BWCA EP 14 LIS North permit May 11 - will ice be out? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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04/30/2022 09:20AM  
We have an entry permit for Little Indian Sioux North on May 11. Sitting here at home north of Ely I've been pretty skeptical that the ice will be out by then. We measured the ice on our lake (East Twin, north of Burntside) yesterday and it was 24", with the top 6" of that being frozen slush that should go quickly, but that still leaves a foot and a half of clear ice to get melted. And our lake is usually one of the earliest to go out . . .

That said, the 10 day forecast now has some much warmer sunnier days in it that makes me a little more optimistic. I'm wondering, though, if some of the lakes we might want to go to would have later ice outs. I don't want to start the trip and just get stuck on Pauness. I guess it's a long shot, but does anyone have any real life experience with ice outs in that neck of the woods? Or absent real life experience, does anyone have familiarity with the lakes that might provide insight on this issue? Back when we got the permit in the winter we were thinking of a trip through the lakes south of Lac la Croix. We might also include Loon in a loop, which is somewhat larger. A lot of the lakes look to be around 70 feet deep. But I've never been north of Pauness/Shell/Lynx/Oyster before . . . .

Any thoughts?

Thanks
Bill
 
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peteb
distinguished member (101)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/30/2022 09:41AM  
Hi Bill,

Three of us went in entry #14 on a late ice out year- don't recall the year, but we always go for the opener. Our plan was LLC, but we found ice on the Pauness' so we went to Shell for the night- it too had some ice, but we were able to make it to a camp. We went through Heritage, then onto Loon, which still had most of it's ice. We were again able to paddle to a camp. We spent the next two days watching ice break up, re-form and get blown around the lake. It wasn't the fishing trip we planned, but still one of the coolest trips we've taken.

I'm sure you and others are well aware, but I'll mention it anyway- paddling on a lake with ice can be very dangerous and unpredictable. Somewhere in the Ely area is an aluminum canoe bearing the signs of being crushed between Loon Lake's ice and shore.......The LIS should be raging with ice water too. Be safe and have a plan if things go wrong.

Pete

P.S. Feel free to message me if you'd like more info. We were able to find some good fishing despite the cold water.
04/30/2022 03:55PM  
Thanks Pete. If there's ice on Pauness won't do the trip. I think with the river running through there Pauness should become ice free sooner than many other lakes so that would be a bad sign. (Shell is pretty shallow so it might go even sooner.)

Bill
peteb
distinguished member (101)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/30/2022 08:40PM  
Four of us will be entering #14 May 13, ice or no ice. I'm coming from CA, my brother from Louisiana, along with two guys in Mn. Flights are booked and too late to change. LLC is our goal, but we will take what we are given and make a great trip of it. Keep an eye out for 2 guys in a kevlar and 2 tired, pissed off looking guys in an aluminum.

Pete
05/01/2022 12:30PM  
The LIS opens up Pauness before many lakes are ice free. In fact, I’d be surprised if you couldn’t already get to Shell or Loon. Beyond that is anyones guess.
Finnboy
distinguished member (162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/01/2022 05:02PM  
I drove from Ely to LIS yesterday. I parked on the Echo at the bridge. Upstream of the bridge was mostly frozen. I was intending to walk downstream to the LIS North entry point . Snow was still knee deep. Someone drove in towards the parking lot. Looked like it was a struggle.
Bentrax
member (13)member
  
05/01/2022 07:30PM  
That's discouraging.Got a permit for Stuart river the 13th, was hoping to get in there. Sounds like I won't even get to the parking lot.
Finnboy
distinguished member (162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/01/2022 08:17PM  
The situation should really change this week. The forecast is saying warmer temps, some sun, and some stiff winds.
05/02/2022 08:11PM  
Yeah don't be too discouraged folks. Here on Twin Lakes off the Echo the snow and ice is diminishing pretty fast. We augered it today and there's 12" of clear solid ice with 6" of slush in various states of decomposition on top. It's pulled away from the shore. Snow is gone many places on land, and still pretty deep in other places, but if we really get the forecast temps in the 60s with sun later this week, it will be gone.

