Ice Out Watch 2011

Posted by MNAngler On March - 23 - 2011

A year and a week ago, I saw my first open water of 2010 and hence began my wait for open water season. Given the winter we had this year, it’s no surprise that open water has yet to appear on any local lake, especially after we got 3-4 inches of snow/slush/sleet mix in the last 24 hours. I had to pull out my snowblower for (hopefully) one last time. We are currently in the 5th snowiest winter on record with just another 0.3″ needed to crack #4.

Unlike most other Minnesotans, I haven’t minded this winter that much. I looked forward to getting out with my snowblower after each snowfall and watched with wonder as we got storm after storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on us at a time.

With that said, I am looking forward to Spring and the thaw that will bring casting, float tubing, and hopefully a lot of catching. So begins the annual ice out watch.

The University of Minnesota posts a web page watching a handful of lakes across the state to track when ice out occurs (change the “11” in the URL to another two digit year to see ice out dates for that year). They also have a page showing historical earliest and latest ice out dates for those lakes.

To make things more interesting this year, Outdoor News Minnesota is having a contest to guess the exact ice out time for Lake Mille Lacs.

I’ll be watching White Bear again this year as I’ll be anxious to get out with my float tube. The water will be cold, so I’ll have to experiment with the right combination of clothes to stay warm, but not get too warm in my time in the water. My wife has really enjoyed the crappie I’ve brought home this winter, so I may be going after some slabs before bass season opens.

3 Responses to “Ice Out Watch 2011”

  1. Bass Pundit says:

    I probably won’t do my first ice out post until the weather starts to warm up again next week. It’s gonna be awhile before I see any open water.

    • MNAngler says:

      I was going to wait until I saw my first open water, too, but readers have been starting to find my blog while searching for terms like “ice out minnesota.” So I thought I would give them links to the U of M information.

  2. Howdy MNAngler,
    I can why you are getting excited about the spring season to come up in your region and to have the water free of ice again.
    Down here in SE Texas where I’m living it almost went straight over from an for our region unusual long and cold winter into almost summer, at least temperature wise.
    I hope for you to be able to get out on your Float Tube and to do some good fishing before long again.
    Tight Lines

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