Thin ice causing concerns for business, safety - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thin ice causing concerns for business, safety


Thursday was another warm Iowa winter day. It was also another day for bait shops and sporting good stores like Palo Outdoors where the fishermen weren't biting.

"When the weather is in the 25-30 degree range in the winter, we get a lot of traffic, and that's just not the case right now," said Matt Schrantz, a manager at Palo Outdoors.

The unseasonable weather means fishing destinations like Lake McBride have patches of thin ice.

As a result, manager Schrantz says his customers aren't taking chances, and sales of bait and ice fishing supplies have dropped by more than 60 percent.

"There's those hot spots and the people who aren't familiar with them aren't getting out there which I think is probably the smart thing to do," he said.

Officials are warning of more potential ice hazards at Coralville Lake.

"There's a lot of places on the lake where there's pretty solid ice cover or pretty continuous ice cover and people need to be aware that it's getting pretty rotten at this point in time," said Randy Haas, chief ranger of the Army Corps of Engineers at Coralville Lake.

The Army Corps of Engineers is beginning its draw down of the lake by four feet.  Increasing the storage space of the reservoir to make room for anticipated spring rains.

Officials worry the draw down could create a space between the water and ice.

"If somebody did go through they wouldn't be able to get back out," Haas said. 

Reason for fishermen and businesses alike to look forward to a spring melt.



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