Take a Kid Ice Fishing

     I’m glad I planned to go ice fishing this weekend since I will be killing two birds with one stone.  (What an awful saying that is, anyone have a better one that means the same?)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging people to take time this weekend to introduce a few kids – and maybe even an adult or two – to ice fishing, one of our state’s most popular winter outdoor activities.

The 2007 Minnesota Legislature established a new Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend. The DNR designated Feb. 16-18, as Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend for 2008, corresponding to the Presidents’ Day weekend. During this weekend, anglers older than 16 do not need a license if they are accompanied by a child younger than 16 and actively participating in Take-A-Kid Ice Fishing Weekend.

“The idea is to give anglers an opportunity to show kids just how much fun ice fishing can be,” said Jenifer Matthees, DNR MinnAqua program coordinator. “The only way to do that is to get these excitable young anglers-to-be on the ice.”

How popular is ice fishing in Minnesota? Each year an estimated 150,000 shelters – permanent and temporary – are perched on lakes from Worthington to Warroad. DNR Fisheries estimates that about 30 percent of the annual fish harvest occurs when Minnesota’s 10,0000 lakes are frozen over.

Ice fishing presents anglers with some unique issues so the MinnAqua staff have put together a few online tips and assembled several Internet resources. Click the ice fishing banner on the right side of mndnr.gov to access the information.

MinnAqua is a statewide education program designed to teach angling recreation and stewardship as well as the ecology and conservation of aquatic habitats.