We're starting to see much more angler traffic over the last week now that the ice thickness is getting better. Lakes that froze early are looking at 10-12" for the most part, and later freezing lakes 4-8". Anglers still need to be extremely careful and check as you go, but they are getting out most places now on foot, and it sounds like the big lake on Leech is starting to get some small wheel houses out there.
Fishing has been pretty solid this week. Consistent weather over the week and into the weekend created some good consistent bites. Bluegills are mostly holding in the 10-15' range on most lakes including Birch. Crappies seem to be rolling through a little deeper, so you're going to want to pick up and move a little deeper near sundown to take advantage of the crappie bites. Bluegill might push out a little deeper over the coming weeks and you can get away with not moving for the crappies.
Walleye fishing has been pretty consistent for a fish or two a night on many of the lakes, but we haven't heard of anyone hammering anything. Rainbows and Shiners have been the bait of choice, and on most lakes anglers are finding them around 20'. Evening bite has been best, but some fish were coming through after dark and early morning hours.
Ice conditions are good so far, but we'll see how this snow storm shakes out over the next few days. Hopefully we won't get dumped on too heavily so the ice doesn't flood. We'll just have to wait and see at this point.