividing northern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota delivers dramatic scenery along with smallmouth bass, catfish, walleye, sauger and lake sturgeon among its 60-plus species of fish. Other state parks along its shores: AftonSt. Croixand Wild River.


This Iron Range river known for dramatic rapids sought by expert paddlers joins Lake Superior at Duluth, where its 12,000-acre sprawl makes it North America’s largest freshwater estuary. Restoration efforts are underway to reclaim the estuary from former industries and improve access for anglers seeking walleye, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass and sturgeon.

Minnesota Ice Fishing Report

Fishing slowed a bit during the coldest days in January, but action continues to heat up and should continually improve during the month of February. Please note that recent unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the state have caused ice conditions to change in some areas. It is extremely important to use caution when heading out! Anyone considering a trip out onto the ice must first check with local bait shops and resorts for the most current ice conditions. Anglers venturing out are asked to carry ice claws and a long rope, wear a floatation device, and check ice depth often. Please stay informed, and brush up on Minnesota DNR Ice Safety Tips before heading out on your next ice fishing adventure. The most current Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Reports may also be useful.whitebirchresort.net

The fishing season for walleye, sauger, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass in most Minnesota waters remains open through February 26, 2012. Smallmouth bass, however, are catch-and-release only through February 26. The winter season for lake trout within and outside of the BWCA runs through March 31, 2012. The winter season for stream trout in southern Minnesota is catch-and-release only, and also runs through March 31, 2012. And, Minnesota fishing opener dates for the 2012/2013 fishing season for most inland waters are as follows: walleye, sauger, northern pike and lake trout, May 12; largemouth and smallmouth bass, May 26; muskie, June 2. The fishing season for crappies, sunnies, perch and catfish is continuous. The fishing season for stream trout in streams is catch-and-release only April 1-13; the regular season beginning April 14. Please note that seasons and regulations vary for certain boundary waters and some individual lakes and rivers–please check out the Minnesota DNR Fishing Seasons and Minnesota DNR Fishing Regulations pages to learn more.

Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236 or accessing DNR License Sales.

Subscribe here to receive any or all of our reports by email or RSS/news feed.

This report is brought to you by Explore Minnesota Tourism.

Northeast Minnesota
International Falls – Rainy Lake & the Rainy River
Ice fishing has been great on Rainy Lake, with fish hitting jigs and minnows in 25-35 feet of water from Sand Bay eastward to Cranberry Bay. Northern pike are lurking around Black Bay, and there are sporadic reports of good crappie numbers coming from Sand Bay. Some of the best ice fishing spots are now accessible due to opening of the Park Service Ice Road around the north side of Dryweed Island and looping back to Cranberry Bay Road. Access to these roads is from the ramp at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. And area snowmobile trails are in great shape and riding conditions should remain excellent for the next several days. All park service snowmobile trails are open and staked, with lots of good trails for skiing and snowshoeing as well. 1-800-325-5766; www.rainylake.org

Trout fishing has dominated the scene lately, with good numbers of lake trout coming out of area trout lakes. Roughly half are coming in on ciscoes and the remainder are being taken on jigging type lures such as airplane jigs, bionic bucktails and chubby darters. Rainbow trout action has been excellent early in the day, with fish measuring up to 22-inches. For the most fish, use a darker colored small jig tipped with a waxworm or dead crappie minnow fished in waters less than 10 feet deep. A few splake weighing up to 7-pounds were recently taken from roughly 20 feet of water during the day. Walleye are being taken by anglers that stay on move, working depths of 6-30 feet at the structure, such as weed edges and reef tops. For the most fish, use a northland buckshot jigging spoon, small chubby dater, or small lindy darter. 1-800-777-7281; www.ely.org

Cook County: Lutsen-Tofte, Grand Marais, Gunflint Trail, and Grand Portage
The trout action on Gunflint Trail lakes has been great. On Kemo Lake, outside of Grand Marais, lake trout are attacking minnows, jigs, and spoons worked in 20-30 foot depths. On Clearwater Lake, midway up the trail, large lake trout are being pulled through the holes, with many weighing 4-5 pounds. At the end of the trail, on Saganaga Lake, most lake trout are coming from deeper waters on jigs and spoons tipped with minnows and ciscoes. Just north of Grand Marais, the spake are hitting ice jigs and waxworms worked in 8-18 feet of water on Pine Mountain and Mink lakes. Northern pike action remains consistently strong on East Twin, Pike, and Devil Track lakes, as well as on Caribou Lake just north of Lutsen–just drop a sucker minnow through a hole in 6-18 feet of water and you’ll likely get a fish! www.VisitCookCounty.com

