It's boating season on Lake Minnetonka after ice-out is declared

Ice-out is declared when officials can boat through all of the lake's channels and bays without being obstructed by ice.
Author:
Publish date:
ice out lake minnetonka

The ice is officially out on Lake Minnetonka.

In what's become a longstanding tradition to kick off the official start to the boating season, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the Freshwater Society officially declared ice-out at 1:13 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30. 

“We understand that people are ready to get outside and enjoy themselves after a long and difficult year,” Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said in a statement. “We’re encouraging everyone who wants to get out onto the lake to remember both general pandemic safety and water safety. We want people to get out and take advantage of the natural resources Hennepin County has to offer, but we want everyone to do so responsibly.”

Ice-out is declared on the lake when members of the sheriff's office Water Patrol and the Freshwater Society can safely boat through all the lake's channels and 37 bays without being obstructed by ice. 

The sheriff's office is also reminding people to be safe out on the water, noting many of the navigational buoys are not in place yet. Boaters are also reminded to wear life jackets because water temperatures are cold and hypothermia can set in quickly if someone were to fall into the water.

This year's ice-out is earlier than average — April 13 — and a few days earlier than last year's ice-out of April 2, 2020, and even earlier than in 2019, when ice-out was declared on April 20, 2019. 

The earliest ice-out date on Lake Minnetonka was March 11, 1878, and the latest ice-out date for the lake happened on May 5, 2018. 

Dozens of lakes in southern Minnesota are already free of ice, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, many of which saw an earlier-than-average ice-out this year thanks to the above-average temperatures, as well as rain and plenty of wind this past month. 

Next Up

Rocco Baldelli

Twins-Angels postponed Saturday and Sunday due to COVID

Outfielder Kyle Garlick and one other player tested positive on Saturday.

51116674647_a9a72eac98_k

Curfew set at 11 p.m. in Brooklyn Center, Champlin Saturday

More protests are expected in Brooklyn Center.

Image from iOS (1)

Victim killed in multi-vehicle crash that closed Hwy. 62 ID'd as woman, 23

The four-vehicle crash closed the eastbound highway for several hours.

protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

Photographer reports being maced and punched by police, other journalists detained

It came just hours after a court order prevented law enforcement from using force against the news media.

51119874206_73072b910b_k

Police move in swiftly to make arrests on 6th night of Daunte Wright protests

What started out peaceful took a turn as the night drew in.

Michelle missing outing

Man pleads guilty in 2019 murder of Outing woman

Joshua Emil Karjala's sentencing is set for June.

Related

Ice-Out declared on Lake Minnetonka.

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.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 10.42.15 AM

'Ice Out' officially declared on Lake Minnetonka

It marks the start of what is sure to be a really weird boating season.

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.

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.

There's no sign of ice-out on Minnesota lakes

This time last year, most lakes in southern Minnesota had declared ice-outs.

'High water' declared on several Hennepin County lakes

It'll affect anyone taking a boat onto the water.

lake superior ice duluth jan 31 2021

Good news: Deep freeze adds to Lake Superior's ice coverage

The lake was experiencing historically low ice coverage earlier this winter, but that all changed with the recent cold snap.