Friday, March 16, 2012

Houghton Lake Ice Out Underway

Dead Stream Flooding by Reedsburg Dam
Houghton Lake and surrounding area bodies of water and waterways could be ice free by the end of March if not sooner. Due to the warm temperatures all winter, especially in March (as much as 25 degrees above normal for this time of year), the ground never fully froze. And along with the abundance of sunny days areas such as Dead Stream Flooding by Reedsburg Dam are 90% open water. The melting snow and ice has caused high water levels and fast moving rivers and creeks.

In the photo above you just see a small amount of ice along the western shore. This was taken on March 15, 2012. Many Geese, Ducks and other water fowl have already returned to the area.

Reedsburg Dam March 2012
As seen in the photograph on the right, the water levels on the low side (riverside) of Reedsburg Dam are very high. The water is almost to the bottom of the west bank access stairs. The water is moving so swiftly it was near impossible to fish this side of the bridge. Reports are that there's no activity in this area.

Fishing will probably remain poor until the water temperatures rise and the water levels recede to normal after the spring runoff.

If the warm weather persists summer fishing will begin early this year. The downside is that the insect population could explode early with record numbers. But until then I'm just enjoying the warm days for as long as they last.

For those who fish or camp at Backus Lake off M-18, there is lumber being harvested in the area. That coupled with the early thaw is leaving deep muddy ruts along the road that are hard to get through even with four wheel drive. The dirt road is usually muddy and wet during the spring but with the trucks and heavy equipment rolling over them it's much worse. Hopefully they will be done soon and the road will be graded to fill the ruts. Many people enjoy camping by the lake during the spring and summer. Right now it would be impossible to get a camper back there.

Take Care,

Ken S

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