I have a couple of news items that warrant a quick update today.
First of all, there have been hundreds of dead freshwater drum show up in the tailwaters below Gavins Point Dam in the past couple of days. Reports I have are that most of those fish are on the north side of the tailwaters. I will tell you that anytime a fish die-off is comprised of primarily one species it suggests some type of disease outbreak, but not always. Samples have been collected already to try to better determine what is going on there. It will take some time for those samples to be analyzed, so until then, stay tuned.
Secondly, Nebraska is a big state and I will not pretend to know ice conditions for all waters throughout the state, but I do know I checked on some this morning. I took a quick drive over to Holmes Lake (actually a reservoir, but call it a “lake” if you must”) this morning. I do not know that a person could even get on the ice there as there was open water along all the edges that I looked at, and I walked along several shorelines. There was also significant areas of open water in the middle of the reservoir, and even worse, we have had a 15-20 mph wind here in Lincoln today. I have not looked at ice conditions on any other waters in southeast Nebraska, but I cannot imagine them being any better than what I saw at Holmes. I will always tell you that anytime you walk onto the ice you need to make sure it is safe, http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2011/12/hold-horses/ , and we may be waiting awhile, again, here in the southeast part of the state.
Let me also take this opportunity to post a warning–do not even think of mentioning to me how nice the weather has been lately or what a nice mild winter it has been so far. When December rolls around it is time for me to be pulling fish through holes in the ice. The longer this weather stays warm and the longer I am not on the ice the grumpier I will be. Bah, Humbug, and all of that!
“I wanna ice-fish, baby”!