Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Where is the Ice?

January… the first "real" month of winter is about to pass us by and I have yet to find safe ice to go fishing here in the Greater Hamilton Area.
Typically by this time of year – I have made three or four ice fishing trips to local Conservation Areas such as Valens, Fifty Point, Binbrook, Pinehurst and even the Hamilton Harbor.  These locations have been reporting less than the recommended levels of safe ice and/or open water hazards that have kept me at home in my “man cave” – setting up ice fishing gear over and over again.

Frustration is running large amongst ice fishing enthusiasts.   Ice Fishing Derbies have been postponed or even cancelled outright due to the lack of ice producing cold temperatures.  The long range weather forecast is predicting February to be much of the same.   With temperatures clearly reporting above average levels for this time of year, you have got to start to wonder if we are running out of time for having the outdoor ice surface that we have become accustomed to, during our winters.

Plus it is not only the ice anglers that will lose out…add to the list those people who partake in ice skating, pond hockey, Ice Fest, even the cross country skiers are taking a hit.  Is this how we are to remember the winter of 2012?   Is this the effect of global warming and climate change all in one season?  What or how, do we predict our future winters will feel or look like?

As much as it is to my chagrin…I am still holding out to the thought of getting some time on the ice this winter.  With winter – “it’s never quite over, till it’s over”.

Gordon R. Costie
Valens Conservation Area

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