Skip to main content

A far-out ice-out: Lake Minnetonka now clear, but state thaw lags

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

What's that old spring rhyme? April (snow) showers bring (late Minnesota ice-outs and) May flowers, right?

Progress has been made on the thawing of the Land of 10,000 Lakes' 11,842 actual lakes.

On Thursday, officials declared ice-out on Lake Minnetonka – one of the most anticipated ice-outs among metro lakes. The Freshwater Society and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol tells WCCO it's about 10 days later than normal.

An official tells WCCO 2-3 feet of ice were on the lake from December through March, due to the especially cold winter.

The Lake Minnetonka news came the day after another metro lake was de-iced. The Star Tribune reported an ice-out on White Bear Lake was declared Wednesday.

The paper also noted the two agencies – the nonprofit Freshwater Society, and the county Sheriff's Water Patrol – are working together calling ice-outs for the first time, after years of disagreements and different criteria.

Looking at the DNR's ice-out map, as of April 26 a good portion of the lakes in southern Minnesota and around the metro are now able to be traversed via boat.

But draw a line from North Branch (just north of the Twin Cities near the Wisconsin border) northwest through Mille Lacs, up through Bemidji and continue toward that corner of the state – not a lot of ice-out markers to be seen east of that.

According to the DNR's map of median ice-out dates, that area is mostly clear by April 28. A few stragglers farther north (Red Lake, Kabetogama, Gunflint) don't generally ice out until early or mid May.

That would include the Nisswa area, which will host the Governor's fishing Opener May 8-11. WCCO reports officials expect an ice-out on Gull Lake there in the final days of April.

And the lakes that have iced out at this point all seem to be a bit behind the average. Historically, many southern and metro lakes are good to go by April 7 – this year, none were ready before April 8.

The northeast corner of the state was hit by a whole lot of snow once again this past week. The area up by Grand Portage reported 12 inches to the National Weather Service Friday morning. Two Harbors got about 7 inches, and Duluth close to 5 inches.

The Duluth News Tribune says Iron Range cities reported about 3 inches.

On Lake Superior, record level ice continue to be a roadblock (or water-block) to the shipping season, MPR reports. A trip from Duluth to lower Lake Michigan, the first of the season, took two weeks – it normally is a three-day trip, the station says.

Meanwhile, businesses and anglers are crossing their fingers ice is gone from all the big fishing lakes by the May 10 opener.

The clock is ticking.

Next Up

trattoria mucci facebook

Popular Italian eatery in Uptown to permanently close

The owner of Trattoria Mucci said it "just didn't work out this time."

colbert redmons billboard jan 2022

MN popcorn shop gets Times Square billboard via 'The Late Show'

The last time Redmon's Popcorn got national attention, it shut down two days later.

child parent mask covid pexels

Frey backtracks on dining mandate: Kids age 2-4 won’t need test

The mayor told Chad Hartman the city is already working to change its just-announced regulation.

264 Willmar Ave SE, Willmar, Minnesota - October 2019

11 staff members on leave after refusing Willmar district's COVID policy

The staff members were placed on leave after they "opted not to comply."

TIMOTHY BORRMAN

Man charged with stealing van with dog inside in South St. Paul

He apparently said he didn't realize there was a dog inside.

Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 12.35.16 PM

Here's where COVID-19 case rates are the highest in Minnesota

The highest rates can be found mainly in southeastern Minnesota and around the Twin Cities metro area.

als breakfast facebook post

After staff got COVID, someone sent Al's Breakfast a letter mocking its vaxx requirement

"So sorry to hear your fully vaccinated staff is sick with Covid and you are forced to close," the letter begins.

snow - 12-10-21 - Joe Nelson - 2

NWS releases snowfall forecast for specific Minnesota cities

Here's how much snow is forecast for more than 50 cities in Minnesota, including the majority of the metro area.

Woobury robbery Jan 2022 2 crop

Armed robber hits Twin Cities Speedway twice in 5 days

Authorities are asking for the public's help identifying the suspect.

covid-19

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 13

More than 11,000 cases included in today's report.

Related