BWCA Ice out Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
02/22/2024 08:57AM  
Can we start a ice out prediction thread?

I am very interested and dependent upon when the ice may go out this year and it’s really valuable to have input from you anglers and other paddlers to weigh in and let the rest of the world know what you’re thinking in terms of ice out?

Thank you for any help you can provide.

There is a thread already established and I missed it. I apologize, but I can’t find any reference to it.

 
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02/22/2024 06:16PM  
Things can change but we are ahead of the 2012 ice out on lakes. I was canoeing on small lakes on March 30th in the BWCA lake Trout fishing.
Air temps right now are temps we usually see around April 1.
Also, ice thickness is less than in 2012 right now. It will be interesting.
You may have a month of April to self-issue and camp in the BWCA by canoe.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(991)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/22/2024 08:40PM  
Pinetree: "Things can change but we are ahead of the 2012 ice out on lakes. I was canoeing on small lakes on March 30th in the BWCA lake Trout fishing.
Air temps right now are temps we usually see around April 1.
Also, ice thickness is less than in 2012 right now. It will be interesting.
You may have a month of April to self-issue and camp in the BWCA by canoe."


An intriguing prospect. Might be tougher to camp ON the lakes, though ...
 
02/22/2024 09:16PM  
2024 vs 2023 snow pack near Isabella, MN.


 
02/23/2024 12:39PM  
My permit for May 11th this year will be the earliest I'll have ever entered. Last year the Gunflint side lakes still had ice on them on May 11th. I suspect that will not be the case this year.
 
02/23/2024 03:14PM  
Unless something crazy happens I think it's going to be earlier than it has been in quite a while.

I'm anticipating getting to do my first April trip and I'm pretty excited about it. My 2 earliest entries were both on May 4 and they were 2 of my favorite trips. I really hope everything lines up and that I get to do an April solo.
 
02/23/2024 05:21PM  
So what's the normal ice thickness like this time of year in the BWCA area, and what's it like now?
 
02/23/2024 07:07PM  
sns: "So what's the normal ice thickness like this time of year in the BWCA area, and what's it like now?"

32-36+ inches normal-much depends on snow cover
 
02/23/2024 08:22PM  
 
02/24/2024 09:21AM  
A couple weeks ago I heard a report of 17 inches on a Gunflint Trail lake that would usually have around 34 inches.
 
02/24/2024 07:24PM  
ducks: "A couple weeks ago I heard a report of 17 inches on a Gunflint Trail lake that would usually have around 34 inches. "


Tuscarora Lodge just said from 15-20 inches.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
02/24/2024 08:06PM  
Wow pinetree! I was thinking something around mid April….but with your experience in late March, now I am wondering about early April or even March. I would be entering on sag and paddling down the corridor towards knife. Based in your experience, whats your estimated date? Late March, early April?
 
Grizzlyman
distinguished member(789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/25/2024 10:03AM  
We were around vermilion Last weekend… 12”. Some spots 10”. 2021 ice out was quite early in mid April. I’m guessing late March this year or sooner if we don’t get another cold blast in March.
 
02/25/2024 10:48AM  
paddlingredrock: "Wow pinetree! I was thinking something around mid April….but with your experience in late March, now I am wondering about early April or even March. I would be entering on sag and paddling down the corridor towards knife. Based in your experience, whats your estimated date? Late March, early April?"


Spring can get flaky-seen years where it is really warm then cools of and the ice barely hangs in there forever.
That said next weekend is supposed to be super warm, like 50's in Ely, and around 65 degrees F. by Mille Lacs. If we get strong winds, I could see small lakes ice-free in north central Minnesota in two weeks.
Yes, it is neat to lake trout fish in March in open water. Also, very quiet up the Gunflint then.
Est date?
A lot will depend on the next 10 days. Also, with no snow on the ground, air is warming up like 10 degrees just because of no reflection of sun rays. Also what you really need is nights that stay above freezing. So maybe getting a little too anxious.
 
