Maybe we're living in Narnia under the rule of the White Witch. We're in the never ending winter. The lake turned from black to white (snow) again.......rats! The moose pond is water for the afternoon busstop, and ice again in the morning.
Yet the ice keeps melting, some days slower than others. The businesses along the trail have been reporting in---as of Sunday/Monday:
Cross Bay River-open water
Gunflint Lake-16-22 inches
East Bearskin lake: hopefully it won't be long!
Poplar Lake: Still frozen
Hungry Jack Lake: Something less than 16 inches
Sawbill Lake: 14.5 inches
Clearwater: Still Frozen
Round Lake: The skating rink was wide open last week---and now it is frozen again. With snow on it...sigh....
I've been watching closely for only four years, not enough time to develop reliable ice-out knowledge. So, I've been informally surveying other peoples' wisdom. Maybe I'm learning more about the people than the ice...?
Hungry Jack Dave was measuring the ice/slush during the warm sunny days of last week, he figured the ice was melting 3 inches a day. At that rate, it should disappear in less than a week. But we've had cold nights this week than last week---so far. Some say it has more to do with the amount of direct sun that the lakes get than anything else. It's cloudy today.
I have one friend who is sure that all she has to do is think positively about it, and it will be gone by May 10th. Without a doubt!
Some of the less optimistic ones say that the big lakes won't be out by fishing opener. Many say that it is so very rare to have ice on fishing opener---of course the ice will melt.
John Hughes says that usually the South Brule River is the indicator---3 weeks after the South Brule is out, the rest of the lakes are ice free. I forgot to ask him exactly what day the South Brule went out, but he doesn't think this will be an indicator this year anyway
The ice almost everywhere has pulled away from the shore. I understand floating ice has the melt advantage. All I can tell for sure is that the Cross Bay River is open--so let the paddling and portaging (at least one portage) begin!!!!
This mallard is hanging around the open spot on Round Lake. It is warm in the sun, she's definitely been avoiding swimming.