GROUNDHOG DAY: No Shadow, Short Winter?

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Saturday marked Groundhog’s Day, which had many people turning their eyes to Pennsylvania to see if the famous rodent saw his shadow.   

“And so ye faithful, there is no shadow to see an early spring for you and me,” said a member of the Pennsylvania Tourism Board.

Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction says spring in on the way.  The years old tradition brought good news for most of us, but for a select few they are not counting on the groundhogs thirty-nine percent success rate.

“Oh, I don`t know, I like winter, I like winter,” says Dean Brushaber of Dallas Center Grimes.

Ice anglers know a longer winter means more time on the ice.

“I come to pretty much see all the fish and stuff out in nature,” says Ben Brushaber of Dallas Center Grimes.

People of all ages were enjoying a day out on Lake Petocka in Bondurant. 

“They stock trout in here, in November before the ice freezes they put 1,500 trout in and then after it freezes they put another 1,500 trout in, that`s why there are so many people here, they`re trying to catch trout, rainbow trout,” says Tom McCool of Bondurant.

For more than 30 years McCool has called this his fishing hole, and wouldn't mind if the winter season held on.

“I could let it go on for a little while longer,” says McCool.

And it's Punxsutawney Phil’s streak of inaccuracy’s that will hopefully lead to a few more days out on the ice.

“Oh, it is fun, it`s good for families,” says Brushaber.

But not all lakes are safe to ice fish on. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning fishermen to stay off Saylorville Lake because of thin ice.  Officials say even though it's been cold and water levels are low, there is only a thin layer of ice on the water making it dangerous for anyone who attempts to go out on the ice. 

Officials are also asking people to stay off Cedar Lake in Eastern Iowa.  A damaged dam has created unsafe ice conditions on that lake.


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