Grizzlyman
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02/25/2024 12:05PM  
Also a big factor this year is lack of snow. No snow means much more impact by the sun as the sun starts to get stronger. Many lakes are basically glare ice right now. If present snow conditions hold then that will make a big difference too. That and rain without snow will melt ice quickly.
 
ForestDuff
distinguished member (201)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/25/2024 12:50PM  
Just returned yesterday from a three day trip on the Ely side.
No snow on the north shorelines and patchy snow elsewhere.
Ice looked to be a little over a foot thick.
46° to 5° made for one of the loudest most active snap, crackle, pop nights on the ice.
Unless we get an extended cold snap, I foresee a very early ice out.

 
02/25/2024 04:44PM  
April 1 Ely side. April 8 Gunflint side. Looks like no fishing on my ice out trip this year.
 
02/25/2024 08:33PM  
ForestDuff: "Just returned yesterday from a three day trip on the Ely side.
No snow on the north shorelines and patchy snow elsewhere.
Ice looked to be a little over a foot thick.
46° to 5° made for one of the loudest most active snap, crackle, pop nights on the ice.
Unless we get an extended cold snap, I foresee a very early ice out.


"


ForestDuff, where's that photo from? Looks like it would be a nice site.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
02/26/2024 12:05AM  
I’m basing my trip on ice out, so if March or April then i’ll go then. It’s just nice to have an idea for scheduling around work and other things. Normally I go in mid May, but it looks like a lot earlier this year!
 
Sparkeh
distinguished member (122)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/26/2024 05:44AM  
It depends on how cold it stays for the rest of the season. Even if we have a small amount of ice this winter it can hang on for a long time if we get a cold dry spring.
 
OMGitsKa
distinguished member (371)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/26/2024 07:10AM  
Quite the change from the last two years with the super late ice out!
 
02/26/2024 11:47AM  
My earliest trip into the BWCA was April 11th, 2nd earliest April 14th.

I don't think ice will survive beyond March this year.

Taking my 2nd BWCA trip of the year on Friday up to Brule. Something we usually cannot do because the road doesn't get plowed. This year, there is nothing to plow which is very sad.

Unless we get a lot of rain, the risk of fires this year will be high.
 
ForestDuff
distinguished member (201)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/26/2024 01:23PM  
Lightfoot:ForestDuff, where's that photo from? Looks like it would be a nice site."


Lake One, plan was to hit campsite 2303 where the current comes in from Lake Two on the NE side of the lake, I expected a little open water there, but spied a large expanse of open water (200x50 yards) from a ways away and turned north to campsite 2302 instead. Which was probably for the better to avoid the northerly winds the first two days. Not usually a fan of large fire pit rock walls, but it was really nicely built and was a great wind block to take advantage of during the day. Only had fires after sunset.
 
02/26/2024 03:53PM  
MONDAY Feb 26-Ely 53 degrees F

Seagull lake-44 degrees F.
 
Grizzlyman
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02/27/2024 12:31PM  
Local lake here in the twin cities is looking real sketchy today. If weather holds it’s just be a few days to a week here.

Drove past Albert Lea lake in S Minn today. It’s wide open…
 
02/27/2024 03:14PM  
Grizzlyman: "Local lake here in the twin cities is looking real sketchy today. If weather holds it’s just be a few days to a week here.

Drove past Albert Lea lake in S Minn today. It’s wide open…"


Albert Lea
ID: 24001400
2023 ice out date: April 9
Median ice out date: March 31
Earliest ice out date: March 5, 2000
Latest ice out date: April 18, 2013
Period of record: 1986 to 2023
 
RedLakePaddler
distinguished member (265)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/27/2024 06:02PM  
I am sitting in my living room in East Grand Forks MN watching the snow fly. We had a full blown blizzard today with a few inches of snow.
Tonight’s low is forecasted at -6*F. We are at about the same latitude as Ely. I am rooting for an early ice out but this is a little discouraging.
I am hopeful that the fields blow clear and the sun starts working on them again.

