Ice on Lake Minnetonka is pretty much gone, party season inches closer

You can get all around Lake Minnetonka now without ice getting in the way.
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Oh get ready Lake Minnetonka – we are nearing the ridiculous summer party scene.

There is no more obstructive ice on the lake. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said ice out was officially declared at 5:06 p.m. Monday – what that means is you can pilot a boat through all of the channels and bays without ice getting in the way.

This is a little earlier than normal. The average ice out date for Lake Minnetonka is April 14. The earliest ever was March 11.

The DNR by the way keeps track of lake ice outs. There are a lot of lakes in the southern half of the state with declared ice outs, while up north there aren't any reported so far.

Here's an oddity from this year, courtesy of Ben Johnson with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Six lakes in Minneapolis had ice out due to warm weather – and then later completely refroze, Johnson tweeted last week. It's the first time that has happened since the board began tracking ice outs, tweeted Commissioner Steffanie Mussich in a follow-up.

If you're going to go out on a lake, be careful – for some, like Lake Minnetonka, navigational buoys aren't all out yet. And definitely wear a life jacket, because cold water can cause hypothermia very quickly.

Lake Minnetonka of course is one of the premier party lakes in the summer. Kim Kardashian has spent time at Big Island, as have Eric Decker, Christian Ponder, Kris Humphries, and a handful of other athletes.

And a couple summers ago, drunken incidents were so bad that they had to call a public safety meeting – 2016 was apparently a bit tamer, at least on July 4, with locals telling KARE 11 increased water patrols made a difference.

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