Saturday, May 10, 2014

Red Lake 2014 ice-out report: more to go

We still need more open water to land with a plane. It might be possible Tuesday
Still lots of ice but it is loose from the shore. A big wind could break it up.

Hugh Carlson photos

Enid Carlson of Viking Island Lodge just sent us these aerial photos of Bow Narrows Camp taken by husband Hugh on a floatplane trip today out to the west end of Red Lake. He had taken off from the Chukuni River in Red Lake and flew out to check Viking Island Lodge on Douglas Lake and some of their outpost camp lakes farther west. You can check out photos of these lakes at Enid's blog.
The open water around the green buoy in front of our camp has grown a lot since Hugh snapped photos last Tuesday. He reports that a good wind would clear out enough ice for us to land at Bow Narrows. Come on wind!
Last year it was open from Moninger's cabin upstream of us to the green buoy when we flew in. By that evening it was open from Pipestone Bay to Galena Island at the entrance to Trout Bay. It can really clear quickly if the conditions are right.
We have the staff flying in from all over Canada to Thunder Bay on Monday and plan to arrive in Red Lake on Tuesday. With a bit of a break, we will be able to fly in with Viking floatplanes later that day.
My guess is ice-out for Red Lake proper won't occur until after walleye season begins May 17, perhaps May 20-22. However, we will still be able to get around the shallow bays near camp long before that. I see from Wright's Wilderness Camp blog that Gullrock Lake is about ready to break-up. It could happen just about time for the walleye opener. Gullrock is usually about a week ahead of Red Lake. Trout Lake usually clears a week after Red Lake. The lakes farther south on Highway 105 such as Lac Seul, Cedar and Cliff Lakes and Eagle Lake at Vermilion Bay usually open earlier than Gullrock. So they may well be clear by May 17.
The weather today was beautiful: warm and sunny. Tomorrow is expected to be the same. Then it is supposed to cool off again for much of next week.
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