Carl
Got to go out and get the snowblower running!
 
02/27/2024 10:20PM  
Were already ice out in Southern Minnesota.
 
bwcamjh
distinguished member (108)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/28/2024 10:51AM  
https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out/index.html?year=2024


Updates have started.
 
02/28/2024 11:05AM  
HighnDry: " MN Ice Out - median dates "


Yes, I saw the updates as well. This is the link I posted earlier if anyone is interested.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(991)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
02/28/2024 12:49PM  
bwcamjh: "https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out/index.html?year=2024



Updates have started."


A number of the 2024 dates are two weeks earlier than the individual previous record and a month earlier than the respective median.

Climatologists have a technical term for this circumstance:

An “oh shit” moment.
 
02/28/2024 02:12PM  
My prediction

04/01 - Ely Side
04/22 - Gunflint Side
 
02/28/2024 06:04PM  
Speckled: "My prediction


04/01 - Ely Side
04/22 - Gunflint Side"
TOO MANY LAKES
We traditionally had two lakes-one by Ely and the other up the Gunflint.
Shagawa by Ely and Gunflint lake up the Gunflint.

Also, we had two (officials) individuals like the Great Outdoors (now passed away and missed) for Ely and the great contributor to this site and still is, Mocha who once lived up the Gunflint and now moved further south.
Both lakes Tho are listed on the DNR ice-out page, so we have an official date still.

 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
02/28/2024 08:20PM  
So far based on the comments, it looks like ice out. Could be anytime from late March through the third weekend in April. Based on what all of you are saying that is probably a good bet. I really appreciate the updates and comments of everyone involved. Because of some health reasons, I’m planning on taking a trip right after ice out and targeting Lakers on a fly rod. The timing after ice out is critical, and this information is invaluable.! Thank you all!
 
02/29/2024 03:18AM  
paddlingredrock: "So far based on the comments, it looks like ice out. Could be anytime from late March through the third weekend in April. Based on what all of you are saying that is probably a good bet. I really appreciate the updates and comments of everyone involved. Because of some health reasons, I’m planning on taking a trip right after ice out and targeting Lakers on a fly rod. The timing after ice out is critical, and this information is invaluable.! Thank you all!"

I could be wrong but lake trout season closes on April 1 and will not open again until May 11 so an April ice out means no fishing.
 
02/29/2024 09:16AM  
Here's the link to the DNR re: fishing seasons

Fishing seasons incl. Lake Trout
 
02/29/2024 09:20AM  
dschult2: "
paddlingredrock: "So far based on the comments, it looks like ice out. Could be anytime from late March through the third weekend in April. Based on what all of you are saying that is probably a good bet. I really appreciate the updates and comments of everyone involved. Because of some health reasons, I’m planning on taking a trip right after ice out and targeting Lakers on a fly rod. The timing after ice out is critical, and this information is invaluable.! Thank you all!"

I could be wrong but lake trout season closes on April 1 and will not open again until May 11 so an April ice out means no fishing."


Technically you could still fish for panfish/crappies. There are some lakes with freak sized crappies! I haven't caught any yet, but seen photos and videos...
 
Grizzlyman
distinguished member(789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/02/2024 12:09PM  
Lots of open water on lake Minnetonka today. Grays bay looks to be about 50% open.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(991)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/03/2024 10:26AM  
Grizzlyman: "Lots of open water on lake Minnetonka today. Grays bay looks to be about 50% open. "


Sounds like you’re a lock to beat the all-time record, given the forecast for the coming days:

 
03/03/2024 01:43PM  
Ice is out in central MN in the Big Lake/Monticello area. I think the bwca is usually around a month after us so I’m guessing

April 2 for Ely side and April 8 for Gunflint side.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/03/2024 10:53PM  
Dschultz - thx for the heads up on season dates! Definately need to look that up as it would change everthing??.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/03/2024 11:05PM  
Looks like laker season is closed from 3/31 to 5/13. ??…. Couldn’t be worse timing for ice out lakers this year. Can anyone tell me why they close the season in the spring as lakers are fall spawners?
 
