Some places on the lake will look just fine, especially if we get an inch or so of snow as forecast for later in the week. This will hide the weak areas. There still is open water in places or areas where it only froze up a day or so ago. Don’t be a statistic!. A few days ago, in the middle of January, large sections of the lake that were ice free. These areas will always have thinner ice than the others that never “broke free” in the winds. It may be the year of the sunken snowmobile….. As of now, most of the areas have re-frozen but the large areas between Camp Bernadette and the Sisters and Bass are still open or only froze in the last day or so. Strong winds opened up the areas including a huge area between Turtle, Triggs and Mink all the way to First Ledge and to near Governor’s Rock. The lake ice situation is not normal. Until we get snow, the “non-snowy” ice will be the thinnest and you can see it. If we get snow, you won’t be able to tell. If you go out on the ice, get ready to go through and take a swim! This is not an ideal plan and it could be your last swim. If you must, take sharp self rescue devices to pull yourself out of the 32 degree water. Not my idea of fun.
Below are pictures documenting the open areas in the middle of last week. The first is a view looking toward the north shore from Point of Pines. Looks like a thin band of water but the photo below shows that it is quite extensive. The ice free zone goes from near Turtle Island up near to Mink.
The ice also is out near Red Brook Circle and you could almost put a kayak in and paddle to the Sisters.
In some ways, it looks like the lake is in its normal spring break-up mode but temperatures are still low and the sun is still low in the sky so it is not providing much heat. Ice is still around the shores for the most part and that is generally where it melts first in the spring thaw.
Whatever you do, be careful if you go out on the ice. Some places are really safe but others, where you might not know to be different, are very unsafe. The open water may freeze again tonight or tomorrow night but it won’t be thick enough to walk one. If we get some snow to cover the surface, you won’t know how thick the ice is that you are walking on. Be careful! Perhaps, just stay off.