Snow conditions remain good on land;
Say what you will but with the arrival of February you can see the end of winter. Yes, there will be snow ahead; yes, there will be cold; yes, the nights are still far longer than the daylight hours. But come February we can make an argument that we are over the hump on winter. And February arrives on Sunday.
Last February was a beast; cold and snow and then more cold and more snow. The book is yet to be written this year but we are coming off a January that saw a move to average temperatures and moderate snowfalls. If February continues this trend to the norm we will have good days ahead.
For now we are sitting pretty good. Snow cover is good for skiers, adequate for snowmobilers. With very little snow downstate all trails in the area are receiving heavy use of late.
Skiers will find very good trail conditions across the north. There is simply not much else to say about that. We are fortunate with good snow and trail grooming and are set up well for the upcoming week.
Snowmobile trails are mostly good but heavy traffic has worn some areas down. Late January was a dry period; it’s been a few weeks without significant snowfall and all trails can use more snow. Groomers are working hard but without much new snow there is a limit on what to expect. We think trails will hold up to the “good” conditions but need more snow in most cases.
Snow sports are in good shape; ice fishing perhaps less so. Two factors are at work here. For one we are in a time frame when walleyes simply are less active than early season and at the same time panfish have not come on. And then there is lake ice conditions. We continue to get reports of slush on many lakes in the region and no matter how good the fishing may be if one can’t get out on the lake fishing isn’t going to happen.
For now a lot of anglers are on the sidelines waiting for better conditions. Those who are getting out are actually enjoying some success as walleyes remain active on a few lakes and on a good day crappies and bluegills are coming on. Best we can hope for is for the slush to abate which will lead to better access and more angling.
The Outdoor Report is provided by the staff of Mel’s Trading Post in downtown Rhinelander.