Friday, March 31, 2017

Clock is ticking on 2017 Red Lake ice-out

Spring melt is underway and it is only a matter of weeks before ice-out occurs on Northwestern Ontario lakes, including Red Lake.
If the weather holds we should be seeing open water at least a week earlier than normal. My guess for Red Lake is for the last week of April which would be two weeks ahead of schedule.
There is only about half the normal winter ice thickness to start with and virtually no snow left on the ice to insulate it. Daytime temperatures are above freezing now with even some double-digit C (50s F) days.
In fact, the forecast for the next two weeks is for above-average temperatures, both for highs and lows. The real kicker will occur when nighttime lows are above freezing.
Sunny, windy, warm weather from this point will hasten the melt. Snowy, cloudy, cool weather will delay it.
Creeks and rivers are already opening up as well as places on lakes where there is current.
It won't be long before anglers will be back out there.

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2 comments:

White Oaks said...

Dan....I'm pretty sure this has been asked before but, in general, how does an early ice out affect the fishing? Thanks, Tom

Dan Baughman said...

I think the only people who don't benefit from an early ice-out are the first-week dead-bait fishermen. They like the water as cold as possible so that the northern pike are still in their spawning beds. For everyone else, the faster the water warms up, the better. Our walleye turn on with the warmer water as do the northern pike, it's just that the pike will be outside of their foot-deep spawning spots so artificial lures work the best. Anyone after lake trout would prefer a late breakup too since that means the trout will be right on the surface. Few of our anglers actually target the spring trout although we do have some mid-summer who look for them and do quite well. All trout must be live-released on Red Lake, of course.