Vilas County is opening their snowmobile trail system this Friday at 6pm. That means St. Germain and north, ie: Sayner, Eagle River, Conover, Boulder Junction, etc will be open. Sugar Camp, Woodruff, Arbor Vitae are in a different County, so at the moment, those trails technically open Dec 15. Iron County trails are already open, which includes trails north of Manitowish towards Mercer.
St. Germain woke up to -7 degrees this morning, and the bitter cold snap will turn into temperatures a little more pleasant, like 14 degrees. Yes.... The lakes are gaining ice quickly...... After I spoke to three resorts around the lake, 8-10" of ice are the consistent reports on Little Saint. Black Bear Eddie called yesterday morning about when to mark Little St. Germain with barrels. We've agreed part of the bay will be marked weather permitting over the weekend, and the rest of the lake will be marked early next week. The disclaimer of waiting for lakes to be marked before traveling on them always holds true. ie: Do as I say, not as I do.
Most if not all the snowmobile trails from St. Germain and north have been groomed. I've noticed fresh groomer tracks in St. Germain last night and Eagle River was out Tuesday night. Between the wet snow fall last week and a long long long cold snap, we should have a killer base to start. We are 8.1 " ahead of last year to date with snowfall. The target date to open trails is December 13 in Vilas County and December 15 in Oneida County.
I spoke to a director at Winter Park. They are grooming cross country trails and they are open for business! With up to 12" of heavy base on the ground, I think the cross country skiers will be happy too.
Early ice fishing has been good. We've had several walleye taken off of our resort prior to the cold snap. Most fish were either undersized, or in the 15" to 17" category. Three walleyes measured 25.5" this season this week, and at least one legal walleye a day is caught around my resort. Actually, it's been a pretty good start to the early ice fishing.
This is a great start to our winter, and this is the first time I've seen the lakes frozen by Thanksgiving in a long time. And we have plenty of snow for grooming cross country and snowmobile trails.
The 2014 Polaris Snowmobile Lineup
Average High Today: 27
Average Low Today: 11
Sunrise Today: 7:26 AM
Sunset Today: 4:11 PM
December Snowfall: 11.2 inches
Snow Depth: 11 + inches
2013-2014 Snow Total: 18.5 inches
Record Snowfall: 10.3/2010