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Anglers concerned ice will persist for fishing opener

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Record snow falls, chilly temperatures and a "winter on steroids" are all terms used to describe Minnesota weather in the month of April this year.

As winter continues to tighten its grip, those anticipating the fishing opener in just a few weeks are worried they'll encounter ice-covered lakes.

At this time last year, the Star Tribune reports, residents in the Twin Cities and northern Minnesota were basking in unusually warm weather, mowing lawns and enjoying record early ice-outs.

This month has proved to be the snowiest April in the Twin Cities in 11 years. Up north, lakes such as Itasca and Lake of the Woods have about 3 feet of ice.

WCCO reports the unusual weather could make for a historically late ice-out date on Lake Minnetonka, where ice is 20 inches thick in some spots.

This never-ending winter could also take a toll on Minnesota tourism, stalling the reopening of campground buildings at Itasca State Park and the usual spring work of painting cabins or preparing boats at resorts across the northland.

"We'll keep praying," says Jamie Dietman, a Brainerd fishing guide. "We need to lose an inch of ice a day to make the opener. Guess it’s just one of those years to remember."

With close to 5,500 fishable lakes and 15,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, Minnesota ranks No. 1 nationally in sales of fishing licenses per capita, according to KSTP.

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