EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) -
Lakes in Eagle River are still covered in ice, only days away from the start of fishing season.
Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce Conrad Heeg says ice still covers all 28 lakes in the Eagle River Chain.
Heeg says it's not the ideal start for opening weekend.
"It's going to be a bit slower than we'd like it to be," said Heeg. "There's no kidding about it, having open water on all the lakes would be what we prefer, but we don't have that."
But anglers anxious to get out can still do so this weekend. They just have to adjust for Mother Nature.
"The channels between, which is the Eagle River, there's places that you can fish," said Heeg.
A slow start to the fishing season also means a slow start for bait and tackle shops in the area. Business owners say they're waiting for sales to pick up.
"It just slows things down and backs things up for the whole season," said George Langley, the co-owner of Eagle Sports. "You need people to be enthused about the fact that they're going to be able to go fishing very soon and they haven't quite gotten there yet."
But even with the frozen lakes, tourism leaders say they still expect a busy weekend.
"It's still going to be more people in town than there were last weekend," said Langley. "It just brings people out."
Tourism leaders say the ice on northern lakes this time of year is not new. The same thing happened a year ago.
They say they expect the ice should all be melted by next week.