Weather Impacts Wisconsin Fishing Opener, Area Economy

By KBJR News 1

May 3, 2013 Updated May 3, 2013 at 11:38 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - The Fishing opener in Wisconsin is usually a sign of spring, but this year it's looking a whole lot more like winter.

With some Northland lakes still frozen, some anglers are staying home.

"It is slow, yes it is," said Bait Box owner, Steve Dinda, who says business isn't anywhere near where it should be, "It'd be very busy in here, minnows would be flying out the door."

But the only thing flying this opener seems to be the snow, with winter–like conditions leaving some lakes still frozen.

"Local lakes, a lot of them, are inaccessible due to the ice being at the boat launches and stuff," said Joe Madison of Northwest Outlet, where employees say sales of fishing licenses are down this year.

"We still do have people coming in to buy products, but some of the things they're buying are a little different, more warmer clothing and that kind of stuff which is unusual compared to last year," Madison said.

A slow fishing opener could mean less money into the area economy.
According to a Wisconsin DNR survey, fishing prompts 1.2 million people to spend $8.6 million a day.

By the end of the season, that brings in nearly a billion dollars in state and federal taxes and earns workers in the fishing and tourism industries $1.5 billion.

Governor Scott Walker had plans to attend the opener in Cable this weekend, but had to reschedule due to icy conditions at the airport.
Officials say he's planning to celebrate the opener in a few weeks.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.