When LLC will open is another question . . .
Jerrad
Guest Paddler
  
05/03/2022 12:29PM  
Do you by chance have any opinion on Mudro/sandpit/tin can mike? Have a trip next week that I am really banking on and completely unsure of conditions as of now, debating a trip up there this weekend to get a better feel for it.
05/03/2022 09:45PM  
Jerrad - my best guess is that the ice will be out by this coming weekend or just after, but not before. That's my prediction for the lake I live on and I think Mudro and Sandpit and Tin Can Mike are likely to be pretty similar in terms of ice out times. Horse and Fourtown might be a little later. Just based on the geography of the lakes. They are very close to where I live so the snow totals and temps throughout the winter are likely to be pretty much the same as here.
Jerrad
Guest Paddler
  
05/04/2022 06:19AM  
Thank you so much!
05/04/2022 09:24AM  
Hi Jerrad,
One thing to be aware of with Mudro: Road to Mudro EP Closed
Jerrad
Guest Paddler
  
05/05/2022 11:32AM  
HoHo, do you mind keeping me updated on this thread on ice conditions near you? Thanks
05/05/2022 04:10PM  
10" of clear solid ice on our lake yesterday, 8" at the same time today. I'm still predicting this weekend or Monday for ice out here.
05/06/2022 03:01PM  
7" of clear solid ice on Twin Lakes today. That's a more exact measure than on prior days because we can now easily see the bottom of the ice through our holes and stick the measuring tape in for a direct measure. Previously we based the thickness on when the auger broke through, which happens suddenly so not so exact. I'd guess the ice is going considerably faster than the inch-a-day you would get by comparing today's (exact) 7" to yesterday's (inexact) 8".

I don't know whether it will be safe to get off our dock onto the ice to measure after this or not . . .

PS - We are still planning on using our LIS North permit on May 11. I'd be happier though if the ice were a day or two further along. Gonna be close.
cyclones30
distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
05/06/2022 06:07PM  
How long have you lived up there? Sounds like a dream spot to be on a lake near Ely and call that home
05/06/2022 10:35PM  
cyclones30: "How long have you lived up there? Sounds like a dream spot to be on a lake near Ely and call that home "


11 years and yes it's a dream spot! Lot's of work too but it's awesome.
05/07/2022 09:10AM  
Hopefully there will be considerable melt up your way this weekend. We are experiencing 60s and 70s this weekend down in the Twin Cities and I think that's supposed to be, more or less, state-wide.
kensofe
distinguished member (219)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2022 02:54PM  
I recall when you were planning and anticipating living up there. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that you were dealing with real life and legal BS…… I hope ice is out soon. I enter Snowbank on May 21, I’m sure I will be fine
05/07/2022 03:23PM  
kensofe: "I recall when you were planning and anticipating living up there. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that you were dealing with real life and legal BS……"


Yep - been living here full time for 11 years already!

The ice around our dock is now too degraded to get out on the lake and measure it again. It's warm sunny and windy, then it's supposed to be rainy and windy. Our lake will go out soon. Snowbank will last longer, but these conditions are going to take the ice out everywhere.

I saw on the DNR's ice out page today that Garden Lake (east of Ely on the Fernberg, source of Kawishiwi Falls) went out on the 5th. There's a lot of current in that lake but it's a good sign.

mkdixon
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/07/2022 04:27PM  
Sat image from yesterday shows your route starting to melt out

05/07/2022 10:46PM  
mkdixon: " Sat image from yesterday shows your route starting to melt out


"


Wow - good stuff!

Can I ask what the source is for the image? Is this something available to the public? It’s got way better resolution than the ones I know for this sort of thing…
mkdixon
distinguished member (141)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2022 08:22AM  
sns: "
Can I ask what the source is for the image? Is this something available to the public? It’s got way better resolution than the ones I know for this sort of thing…"


It is Sentinel data that I get through Caltopo. It requires the pro level subscription to see that layer.

Mark
deepwater
member (50)member
  
05/08/2022 08:40AM  
Looking at webcams and temp/wind data, I can't imagine ice in the BWCA will last 3 more days.
05/08/2022 09:07AM  
Thanks for the satellite image mkdixon pretty cool. I was also gonna ask where it comes from but now I know.

Anyway, I saw an available Little Indian Sioux North permit for May 17 and decided to take it and delay our trip by 6 days. I canceled the May 11 permit. Ice will probably be out on the 11th but I'd rather have it be a certainty. Plus maybe the rivers will get below flood stage.
YetiJedi
distinguished member(1445)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/08/2022 12:42PM  
Ho Ho: "Thanks for the satellite image mkdixon pretty cool. I was also gonna ask where it comes from but now I know.


Anyway, I saw an available Little Indian Sioux North permit for May 17 and decided to take it and delay our trip by 6 days. I canceled the May 11 permit. Ice will probably be out on the 11th but I'd rather have it be a certainty. Plus maybe the rivers will get below flood stage."


Good trade! Have a great trip!
05/10/2022 10:59AM  
The ice is going out on our lake East Twin today. Most of it blew out last night. There's still some left at the north end of the lake but it should be gone in a few hours. This is the second latest ice out here in the 18 years we have owned our place, and just one day short of the record, which is May 11, 2013.
SlickNorthwoods
member (23)member
  
05/12/2022 08:35AM  
mkdixon: " Sat image from yesterday shows your route starting to melt out


"


Dixon do you have an up to date photo? Been a warm/rainy week up there -- heading in in a few days
 
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