Northwest Minnesota
Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River
Fishing remains great on Lake of the Woods. Anglers have had to be a bit more skilled and patient since fish can be seen on the electronics but they need to be coaxed before they’ll bite! The best approach seems to be either a plain hook and minnow or a favorite jigging spoon worked in 32 feet of water. A good share of the walleye have been suspended, with many of these fish measuring roughly 26-inches. Anglers looking for a trophy are encouraged to use their electronics, hitting depths of 16-18 feet early in the morning and late in the evening. Ice is averaging over 2 feet thick. Up at the North West Angle, depths of 17-21 feet have been best during early morning and late evening hours, with 27-29 foot depths being best during midday hours. Anything that glows have worked well for walleye and sauger. Fishing has slowed a bit just south of Oak Island, but anglers continue to bring in limits. Anglers report that the crappie bite remains strong. The snowmobile trail up to Oak Island is in good shape, but riders will want to watch out for a few pressure ridges along the way. The continuous fluctuation in temperatures this season is causing a lot of pushing and pulling of these ridges. 1-800-382-FISH; www.lakeofthewoodsmn.com

Anglers continue to enjoy the mild temperatures, good ice conditions and minimal amount of snow cover on most lakes–this weekend looks like it will be mild as well, with highs remaining in the 30s! Fishing slowed somewhat during the coldest days in mid-January, but action should continue to improve during the month of February. Most of the larger area lakes are producing walleye during morning and evening hours. Depending on conditions, walleye are coming from the deep edge of the weedlines all the way down to the edge of the basin–these fish typically move to structure during low light periods, and head for deeper waters during the day. Walleye in stained lakes often suspend over deeper waters during the day, at approximately the same depth where they will make contact with structure when become more active. Anglers using sonar usually have a big advantage since they can see when the fish move through, when their presentations trigger bites, and when they are making the fish skittish! Perch anglers are finding schools of perch in both the deep and shallow waters. The shallow bite is occurring on the rocks and on the edges of flats with cabbage weeds or chara covering the bottom. The deeper perch have been close to the edge of the basin, where they can feed on both insects and minnows. Anglers are finding crappies on the edges of the structure connected to deep water, mostly in 20-30 feet of water, suspended a few feet off the bottom. 1-800-458-2223; www.visitbemidji.com

Bena -Lake Winnibigoshish
The Lake Winnibigoshish perch bite has been great! Several areas around the lake are giving up lots of perch, with the shore drops down to 26-34 foot depths being best. Areas to check include the Moxey Drop, Stump Line, Snag Drop and the West Side Drop around Sugar Lake. The humps to the north are producing well, with perch moving in and out of the humps–it is important to stay mobile until you locate fish. The walleye bite is good at the main lake bars. Bena Bar from Big Musky out to the Bend, as well as Horseshoe and Sugar bars are all good. Fish the top third of the water column in 15-23 feet of water. Rattle spoons and a minnow head continue to work well. On cloudy, foggy days, use glow colors. The northern pike bite remains strong for the tip-up anglers fishing 3-6 feet off the bottom in 15-23 foot depths. Smaller area lakes are starting to produce crappies and sunnies. Look to Six Mile, Little Ball Club, and Big Ball Club lakes for good panfish action. Evening hours until 9:00 p.m. seem to be the best. Some sunnies are being caught during the day on these lakes as well. On average, there is 20-24 inches of ice, with very little snow. The ice heaves are mostly staying put. Still, as always, it is essential that you check with the resort where you access the lake to get the most current report on ice conditions. www.lakewinnie.net

Walker – Leech Lake
Leech Lake is more accessible this year than it has been in a long time due to a lack of snow and slush, with access to nearly all hot spots on the lake. Overall, the ice is averaging 18-21 inches thick. Still, anglers are asked to remain very vigilant about safety, watching for ice heaves and open cracks on the larger lakes, and staying away from areas where rivers or streams run in to or out of the lake. Also avoid areas that historically have poor ice conditions because of springs or narrow channels. Most anglers continue to catch plenty of fish, including walleye, perch, northern pike, crappies and sunnies. Lots of eating-sized walleye measuring 12-18 inches are being reported. In Walker Bay, anglers report lots of nice-sized perch and an occasional walleye coming from 11-14 foot depths. Panfish enthusiasts are catching limits of crappies and sunnies on other area lakes. These fish have been suspended in most locations, with some fish found closer to the surface than to the bottom of the lake. Several anglers who recently fished two area lakes reported that the larger crappies were taken closer to the surface and the smaller crappies were pulled from large schools of suspended fish roughly 4-8 feet off the bottom. And one lucky angler recently caught a 32-inch northern pike! 1-800-833-1118; www.leech-lake.com

