Poor ice conditions impacting fishing tourism in Minnesota

Resorts in Minnesota’s cabin country are getting a delayed start to the winter season, as poor ice conditions are impacting fishing tourism.  

"Our winter wonderland will take off – its inevitable – it's just a little slower this year," said Linda Eno the owner of Twin Pines Resort in Garrison. 

It's been a mild start to winter in Minnesota, delaying the start of the ice fishing season on most lakes across the state.

Eno said they usually re-open for the season immediately after Christmas, but with the ice on Lake Mille Lacs still very thin, she doesn’t expect they’ll open until after the New Year. 

"I’ve got staff that’s waiting to wait tables and cook and clean rooms. So, it affects not just me and my bottom line, but it affects a lot of people all the way down the line."

Historically, Eno says January has been their busiest month, with 40 ice houses available to rent from December through March. Right now, she can still see plenty of open water not far beyond the shore calling the conditions "unique" but saying they’ll adjust.

"[The season] is short to begin with. It's practically eight weekends to begin with," she said. "Now you lose at least one."

Eno encourages anglers to call ahead of time, as some resorts are located on bays where ice conditions are safe for fishing.