Although some Mille Lac’ers are saying the ice is off the lake, we’re not ready to call it official ice out yet.
Here’s our rationale:
The Messenger, for 35 years, has called ice out when a boat can be driven from Isle to Garrison without encountering ice or slush along the way.
As of this morning, there was still ice and slush not far out of Isle Bay.
The east side around Hunters Point is still frozen in.
Rob has been circling the lake and can see ice in the distance, even from Garrison, through binoculars. Garrison resorts are putting docks and boats in.
It appears at this point that our official ice out will be between noon and midnight today, May 16, but that could change if it turns out there’s still a large amount of ice/slush floating around between Isle and Garrison.
The next satellite photo should be out mid-afternoon.
Speaking of which, I think yesterday’s satellite photo was misleading. It looked like the ice was gone from about 5/6 of the lake, but if you look closer there’s very dark gray surrounding that patch of obvious ice, and it covers more like half the lake.
That’s what I thought I was seeing yesterday afternoon and this morning with binoculars from the south shore. Sure looked like ice to me, out a mile or two — definitely south of Hennepin Island, which would make a direct crossing unlikely.
It’s breaking up fast, but we have no reason to believe at this point that a crossing could be made without ice. If you have information to the contrary, give me a call at (320) 676-3123 and we’ll factor it in before making our final call.
Most years there are few or no boats out as the ice is going out. That’s not the case this year, so it may be that someone can make the drive from Isle to Garrison and give us a definitive answer.