2/11/2020 Tioga County Ice Update
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Warmer days and light rain have helped melt down the snow on all of the lakes, which is starting to refreeze into a layer of ice on top. Conditions are improving and with temperatures plummeting later this week, we will be in better shape for the weekend. Today, all of the lakes have a layer of 1-2 inches of slush on top, some of which should start refreezing tonight. A few people were out fishing on both Hamilton and Hills Creek today.
It's still important to note that ice thicknesses are varied and there are still thinner spots. ALWAYS check conditions yourself before heading out onto the ice. These reports are for your reference only.
Hills Creek Lake- We started at the stumps end launch and accessed the ice with no problem. It is still thinner on this side, measuring 3-4" with an additional 1-2 inches of slush/junk ice on top. Some spots measured 5" with the top inch being refrozen slush. The edges are good too at the Pines launch. Here, conditions are slightly better, measuring between 4 and 6", with 4" of that being decent ice and the top being slush or frozen slush. Quite a few people fished here over the weekend, catching a variety of panfish.
Beechwood Lake-The ice right at the boat launch is still a little soggy, but we had no problem accessing the ice. We measured 4-5" of decent ice with an inch plus of water/slush on top. Some areas measured over 6", but the top 1-2" is refrozen slush. On Sunday, anglers were fishing off the boat launch area and all along the road side. We're told there is thinner ice near the dam. Spud, spud, spud, and keep an eye out for thinner ice. Some trout are being caught, plus lots of small perch, nice pickerel, and some crappies.
Nessmuk Lake- The parking area is still covered in a lot of snow with slick conditions. We accessed the ice off the boat launch, measuring 4-6" of ice with the top layer being slush or frozen slush. Some nice panfish were caught here this week, but remember Nessmuk is still under Catch & Release Regulations.
Hamilton Lake- The boat launch area has open water by the creek channel, but the deeper end of the lake continues to have the best ice in the area. The lake is still up a couple feet and edges are frozen, but softer. A few people were fishing, catching panfish today, and we measured 6-8" of ice working across towards the tower. Again, the top couple inches is frozen slush and other areas have water/slush on top.
We won't see much change in conditions until late Thursday. Temps dropping into the low teens and down to near or below 0 Friday will firm up the slush. Until then, definitely wear waterproof boots if you head out fishing.
Check conditions yourself before heading out. Good luck and be safe out there.