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Boating season arrives as Ice-Out declared on Lake Minnetonka

This Ice-Out is late-ish, but not the record-setter we saw last year.

Hennepin County authorities have a message for everyone: "Happy boating season!"

This came in an announcement on Saturday afternoon declaring an Ice-Out for Lake Minnetonka:

The call was officially made at 1:46 p.m., after Hennepin County deputies and members of the Freshwater Society "were able to safely pilot a patrol boat through all of the Lake Minnetonka's channels and bays without obstruction by ice."

The aforementioned Freshwater Society, a nonprofit group, says the Ice-Out is "a sign of spring that scientists, naturalists and lakeshore residents have been tracking since at least 1855." 

The society adds that Saturday's declaration is six days later than the median date, making it more or less on schedule by historical standards.

Last year, it didn't come until May 5, which WCCO says "tied the record for the latest" Ice-Out in recorded history, which was set all the way back in 1897. 

As the Star Tribune notes, Ice-Out serves as the unofficial beginning of boating season on Lake Minnetonka and beyond.

However, the paper says, this doesn't mean "every crystal of ice has vanished from the water."

Officially, it just means that "a boat can pass through channels and navigate all portions of the lake."

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