WINTERFEST Cancelled due to conditions - see you next year!
Time to buy new hunting, fishing licenses
Now is the time of year for anglers and hunters to buy new fishing and hunting licenses. Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2023 expire Thursday, Feb. 29. Licenses for 2024 are now available wherever fishing and hunting licenses are sold, online (mndnr.gov/buyalicense) and by telephone at 888-665-4236. Online buyers can print the license or choose to receive a text or email that when displayed on a mobile device serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.
All 2024 fishing licenses become effective Friday, March 1. New licenses are required to participate in 2024 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 29.
Experienced local ice fishermen have reported the recent warm temps and rain have degraded the ice to the point where it is not recommended for winter activities until colder temps return.
Keep the ice clean!
Big changes are coming for all ice anglers this winter! A new law is in effect related to storing garbage and other waste (in all its forms) left on the ice. While the impetus for the law was increased dumping of sewage from permanent fish houses, it will affect all ice anglers, regardless of the type of shelter they use. Specifically, people using an ice shelter, vehicle or other conveyance on the ice may not deposit “garbage, rubbish, cigarette filters, debris from fireworks, offal, the body of a dead animal, litter, sewage or any other waste outside the shelter, motor vehicle or conveyance, unless the material is placed in a container that is secured to the shelter, motor vehicle or conveyance, and not placed directly on the ice or in state waters.”
The law is aimed at ensuring everyone who uses the ice can do so without encountering garbage and other substances that are not only a potential environmental concern, but an eyesore that takes away from a quality experience for winter recreationists of all kinds. During the winter, complaints about litter left on the ice are among the most common that DNR conservation officers receive.
They take these complaints seriously and work to locate violators. The penalty for a violation is a petty misdemeanor and carries a fine of $100.
Make a plan to store your garbage when you head out ice fishing. If you can’t store it inside your vehicle, bring colored garbage bags, a sturdy waste receptacle that won’t break in cold and the proper tools to secure them to your shelter, motor vehicle, snowmobile, trailer or other vehicles you drive out on the ice. Garbage and human/pet waste do not belong on the ice. Take off what you take on! Read the new statute online.
Latest Ice over in our records - January 12!
For the first time in over 2 decades of record keeping we have now recorded a second Ice Out date within a Calendar Year. Lake Sarah froze over on December 2, 2023 but the unseasonably warm temps and rain were too much for the ice sheet and the lake thawed to almost entirely open water by Christmas Day. The lake finally froze over again on January 12, 2024 (with an exception for a small area being kept open by a flock of geese on the west bay which froze over on 1/14/24.
Freeze overs with partial reopenings have occured in 2007 and 2011 but those open water areas were less than half of either bay. 2023 is the new standard for a do over on ice over.
Many of the questions emailed to this site regard illegal or inconsiderate snowmobile, atv, boat or pwc operation or fishing/hunting violation questions. To report illegal vehicular activity you should contactHennepin County Sheriff Water Patrol (612)596-9880, or West Hennepin Public Safety (763)479-0500, The Water Patrol will not issue a citation for offenses they do not witness. They may issue a citation if the witness agrees sign the complaint (much like a citizens arrest). If you plan on filing charges against an individual you should make note of the date, time, vehicle description and license number, identity or good description of the operator. A side note; If the offender wishes to appear in court you may be required to appear as witness / accuser. To report hunting or fishing violations call DNR West Metro Conservation Officer: Ben Ulrich Phone: (651)242-2166, DNR Enforcement (651)582-1502, ororTIP (turn in poachers) toll free hotline 800-652-9093.Click the blue text for a copy of the Minnesota Snowmobile Regs , Personal Watercraft Regs , MN Boating Guide , ATV/OHV Regs, or the current MN Fishing Regulations , in Adobe Acrobat Reader format (.pdf).
Lake Sarah (MN DNR #27-0191) is located in sections 1 and 2, township 118, range 24; and in sections 34 and 35, township 119, range 24, Hennepin County, Minnesota. GPS 45°4'19"N 93°41'24"W surrounded by the Minnesota cities of Independence, Greenfield, Loretto, Medina, and Rockford. Click here to view a Google hybrid map of lake Sarah. Suggestions for content and services to be provided by this site are always welcome!E-mail this websitewith your feedback, suggestions, comments or ideas.