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Polar Vortex, My Butt!

I was not going to blog about this today, was going to keep it light for the weekend, but I heard another report this morning and I have to pass this along. . . .


The uninitiated will not believe me because after all, we experienced the “Armageddon” of cold snaps this week (like we have never had cold weather before).  Surely, we have 4 feet of ice right now?!


And don’t call me “Shirley”.

I have been around the past week or so, and have fished on up to 15 inches of ice.  I have also seen a lot of open water.  You might believe we have had enough cold weather to make safe ice.  You might be wrong.

Yes, in some parts of Nebraska, on some waterbodies, we have plenty of ice right now.  But, in other parts of the state, on some waterbodies, you might not even have enough ice to get off the shore.

I will always tell you that wind is the worst, nothing “eats” ice like wind.  If you remember, before the so-called “polar vortex” last week, we had hurricane-force winds, gusts up to 70 mph.  Those gusty winds unfortunately ate a lot of ice and some waters went from having plenty of ice to literally having none.

Then, to make it worse, it got cold for a couple of days and some of that open water skimmed over again.  Let me emphasize the word “SKIM”.  So, the ice conditions on many waters are not nearly what they appear to be, and if you are not careful, not watching where you are going, you could get in trouble real fast.

One more time, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of using THE ice safety tool, a spud bar!

Ice Safety Reminder, Again!

The next couple, three days ain’t gonna make things any better, but looking into next week it is supposed to get cold again.  All that is going to do is the same thing we have seen all winter this winter–“ups” and “downs” in temperatures, variability in weather, and that will result in more variability in ice conditions.  We are into February already, so I do not expect ice conditions to get much better all this winter.  If you are going to be on the ice, and Lord knows I will be trying, you better be careful every step of the way!

Have a great weekend, hope you can get on the ice, just be very careful.

Enjoy the Super Bowl.  No matter who wins, Huskers and Nebraskans are going to be very much in the middle of the action!

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About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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