Herald JournalHerald Journal, Feb. 3, 2003

Howard Lake ice is OK for fishing derby

By Lynda Jensen

Local ice fishing enthusiasts reported Howard Lake ice to be in good condition for the 57th annual fishing derby Saturday, Feb. 8, despite the reports of several fish houses falling in the center of the lake three weeks ago.

"The ice is very good," reported angler Rod Werner. He estimated the ice thickness to be about 18 to 20 inches, even after the houses fell.

Werner took his house off using a four wheeler after the houses went down and noted that the center of the lake should be avoided ­ although this area is well marked, he said.

Angler Jerry Pettit estimated that there is about 20 inches of ice.

Jim Wackler also echoed this sentiment, saying the ice is very good on the lake.

However, anyone venturing on the ice should use care, noted Brad Wozney of the Wright County Soil and Water Conservation.

Conditions vary lake to lake and some ice is spotty, he said.

"Follow previous vehicles," and exercise caution, Wozney said.

Werner has witnessed many vehicles on Howard Lake in the meantime, he said.

The fishing derby will be conducted from 2 to 4 p.m., and is sponsored by the Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club every year.

The grand prize is a King Crow Deluxe Fish House on wheels, first prize is a power ice auger, and second a Ducks Unlimited print. Raffle tickets are available at Joe's Sport Shop.

There will be no cancellation due to weather.

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