Lake Mendota froze officially on January 34, www.fishing.info/engberg_12_08_11.html2021. The median freeze date date for the lake is December 20th. With the lake freeze, the tundra swans and other water fowl left, and a new set of lake water foragers has arrived: Ice fishermen. Their arrival completes the annual cycles until spring sets in.
The deeper waters off Picnic Point are a hot spot for good sized perch. At this time, walleyes are still found in water less than 15 feet deep, but as the winter progresses, they will move to mid-lake. Also this early in the year, the fishermen catch fish attracted to the various baits throughout the day, but as winter progresses the best times are early morning and the later in the day. (see http://www.fishing.info/engberg_12_08_11 for more information on good ice fishing spots in Lake Mendota)
Gisela Kutzbach and contributors