|This scene could be a reality again within a few weeks|
|Beautiful sunsets are why this is called "Sunset Country"|
Our friends, Hugh and Enid Carlson of Viking Island, passed on some encouragement yesterday. The open patch of water on the Chukuni River is growing and it might be possible for a floatplane to land there after a few more days of melting.
Unfortunately, that warming trend isn't in the cards until Saturday but then, if the Weather Network's 14-day forecast comes true, there is nothing but sunny, warm weather ahead.
So, we have our fingers crossed that we will at least be able to fly out to camp before opening day, May 19. Could actual ice-out occur before then?
I think that in addition to the warm weather forecast, it will also take some extraordinary high winds to do the trick. Wind is our friend when it comes to getting rid of snow and ice. Chinook is the name westerners give to warm wind in the winter. This is a First Nations term that means "snow-eating wind."
It melts the snow far faster than what happens on a calm day.
Wind also pushes down on the lake ice, making it "squirt" back and forth into long narrow bays. At the west end of the lake these include Green Bay off of Pipestone, Golden Arm off of Big Red, and Marten Bay. This back-and-forth water movement works the same as current in a river or the narrows. It melts the ice. This is also why there is a sandbar at the entrances to these bays.
The snow has now melted off the lake and if it hasn't happened already, this water on top of the ice will work its way down and make the ice rise. It also breaks it loose along the shoreline. When the ice melts enough and when you get enough open patches such as at the entrances to bays, shallow spots and narrows, the wind can get the entire sheet moving. The momentum of thousands of tons of ice is impossible to stop and the ice pulverizes against the shore. That's what we're hoping for.
Meanwhile, we can look at beautiful summer scenes like these supplied by Bow Narrows angler Tate Lundy from previous trips and sharpen our hooks.
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