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Thin Ice Costing Outdoor-Rec Business Plenty in NH

Those who make their living ice fishing and guides say extreme temperature changes is negatively impacting their bottom line. (Tim Moore Outdoors)
Those who make their living ice fishing and guides say extreme temperature changes is negatively impacting their bottom line. (Tim Moore Outdoors)
March 7, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. – It has been a dismal winter for those who make their living in the outdoor recreation business, in part because of the extreme temperature swings the state experienced between hot and cold.

Ice fishing guide Tim Moore says this has been the most difficult winter he has ever experienced as far as ice conditions go. He says temperature shifts of 50 degrees and more in just a 24-hour period over the winter caused the ice to expand, contract and break apart.

"It's just a constant battle of checking ice to make sure it's safe,” he explains. “And then you have to start over again because we get a warm spell, or we get some rain. It's made it really tough to make a living."

Moore says cutting carbon emissions under the Clean Power Plan is the best way to reduce the impacts of climate change, which he says cost his business more than $6,000 this season.

Jason McKenzie's family owns Suds N' Soda and has been in the outdoor sports retail business for 50 years. He says consumers have been holding off on making purchases waiting for solid ice.

"All I know is that we can't rely on winters anymore, and it is costing us and any business that has something to do with winter a lot of money,” he states. “Like, you've got sales for snowmobiles, plows, trucks, ski resorts – it hurts everybody."

Moore says he is no fan of government intervention and has gotten criticism for supporting the Clean Power Plan, but he sees it as the best course of action. He says you have to look at curbing pollution the same way society approaches curbing crime.

"Criminals aren't going to stop committing crimes on their own,” he points out. “They need some sort of intervention – and the same thing goes for pollution, because it just seems as a country, we just get away with as much as we can, and unless the government steps in, it is just going to get worse."

Moore says ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee is likely in the next two weeks, which would make it one of the top three earliest on record. Ice-out is declared when the Mount Washington cruise ship can safely navigate to all ports.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH