Cool, I saw folks fishing out there this weekend and wondered how thick the ice was. COLOH2OFWLR, I caught fish when the water was open a few weeks ago and the fish were fine. I didn't fish Dowdy this year so I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Some trout at this time of year, that are getting ready to spawn, get really slimy and dark colored. I have caught these in about every lake I have ice fished in. I turn em loose and keep sorting, having a blast until I get one that just has a burning desire to jump into my frying pan!