03/04/2024 11:40AM  
paddlingredrock: "Dschultz - thx for the heads up on season dates! Definately need to look that up as it would change everthing??. "

I'm in the same boat as you. I like to target lakers right after ice out as well. Thats why the last two years were great. You can go to Quetico. Lake trout, bass, and pike will be open but not Walleye.
 
hobbydog
distinguished member(1972)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/04/2024 12:30PM  
I’ll share a secret with you…..this is a little known fact. The Minnesota Canada border waters the walleye season is open until April 14. See page 59 and 60 of the fishing regs for exceptions, specifics for size limits and spieces specific information. Note that a lot of these are big lakes and may not be fully out when other smaller lakes in the area are. Fishing regs.
 
03/04/2024 02:39PM  
This was Brule yesterday for what it's worth. Narrow spots are open spots.

 
03/04/2024 02:42PM  
paddlingredrock: "Looks like laker season is closed from 3/31 to 5/13. ??…. Couldn’t be worse timing for ice out lakers this year. Can anyone tell me why they close the season in the spring as lakers are fall spawners?
"


It is just to give them a break from the harvest of fish. It makes sense to close.

Years ago, I spring-summer Stream Trout Lakes opened two weeks earlier than the walleye opener. Maybe lake trout did also, I am not sure. Having only stream trout lakes open all the pressure was on them and creel censuses showed in a two-week period 75% of the trout in the lakes were fished out.
Some of the same reasons the DNR might in the future have the BWCA and lakes outside the BWCA have the same winter opening date in the future. To spread the fishing pressure around and not target specific areas.
 
03/04/2024 09:10PM  
Northward movement at record date pace

Brainerd area now has bays and pounds becoming ice free
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/04/2024 09:18PM  
Thx Hobbydog…. That is encouraging. At least the people that want to fish Lakers just after ice out have an opportunity that way. I realize this year is unique and the mid May opening normally works. But this year with the seasons it’s going to mess everything up. The lakes I fish on are lucky to see five people on them within 14 days after ice out and all of those people are practicing catch and release. It’s a special time to catch Lakers. I get it for the more easily accessible lakes that receive a lot of pressure but for some of these remote lakes that are only accessible by canoe or kayak it really doesn’t make much sense. I work in the public sector, so I know how difficult it can be to please everybody.
 
WapsiBanks00
member (15)member
  
03/05/2024 06:45AM  
PaddlingRedRock -I've been following this thread with interest. I enjoyed visiting with you at the HFFA show about your lake trout on a fly quest. It was also good to meet your son that may be joining us for a Quetico trip this year. Disappointed for you to see the bad news on fishing regs.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/05/2024 07:26AM  
Hello wapsibanks… yes i am so bummed with the seasons..most years it has no impact, but with an early ice out this year it is different. We may end up going this month if the ice goes out as the season is open until the 31st. Based on what I’m seeing in the regulations, even the border lakes are closed to Laker fishing after March 31st?

Somehow, we gotta figure this out!!

I’ve got all the components for my new fly rod including the line and leaders. My Rod from maxxon should be here any day. And they’re giving me an extra end section. I’m going to shorten the rod by about 8 inches but I’ll always have an original end section to keep the rod full 9’ in case I give it to my boy.
 
03/07/2024 03:37PM  
I'll guess Shagawa 3/31 and Gunflint 4/4 but I know Mother Nature can change on a dime.

In metro area my lake didn't even freeze over until 2024, and was open again less than 8 weeks later. Incredible.
 
03/07/2024 04:20PM  
Just to put in a guess or two, I'll say Shagawa - Ely side - April 15rd and Gunflint Lake - May 3rd.
 
