EASTERN OREGON – For those that enjoy winter activities, skiing, snowshoeing, and in this case ice fishing, the winter of 2023-2024 has been somewhat anticlimactic, especially at lower elevations. For those that have been considering trying to get in one last ice fishing trip this season, ODFW is completely warning against it. As written in the latest ODFW recreation report:
“Ice conditions on many waterbodies have deteriorated quickly. Some waterbodies that were safe for ice fishing a few weeks ago now pose a serious risk. We don’t recommend ice fishing right now. Instead, wait until enough ice has melted to allow for safe fishing from the bank.”
On January 27th, the body of Granite County resident Mark Norenberg was recovered from Phillips Reservoir in Baker County. Norenberg was presumed to have drowned while ice fishing after his vehicle and belongings were located at the Reservoir on January 25, alongside a large opening in the ice next to a chair.
While temperatures have been slightly colder lately in some areas of Eastern Oregon, the overall warm January has made ice conditions too dangerous for proper ice fishing. As recommended by ODFW, waiting for the ice to completely thaw and allow for traditional fishing is the safest option.