Photo by Captain JJ Malvitz or JJ's Guide Service on Facebook.

GREEN BAY — Seasoned fishing guides say they’ve never seen ice conditions this bad on Green Bay.

And several of them are re-thinking their plans for the ice-fishing season, which typically gets into high gear in late January and early February.

“I have never in my 13 years of guiding seen such poor ice conditions on Green Bay,” writes Cpt. JJ Malvitz or JJ’s Guide Service on Facebook.

The danger was highlighted Monday when the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call of 11 people, including five children, trapped on ice floes that had broken away from the Door County shoreline, according to a news release.

One group of nine people floated away on one piece of ice in the Bay of Green Bay after the ice became detached. A separate group of two was found floating on another piece a quarter-mile away.

“Right now is a big unknown for what the season will bring,” read a Facebook post Tuesday from Why Knot Charters and Guide Service in Green Bay. “This weekend I am canceling most trips but plan to take a couple groups out in portables in the few areas that are still ‘safe’.”

They say some anglers have made plans to fly in, so they’re hoping to get out into some of the smaller, secluded bays.

But all the guides agree on one thing — safety first.

“The ice pack is beyond repair at this point to access our off shore whitefish locations given the current conditions and forecast for the next two weeks,” according to Malvitz. “This is a really tough decision, but a calculated one.”

By Dan Plutchak

Editor and publisher of the Door County Shore Report