03/07/2024 04:36PM  
Hmmm....April 5 and April 20 respectively.

Paddled the wide-open St Croix today...was lovely.
 
03/11/2024 03:14PM  
As of now March 11th at 1500, Ely is at 62 degrees F., and Sea Gull lake is 60 degrees F.
Lot of ice melting today across the State.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/11/2024 04:15PM  
Pinetree: "As of now March 11th at 1500, Ely is at 62 degrees F., and Sea Gull lake is 60 degrees F.
Lot of ice melting today across the State."


Thanks for the update Pinetree. Really appreciate it. Looks like an all-time record may be set this year if things continue.. the winds help melt it too. It’s really windy down here in Iowa today with a lot of sun.
 
03/11/2024 04:28PM  
It hit 58 here near Isabella today. Looks like we'll get ice melting thru Friday but after that the next ten days looks like more making than melting.
 
03/13/2024 08:22AM  
Poplar on the Gunflint Trail - March 13 is 17" thick solid all the way to shore. We live here year-round. The ice is moving up and down a lot, with a lot of noise and cracking. The top surface has been washed out by rain and re-freezes each night so patchy smooth surfaces. Some days there's a thin crust of ice over an inch of water that is sitting on the 17" of solid ice, disconcerting when you break through the thin crust on top!

The current best guess is early April, but some around here are wondering if it might go out in March. The earliest we remember any ice out up here is the Baumanns who manage Golden Eagle remember the first week of April one year.

Our webcam is working if you want to watch. I'll try to keep the ice thickness listed on there as well.
Thank you everyone! Sorry I missed Canoecopia.
https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/13/2024 08:52AM  
Rockwood: "Poplar on the Gunflint Trail - March 13 is 17" thick solid all the way to shore. We live here year-round. The ice is moving up and down a lot, with a lot of noise and cracking. The top surface has been washed out by rain and re-freezes each night so patchy smooth surfaces. Some days there's a thin crust of ice over an inch of water that is sitting on the 17" of solid ice, disconcerting when you break through the thin crust on top!


The current best guess is early April, but some around here are wondering if it might go out in March. The earliest we remember any ice out up here is the Baumanns who manage Golden Eagle remember the first week of April one year.


Our webcam is working if you want to watch. I'll try to keep the ice thickness listed on there as well.
Thank you everyone! Sorry I missed Canoecopia.
https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam "




Thx rockwood.. ur first-hand reports are really valuable!
 
03/13/2024 12:58PM  
Thx rockwood.. ur first-hand reports are really valuable!"


You are more than welcome. We also created a blog post and short video about early ice-out canoe trips...

https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/low-snow-early-trips/
 
03/14/2024 04:42PM  
My BIL sent me a picture of our lake ice free and Swans feeding out there.
 
03/14/2024 06:46PM  
Just back from a local paddle on the St Croix - tons of waterfowl here early & following the open water...
 
03/15/2024 11:10AM  
Most Minnesota lakes that are now ice-free are running about 2 weeks ahead of their earliest record. it is going to cool down some now, will see what happens next.
Mille Lac's earliest date is March 26th,2012. Could be ice-free this weekend?
 
Grizzlyman
distinguished member(789)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/20/2024 07:47PM  
How we doin up there? I see most of the lakes are ice free up to Duluth or so as of today.

Anyone measure ice recently up near Ely or gunflint?
 
03/20/2024 08:21PM  
I think per MN DNR Ice out map that Dinham is the lake closest to the BWCA that's reporting an ice out. I'd guess those granite-lined deeper lakes along the Gunflint will still take some time to free up. Hungry Jack folks and Gunflint lodge people might be able to help us out with ice conditions up there.
 
