Lake ice deemed safe for Devils Lake Volunteer Ice Fishing Tourney

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
Officials have been out checking the ice at Six Mile Bay this week as the big Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament nears. This photo was taken at the 2010 tourney.

Right now, everything is forging ahead for the 27th annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department’s Ice Fishing Tournament Jan 28.

There had been some concern over ice conditions at Six Mile Bay, the tournament location.

The Lake Region was deluged with early, heavy snow before the lake had a chance to freeze hard.

With that in play and the heavy snow acting as an insulation for the water, Fire Chief Jim Moe said he preferred to err on the side of caution.

“We checked it out over the weekend and we found 11-18 inches of ice pretty consistently over the tournament location,” said Moe.

“And the snow conditions weren’t quite as serious as we might have thought.”

Moe said there’s about 10 inches of snow spread over Six Mile Bay.

He said he and a couple of other tournament officials took an ATV Trac Machine across the ice and snow to hopefully get a handle on conditions.

They did drill some holes in the area and water came up to the surface, which is a concern.

But another check of conditions is on tap this weekend, and Moe said there are plans to visit with Kyle Blanchfield to get some of his expertise on the ice.

“Right now, there’s nothing planned,” added Moe. “We’re just going to wait a week and see what happens.”

With extreme cold forecast for the weekend, and the ice cleared off Six Mile Bay, Moe and tournament officials are hoping the ice will have an opportunity to thicken.

Moe said right now, everything’s a go for Jan. 28 and something very extreme would have to occur to force a cancellation of the tournament.