BOW December Newsletter and Classes

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minnesota department of natural resources

Becoming An Outdoors Woman December Newsletter

December 1, 2020

Pro-Angler Mandy Uhrich ice fishing

Ice Fishing in Minnesota 

Winter is here and so is the season to enjoy an increasingly popular Minnesota pastime - ice fishing.

Ice fishing is easy to learn, exciting and fun for the whole family. This newsletter provides you with a helpful link to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources “Learn to Ice Fish” information as well as ice safety information. It also includes a registration for a new live webinar with pro-angler Mandy Uhrich on how to ice fish. Also included are in-person ice fishing classes suitable for the entire family through Three Rivers Parks District.

Learn to Ice Fish

Ice fishing has become increasingly popular, yet ice fishing can be a bit mystifying for those who have not yet ventured out. The DNR’s Learn to Ice Fish webpage is a great place to learn how to ice fish! This site provides details on how to fish for a variety of species including sunfish, perch, northern pike, crappies and walleye. Each page details the when, where and how to fish for each species, including the basic equipment needed. This page also provides helpful tips on how to dress, equipment and regulations.

Ice fishing does not require a large initial investment. The small open-faced reels you use for open water fishing can be used for ice fishing. You will want a short rod as you just drop the line in the hole. Ice fishing rods are relatively inexpensive, and you can even make your own jiggle stick which is a fun craft for the whole family. Lures and line are inexpensive as well. The only bigger ticket item you need is either a hand auger or power ice auger. Tag along with a friend, hire a guide, or join one of the in-person classes listed below, to experience ice fishing for the first time before you invest in equipment.

Remember to purchase your fishing license to ice fish. You can fish without a license in many State Parks and adults can fish without a license if accompanied by a child under age 15 during Take A Kid Ice Fishing weekend January 16 - 18.

Ice safety

There really is no sure answer for when ice is safe. You cannot judge the strength of ice simply by its appearance. A variety of factors - age, thickness, air temperature and snow conditions – all play a role in ice strength. Similarly, the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry, under water currents and local climatic conditions all influence ice strength and depth. Ice is seldom the same thickness over a single body of water.

The general guideline is you need a minimum of four inches of clear ice to walk on the ice. Make sure to check ice thickness at least every 150 feet as you venture out onto the ice. Double the thickness of ice needed to be safe if the ice is cloudy in appearance. To learn more about ice safety visit DNR’s ice safety webpage.


ice guideline

NEW! Basics of Ice Fishing Webinar, January 14

Lie Fishing Webinar, Thursday January 14, Noon to 1 p.m., Free, Registration Required.

Register here to join Pro-angler Mandy Uhrich as she teaches the basics of ice fishing live on January 14. Mandy will demonstrate equipment and techniques needed for this winter tradition. This webinar is open to the public.

Ice Fishing Family Classes and Women Snowshoeing

BOW works with Three Rivers Parks to offer classes for both women and families. Below is a list of family friendly in-person classes to learn how to ice fish. You do not need a license for these fishing classes! Three Rivers Park Registration is required prior to the event or call 765-559-6700 to register. December programs are currently open for registration; January programs open for registration on December 16 Silverwood Park is in St. Anthony and Fish Lake Regional Park is in Maple Grove.

Ice Fishing with Family or Friends, Ages 10+, Various Dates, Fee $30/shelter. Learn about basic ice and cold-water safety, equipment and how to set-up gear then go fishing. One family/household with a maximum of five people per shelter.

  • December 26, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., Silverwood Park
  • December 30, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Silverwood Park
  • January 13 or January 17, 2 – 5 p.m., Fish Lake Regional Park
  • January 29, 2 – 5 p.m., Silverwood Park
  • January 31, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m., Fish Lake Regional Park

Adapted Family Ice Fishing Ages 10+, Jan. 31, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Fish Lake Regional Park, Fee $8/person. Fishing gear, icehouse for warming, and easily accessible fishing holes provided. Adapted for individuals with a physical or cognitive disability. Reservations required by four days prior.

Snowshoe Hike for Women, January 10, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Crow Hassan Park, $8/person. Enjoy an afternoon on the trails at Crow Hassan with other outdoorswomen. You will explore scenic trails on snowshoes if there’s enough snow or hike using traction devices or walking poles as needed. Equipment provided. Three Rivers Park Registration required 24 hours prior, Ages 14+. $8/person.

Women's Fall Color Canoe Trip


Three Rivers Park District

Outdoor Recreation School


By Allie Dart

Spotlight: Three Rivers Park District Outdoor Recreation School

By Allie Dart

Becoming an outdoorswoman does not always mean finding your place in a hunting blind or on a fishing boat. There are countless ways to find your place in the outdoors, and that is one of the beautiful things about nature – there is a niche for everyone.

The Minnesota DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program delivers high quality outdoor skills classes in a safe and supportive environment. BOW is able to offer many of its classes thanks to the dedication of skilled citizen volunteers, but as you turn the pages of the annual catalog, you will also find a wide variety of programming made possible through cooperation with outside agencies. Some of these groups bring incredible expertise in specific types of hunting, while others provide introductions to activities that bring folks into nature in other ways, like Nordic skiing and wild ricing.

For more than 20 years, the Outdoor Recreation School (ORS) of Three Rivers Park District has been working cooperatively with BOW to make sure there are many different avenues to outdoor recreation available for Minnesota women. The working arrangement facilitates both of our missions – to deliver high quality outdoor skills classes in a safe supportive environment (BOW) and to create outdoor recreation experiences that connect, inspire, and educate for a lifetime of play in the natural world (ORS).

As a Recreation Program Specialist for ORS, I have experienced the benefit of working with the BOW program. Each year, many of our women’s and family programs, from Flatwater Kayak Essentials for Women to Family Snowshoeing, are shared with thousands of people through BOW’s website and publications. People come from all backgrounds to our programs, and that creates a special atmosphere. It means that sometimes a woman who is brand new to Minnesota befriends a BOW veteran at a standup paddleboard lesson. One signed up to meet new people through an activity she already knows, and the other signed up to learn a new way to explore nature. Though they came to the program for different reasons and from different backgrounds, through the shared experience they connected with both nature and each other. Connections like that lead to more women confidently pursuing outdoor recreation and responsibly stewarding our natural world, together. And they’re made possible because of the working relationships between BOW and Three Rivers.


Becoming an Outdoors Woman Program (BOW)

The BOW program provides hunting, fishing, and non-consumptive outdoor skills classes to women in a safe and supportive environment. BOW works cooperatively with DNR staff, volunteers and outside agencies to provide opportunities for women to learn skills. BOW is guided by a volunteer steering committee. To learn more visit the BOW Website

Want more email updates about the outdoors? You can subscribe to get weekly Minnesota Wildlife email updates and monthly Deer Notes. Minnesota Wildlife is a weekly summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors. Deer Notes covers details about deer hunting seasons, deer management activities, answers to popular hunting questions, upcoming events and more. You can sign up for these and other updates on the DNR website.