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It’s time to go ice fishing in state’s northern reservoirs

It’s time for anglers to dig out their ice fishing rods and look for action at Nevada’s northern reservoirs. Though conditions are not yet safe at some waters, ice anglers will find conditions just right at destinations such as Eagle Valley reservoir and the reservoirs at Kirch Wildlife Management Area.

“I have to admit there is something unnerving about walking out on a slab of ice to go fishing,” said Doug Nielsen, conservation education supervisor for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. “But the whole experience is really fun once you start catching fish. Sometimes the action is very fast, and you don’t need any special equipment. Any fishing rod will do.”

Holes can be drilled through the ice using either a manual or power auger. Nevada regulation limits the allowable hole size to no more than 10 inches. Baits such as night crawlers, PowerBait and salmon eggs, or hardware can be fished through the hole.

Experienced ice fishermen will tell you the most important information to have before you walk on the hard water is the current condition of the ice. Taking the time to ask before you go can prevent a tragic end to an outdoor adventure. Even if the ice is thick enough in one area, it might not be in others. If the ice is clear blue and consistently more than four inches thick, it can safely support adult anglers. On the other hand, when there are areas of dark ice and snow with slush, the ice is probably too thin or weak to support a person’s weight.

A rule of thumb in cold country is “Thick and blue, tried and true; thin and crispy, way too risky.”

Even after checking on ice conditions, it is always a good idea to carry ice claws just in case the ice breaks and you or someone else falls through. Ice claws can be purchased at a commercial vendor or made by inserting a nail into one end of a four- to six-inch piece of a wooden dowel. With a string attached to two claws, anglers can easily wear them around their neck and have easy access to them should an emergency occur.

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