Detroit Lakes
Ice conditions remain good despite lingering mild temperatures. This weekend will remain mild and anglers should be comfortable sitting on a bucket enjoying the action, easily moving to another spot if necessary. Lake travel remains easy, except for a few accesses that are still hampered by shoreline ice heaves. Please remember not to cross the pressure ridges to and stay away from areas with current, especially on days with mild temperatures. Last weekend, one angler pulled four walleye from 15-19 feet of water. While on the ice for roughly two hours, these fish, along with a few that didn’t make it through the hole, were all taken during a 45-minute window just as the sun hit the tree line. Buckshot rattle jigging spoons tipped with minnow heads did the trick when worked in 12-14 feet of water on a weed edge. Anglers are also reporting a great panfish and perch bite over the past week or so. 1-800-542-3992; www.visitdetroitlakes.com

Central Region
Otter Tail Lakes Area
Otter Tail Lake continues to give up quite a few jumbo perch and walleye in 10-20 foot depths along the weed edges. Fatheads, shiners, and sucker minnows are working best on jigs and setlines. Spear anglers are taking some large northern pike–please remember that only one northern over 30-inches can be in possession. Crappies are starting to turn more active, especially on West Battle and East Lost lakes in 15-25 feet of water. Ice is generally 18-20 inches thick, and all accesses are open. 1-800-423-4571; www.ottertailcountry.com

Brainerd Lakes Area
Glow jigs and minnows are producing crappies in 20-30 feet of water on Hay and Round lakes. Cullen and Nisswa lakes are producing sunfish in depths of 10-15 feet. Look for walleye using shiner minnows, rainbows, or small spoons in 16-30 feet of water on Gull, North Long, and Round lakes. Northern pike continue to hit shiners and sucker minnows in depths of 10-15 feet on Gull and Edward lakes. Closer to Crosby, the walleye reports have slowed, but a few nice fish continue to be taken during evening hours in 28-32 feet of water on Nokay Lake. Panfish action has been good on Nokay, Cedar, Bay, Milford, and Crooked lakes, with lots of crappies coming from 30-plus feet of water and large numbers of sunnies pulled from depths of 9-15 feet. Northern pike action has been exceptional for both anglers and spearers in 8-15 feet of water near green weeds on Lower Mission, Black Bear, Rabbit and Mahnomen lakes. 1-800-450-2838; www.explorebrainerdlakes.com

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs
On the east side of Lake Mille Lacs, snowmobiles and ATVs are now able to travel to the main-lake flats and reefs where walleye and perch are biting in 25-plus feet of water. The 15- to 18-foot shoreline breaks and deeper gravel areas are also producing walleye, mainly during low-light periods. Northern pike continue to hit sucker minnows worked in 10-15 feet of water in Isle, Wahkon, and Cove bays. On the west side of Lake Mille Lacs, walleye and perch continue to be pulled from 15-20 foot depths in St. Alban’s Bay. The ice has improved enough to now allow ATVs and snowmobiles to start traveling to some of the main-lake mud flats. Look to the edges of these flats during the day and on top of them during low-light periods for the most walleye. 1-888-350-2692; www.millelacs.com

Twin Cities Greater Metropolitan vicinity
Few reports are available due to current warm temperatures causing changes in ice conditions in many areas.
Northeast Metro/Chisago Lakes Area
651/257-1177; www.chisagolakeschamber.com
White Bear Area Lakes
White Bear Lake has 13-15 inches of ice on average. The area near the VFW is giving up quite a few crappies and walleye. On Bald Eagle Lake, crappie anglers are taking fish by the island, and walleye are coming through the holes at Rock Point. Please note that Bald Eagle Lake has been closed to all vehicle travel–anglers are venturing out by foot. 651/653-5122; www.ExploreWhiteBear.org

Waconia 952/442-5812; www.destinationwaconia.org

Southern Minnesota
Few reports are available due to current warm temperatures causing changes in ice conditions in many areas.

Lake City – Lake Pepin/Pool #4 Mississippi River

1-877-525-3248; www.lakecitymn.org

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country Trout Streams

1-800-944-2670; www.lanesboro.com

Rochester -Southeast Minnesota Lakes and Rivers

The stream trout bite remains good on area streams! For a list and maps showing designated winter trout fishing streams, visit the Minnesota DNR Winter Trout Streams page. 1-800-634-8277; www.rochestercvb.org

Albert Lea
Fountain Lake is giving up lots of crappies, perch and sunnies near the Edgewater Park Fishing Pier and in the Shoreland Beach area. On Albert Lea Lake, anglers report good numbers of walleye. 1-800-345-8414; www.albertleatourism.org
Fairmont Area Lakes
1-800-657-3280; www.fairmontcvb.com
Ortonville – Big Stone Lake
1-800-568-5722; www.bigstonelake.com