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Stubborn lake ice impedes Ontario walleye season opener

There is good news and bad news for anglers in northwestern Ontario as the long weekend approaches.
The owner of a fishing camp in Dryden has had to phone some of the people booked at her lodge this weekend that they won't be able to put their boat in because of the persistent ice on Wabigoon Lake. (File photo) (Daniel Miller/Associated Press)

There is good news and bad news for anglers in northwestern Ontario as the long weekend approaches.

The good news is the ice is finally disappearing on some popular fishing lakes around Thunder Bay.

An outfitter on Sawmill Bay, on Lac des Mille Lacs said his end of the lake has been open for a few days.

“It opened up Saturday morning … the old river current across the bay,” Gary McCourt said.

“Saturday afternoon [the ice was] half way across the bay. Sunday, 99 per cent of the bay [was] open.”

The bad news is people waiting to fish other popular lakes in the region are not so lucky.  

“Let’s just say there is still ice on the lake,” said Nancy Davis, co-owner of Bonny Bay Camp, on Wabigoon Lake near Dryden.

“And I cannot tell [you if] it will be out for the weekend. But it's totally white here. I don’t think we will have ice out."

Davis said she had to phone some of the people booked at her lodge this weekend to tell them they wouldn't be able to put a boat in.

It’s the first time in 13 years they've had ice on Wabigoon Lake for the walleye opener. 

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