CHADRON — Nebraska Game and Parks Commission officials have temporarily closed access to Blue Lake in Garden County because of deteriorating ice conditions.
The trail was closed during the nine days of firearm deer season and Game and Parks officials decided to extend the closure after assessing the lake’s condition Monday. With wind and warmer temperatures, the fishable ice has melted around the edge of the lake at the access point.
Joe Rydell, northwestern district fisheries biologist, said the lake will be monitored and the trail will reopen when ice conditions improve.
“The way it is now, fishermen would have to use chest waders, or walk on private property, to get on the ice,” Rydell said.
A lease agreement with a private landowner allows for public use of the 2.7-mile sandy two-track trail to Blue Lake, which is 22 miles north of Oshkosh near the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
A cold snap provided early fishing for many ice anglers, but warmer temperatures and wind have caused the ice to deteriorate in recent days. Ice anglers and others are encouraged to practice safety when visiting bodies of water this winter, especially during periods of transition from cold weather to warmer temperatures.