2018-03-15 / Outdoors

Lake Leelanau angler warns of ‘deceiving’ ice

Little Glen open

It’s common sense season.

Ice on Lake Leelanau was starting to deteriorate leading up to today’s Department of Natural Resources permanent shanty-removal deadline — although the lake is still fishable.

“Ice is probably between 8 and 9 inches but it’s honeycombed on top,” said Al Garvin, who lives on the southern edge of the south basin. “I couldn’t believe (Sunday) morning it was 25 degrees at daybreak, but it’s not safe.

“It’s so deceiving, especially here.”

One angler tested his luck over the weekend on a snowmobile. Garvin said that might not be the best idea.

Greg Alsip, who owns Lake Effect Fishing Charters and manages the Lake Leelanau Narrows Resort, said some anglers have begun fishing elsewhere.

“Some guys have been getting out on West Bay for lake trout and perch in boats,” said Alsip, who reminds anglers that the walleye and pike seasons come to a close today, as well.

Glen Lake

East wind deteriorated the ice on Little Glen from the narrows to the dunes — but Big Glen is still frozen. “I’ve never seen that in my life,” resident sportsman Mike Shimek said. Shimek also spotted anglers on Lime Lake and Little Traverse Lake.

Leelanau Trail

Fresh powder meant fresh tracks along the Leelanau Trail over the weekend. According to an update on the TART Trails website, a volunteer groomer hit the trail from the Fouch Road parking lot to Suttons Bay on Saturday, and the trail is in exceptional shape. “There are very few bare spots and minimal icy sections,” Saturday’s report says. “The surface is firm with a consistent texture of fine corduroy. Skate skiing should be fantastic! There is no track set but classic skiers should have an equally enjoyable outing. Fat Bikes may still carve into the snow a bit but if temps stay low or drop — it could be rippin’ fast. No real sunshine today but the temps are mild and the visual treats are everywhere you look.”

Heritage Trail

“Fresh snow the past couple of days gave us one last opportunity to groom the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail,” Kerry Kelly wrote in a report sent last Thursday. “The entire trail from Empire to Glen Arbor and on to Port Oneida Road was groomed today. We were also able to groom Palmer Woods. This is probably the last grooming of the (trail) for this season!” Snow was light near Glen Haven, the Dune Climb and just north of the Bar Lake trailhead in Empire, Kelly wrote, but snow cover in the wooded areas was much better.

Editor’s note: The Enterprise invites all ice fishermen, cross-country skiers, downhill skiers, fat-tire bikers, ice boaters, snowmobilers, hockey players, and other outdoor sports enthusiasts to email snow and ice reports to jason@leelanaunews.com by Tuesday.

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