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Ice Coverage Safe for Fishing in Great Lakes

Despite a slow start to season, the ice coverage in the Great Lakes is finally extensive and thick enough for ice fishing.

Lake Erie, the most prone to freezing of all the lakes due to its shallow depth, is almost entirely frozen over. In early and mid-January, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported that Lake Erie was still not safe.

Ice fishing should not take place on ice with a thickness less than four inches. This sometimes requires that the sport not take place on the lakes until February.

"The lake ice coverage is pretty extensive at this point," AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Dave Samuhels said. "I think we're right in the heart of ice fishing season."

Though the early winter months hinted that a decent ice fishing season might not happen, the current coverage is only slightly less than normal.

"You can build up ice pretty quickly if you have the right conditions," AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek said.

The weather is expected to remain conducive for the sport into the month of March. Temperatures are expected to reamin higher than normal across the lakes for the next week or two.

"Overall, the weather looks pretty good. Temperatures won't be bitter cold and the winds wont be ferocious," Samuhels said.