Check out this giant crack in the ice on Lower Red Lake


After a record-breaking start to ice out this year in southern Minnesota, lakes up north are starting to show clear signs of spring.

Just look at the satellite photo above of Lower Red Lake – there's a huge crack on the western side, according to a post on the Minnesota State Climatology Office's Facebook page Tuesday.

The average ice-out date for Lower Red Lake is April 29, the DNR's website shows, and most anglers think they'll see an earlier-than-normal ice out this year, according to the latest Outdoor News fishing report.

And ice out continues to progress slowly northward, according to the State Climatology Office's post, which says larger lakes from Leech Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish west towards Cass Lake and Bemidji Lake still have ice, but it's starting to clear out.

Lake Winnibigoshish had open water along the edges, according to the Lake Winnie Area Resort Association's Facebook page, while most of Leech Lake is covered with ice and hadn't started to break up as of April 7, Outdoor News says.

However, smaller lakes in the area are open, the DNR's website shows.

Outdoor News says once the ice on the big lakes start to break up, the ice is expected to disappear quickly – especially with the warm temperatures in the forecast for later this week.

That's a good sign people shouldn't worry about having to deal with icy lakes ahead of the May 14 fishing opener like anglers did two years ago.

In 2014, the late ice-out dates were followed by unusually high water levels that led to dangerous conditions on many state waterways. That wasn't the case in 2015, when some lakes saw unusually low water levels for the fishing opener after an earlier ice-out.

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