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Less ice over Lake Milton due to milder winter has been both good, bad for fishermen

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Resident Rick Spahlinger said there's always someone ice fishing in the winter months, but not this year

LAKE MILTON, Ohio (WYTV) – This time of year, Lake Milton is usually frozen over, but with this winter’s fairly mild temperatures, that’s not the case.

It’s had both a negative and positive impact on residents.

“The month of February is usually some of the prime ice fishing months,” said John Trevelline, manager of Lake Milton State Park.

That’s not the case this year on Lake Milton.

“Obviously, the lack of ice has impacted people all winter. We didn’t have a thick enough layer of ice on the lake for people to go out at any point this season,” Trevelline said.

Rick Spahlinger has lived on the lake for the last 20 years and said most of the time, there’s always someone ice fishing in the winter months.

“Absolutely nobody was able to ice fish because we never froze enough for that. But in previous years, you’d see maybe a dozen or so people out — shanties, ice fishing — but that’s about it for this year and it doesn’t look like we’re gonna get any ice,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean people still can’t enjoy the water.

“When you see conditions like this, people are bringing their small boats out. People are still able to do some of the winter fishing, it’s just, they’re not able to walk out on the ice,” Trevelline said.

The lack of ice has given residents a chance to get a jump start on getting ready for days on the water.

Every October, lake officials drop the water about eight feet. The lack of ice made it a little easier on them this year.

“When they do the drop, usually they have to watch with ice and we try to limit and curtail damage that can happen from it because it can do damage to people’s private docks,” Trevelline said.

With hardly an ice this year and the water so low now, residents like Spahlinger were able to do some repairs on their docks in time for summer.

“You want it to be safe and a good place for people to use. It’s very important to keep them up,” Spahlinger said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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