03/20/2024 10:06PM  
HighnDry: "I think per MN DNR Ice out map that Dinham us the lake closest to the BWCA that's reporting an ice out. I'd guess those granite-lined deeper lakes along the gunflint will still take some time to free up. Hungry Jack folks and Gunflint lodge people might be able to help us out ice conditions up there."
14 inches
 
03/21/2024 08:01AM  
Surprised last night that Robinson (on169 south of Ely) was close to half open with a pair of swans to boot, Clear (just to the south) was about 25% open. The lakes south of Virginia were fully open.

I spent the previous two days wandering around on the lakes off the Echo Trail without really giving the ice a thought.
 
03/21/2024 09:57AM  
Pinetree: "
HighnDry: "I think per MN DNR Ice out map that Dinham us the lake closest to the BWCA that's reporting an ice out. I'd guess those granite-lined deeper lakes along the gunflint will still take some time to free up. Hungry Jack folks and Gunflint lodge people might be able to help us out ice conditions up there."
14 inches "


Thank you! Good to know.
 
tumblehome
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03/21/2024 11:50AM  
We're back to single digit lows so I think we will have a reversal of lost ice for a week or so.

That said, the sun is higher now and that melts snow/ice more than the temp itself.

Tom
 
eagleriverwalleye
member (32)member
  
03/21/2024 12:18PM  
Correct. The 1000-acre lake I am on in the Wisconsin North Woods re-iced itself last night after a low of 5deg and no wind. This is just a week after the earliest ever ice-out seen here. But the sun is pounding it today and it is re-opening despite temps just in the teens and low-20s.
 
03/21/2024 01:57PM  
As I look out over the lake I'm on it is completely locked up and from the two week forecast I'd say it'll be another month. With the lack of snow up here I've never heard the lake crack, groan and sing as much as it has this year. I've made Mitawan Lake my home for twenty years.
 
gravelroad
distinguished member(991)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
03/21/2024 07:52PM  
Lakes in the Duluth area have been making ice for the last couple of days.

With the 6 to 30 (!) inches of snow coming this weekend, any of you folks with early April plans will have to change them, methinks. Ain't gonna be no meltin' in the B-Dub in the immediate future:

 
03/27/2024 09:52AM  
Winter has happened. Ice out? -- my guess is near norms ( maybe a week early) for most BW lakes. A unreal difference (record?) from Southern/Central MN lakes? Epic warm winter can turn pretty quick when Spring can still be cold.



Enjoy the weather- it's the only weather you got.
 
03/27/2024 10:10AM  
WhiteWolf: "Winter has happened. Ice out? -- my guess is near norms ( maybe a week early) for most BW lakes. A unreal difference (record?) from Southern/Central MN lakes? Epic warm winter can turn pretty quick when Spring can still be cold.





Enjoy the weather- it's the only weather you got. "
so true, what a weird year, much of north central Minnesota is ice free, but the arrowhead region may be normal.
 
03/27/2024 04:11PM  
Nice photo Whitewolf, thank you.

We drilled a hole today, 13" solid ice with 13" of drifted snow on top. However, 30' away there's a spot where the ice is super thin, was open water last week. We had snowmobiles on the lake yesterday, luckily they didn't try skipping that section.

Poplar Lake, mid-gunflint Trail near EP 47, 48, 49.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
03/28/2024 09:13AM  
Rockwood: "Nice photo Whitewolf, thank you.


We drilled a hole today, 13" solid ice with 13" of drifted snow on top. However, 30' away there's a spot where the ice is super thin, was open water last week. We had snowmobiles on the lake yesterday, luckily they didn't try skipping that section.


Poplar Lake, mid-gunflint Trail near EP 47, 48, 49."


Thank you, Rockwood! This is the exact type of information that’s really valuable to me. Hopefully the ice out will be closer to normal rather than early. With the lake trout season being closed until May 11 the longer we can go without ice out the better off. We are for Laker fishing!
 
