U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take to Lake Pepin to start Ice mea - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers take to Lake Pepin to start Ice measurements

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(FOX 47) -

There are plenty of  people still taking full advantage of Lake Pepin for ice fishing.

"It's been a real good solid season so far this year," Kelly Anway, an ice fisher on the lake, said. "No whoppers but steady action so that's what we like."

But for businesses who use the Mississippi to haul product north and south, it can be pretty detrimental.

"They run a lot of schedules, that's why they're trying to get back on the river as soon as possible," Dan DeVaney, a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said.

That's why the USACE was out on the lake, to start taking measurements of the ice thickness.

"As far as ice is concerned, it's pretty typical," DeVaney said. "We were seeing a lot of measurements between 20 and 30 inches and that's pretty typical for the first survey of the year."

It is a pretty straightforward process, but you really need an air-boat.

Even though it was a bit of a bumpy ride, team members made their way to 18 different locations up and down the lake.

Armed with a drill and a ruler.

They'll be doing the same process for the next few weeks, tracking the melting ice.

"It could be a couple inches, it could be more than that," DeVaney said. "It all depends on the sun or if we get some rain."

As long as the ice stays more than a foot thick, barges will avoid the channel and fishermen will continue to enjoy the lake.

"Usually some of the best fishing going on right before spring," Anway said.

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