KYLESCABIN
  
03/31/2024 09:07AM  
Forecast is looking good
 
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
03/31/2024 09:14AM  
Even when considering the big storm & it hasn't been exceedingly warm lately, I've noticed alot of the shallower lakes around Ely are opening up again. Don't think it will take much/long once we do get some warmer temps, rain, wind etc.
 
03/31/2024 10:34AM  
TuscaroraBorealis: "Even when considering the big storm & it hasn't been exceedingly warm lately, I've noticed alot of the shallower lakes around Ely are opening up again. Don't think it will take much/long once we do get some warmer temps, rain, wind etc."


agree, starting Saturday April 6th it suppose to be in the low 50s and lows above freezing for 10 days at least in Ely. Brainerd area some small lakes refroze and then open up during the day again.
 
03/31/2024 11:27AM  
My favorite ice out guide-I watch it closely-past years, the day it goes, I go up the cain. web
 
04/03/2024 10:42AM  
Poplar Lake, Gunflint Trail
April 3rd, 2024

16" solid ice

6" of hardpack snow.



https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam
 
04/03/2024 11:50AM  
Rockwood: "Poplar Lake, Gunflint Trail
April 3rd, 2024


16" solid ice


6" of hardpack snow.


https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam


"


Wow. Gonna take at least 15-20 days to open most of those lakes along the Gunflint if not more. Probably looking at a week or so early ice out compared to avg for many lakes in the Arrowhead?? Amazing compared to the records set in S.MN . 2012- all lakes (recorded) were out by now in Arrowhead other than Greenwood and Trout. Crazy .
 
04/03/2024 12:08PM  
I was surprised we are building ice…but I shouldn’t have been surprised with anything this Winter
 
JimmyJustice
distinguished member(735)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/03/2024 02:38PM  
WhiteWolf: "
Rockwood: "Poplar Lake, Gunflint Trail
April 3rd, 2024
16" solid ice
6" of hardpack snow.
https://www.rockwoodbwca.com/webcam
"



Wow. Gonna take at least 15-20 days to open most of those lakes along the Gunflint if not more. Probably looking at a week or so early ice out compared to avg for many lakes in the Arrowhead?? Amazing compared to the records set in S.MN . 2012- all lakes (recorded) were out by now in Arrowhead other than Greenwood and Trout. Crazy . "


I asked a few friends back in January if they would be up for an April BWCA trip (wether permitting). This was the response I got from one of them:

"I'd be game if it works out. I think there is gonna be ice , unless you hit a river.
PS- I think most are going to be surprised how "normal" the ice out is this year. It's been very mild. But...... lot of winter left (hint)"

Wonder who that was from...
 
TheCommonMan
member (13)member
  
04/09/2024 05:08PM  
Any news on ice conditions near Ely? I have next week off and was hoping somehow ice out would happen before the 15th. Would love to do a bonus April trip. Any info would be good thanks.
 
Finnboy
distinguished member (162)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/09/2024 05:33PM  
A few observations from Ely in the last few days.

White Iron looking south from Silver Rapids was ice covered today.
Johnson and One Pine were open last Sunday.
Shagawa mostly open.
Farm Lake mostly open.
Armstrong mostly iced over.
 
04/09/2024 05:43PM  
Mitawan Lake, a 200 acre x 25 deep near Isabella, is mostly ice covered. Ice is darkening and looks thin. I give it another week or so.
 
TuscaroraBorealis
distinguished member(5676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/09/2024 07:02PM  
TheCommonMan: "Any news on ice conditions near Ely? I have next week off and was hoping somehow ice out would happen before the 15th. Would love to do a bonus April trip. Any info would be good thanks."


Grand Ely Lodge called ice out on Shagawa yesterday. The projected temps for the next few days are supposed to be around 60 with a chance of rain so, I'd think you might just make it - depending on where you're headed.

On another note, there has been standing water around much of the area & in the ditches the past few days. Hopefully we keep getting the rain they're predicting to help get the green up started without needing a burning ban.
 
04/09/2024 07:23PM  
This is sounding good. I’m tentatively shooting for a quick 3 day/2 night solo entering on the 19th. Thinking about Lake One because it’s busy all summer and I’ve never done a trip entering there.
 
TheCommonMan
member (13)member
  
04/09/2024 07:43PM  
Thanks for updates. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for April 15.
 
cmanimal
distinguished member (125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/10/2024 10:47AM  
Based on the web cams (packsack and Vosburgh) , Fall lake looks to be about 1/2, and Moose has a full sheet of ice yet.
 
Heyfritty
distinguished member (181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/10/2024 02:19PM  
A little off topic, but how long do Lakers usually stay in the shallows. I’ve never fished them and have a May 16 permit. Planning to go to Little Sag. Of course weather makes a difference. Thanks!

Fritty
 
04/10/2024 03:44PM  
You should be good for a couple weeks, maybe more. I'm usually out for the summer the first week of June. The ice took a beating today-its 62 degrees here. It could go out this weekend. My rule of thumb is if the ice is off Mitawan then nearly all the entry points are open. Except Snowbank.
 
paddlingredrock
senior member (63)senior membersenior member
  
04/13/2024 08:32AM  
Sounds like a definite early ice out. Was hoping it would stay until at least early May but that seems impossible with current conditions and the forecast. Wouldn’t surprise me if everything was open by April 20th - is that about 20 days ahead of “normal”?
 
04/13/2024 09:07AM  
It’s getting close.

Tentative plan is still to head up the 19th, but will change to the 26th if needed. As of now the weather forecast for the 26th is looking a lot warmer. The weekend of the 19th is looking cold and windy.

Report from Rockwood’s website on Poplar Lake.

April 11, 2024 – 10? weak ice, areas of dark ice and open water
April 8, 2024 – 14? solid ice
 
04/13/2024 10:01AM  
ducks: "It’s getting close.

Tentative plan is still to head up the 19th, but will change to the 26th if needed. As of now the weather forecast for the 26th is looking a lot warmer. The weekend of the 19th is looking cold and windy.


Report from Rockwood’s website on Poplar Lake.


April 11, 2024 – 10? weak ice, areas of dark ice and open water
April 8, 2024 – 14? solid ice"


Ely side Moose lake is starting to crack and should be out by the 18Th or sooner. Were going to be about 14-18 days ahead of normal.
If heading to Canada Bayley bay will have ice next weekend probably
 
TheCommonMan
member (13)member
  
04/13/2024 11:43AM  
Was hoping to go April 15 to a small lake maybe South Hegman I’m assuming that’s open. I’ve been watching Moose Lake, but hearing smaller lakes are open. Please let me know if you think it is open. Thanks
 
04/13/2024 11:55AM  
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2906)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/13/2024 05:50PM  


Ice is off SE of Ely. I was on Pietro today.
Still ice here and there.
 
04/13/2024 05:59PM  
My earliest BWCA trip was April 17th in 2010. Don't think we'll beat that this year.

Didn't see any humans, and none of the portages had footprints in the frost heave except a few moose.


Ice has been out since February down here around Rochester, so I've been itching to get up to BWCA for a while now, but looks like it may be a bit still.
 
04/13/2024 06:06PM  
tumblehome: "


Ice is off SE of Ely. I was on Pietro today.
Still ice here and there."

awesome, are you going to make the loop?
 
04/13/2024 06:07PM  
bradcrc: "My earliest BWCA trip was April 17th in 2010. Don't think we'll beat that this year.

Didn't see any humans, and none of the portages had footprints in the frost heave except a few moose.



Ice has been out since February down here around Rochester, so I've been itching to get up to BWCA for a while now, but looks like it may be a bit still."
March 30th,2012 for me.
 
04/13/2024 07:46PM  
tumblehome: "


Ice is off SE of Ely. I was on Pietro today.
Still ice here and there."


Great photo, Tom!
 
04/13/2024 09:09PM  
tumblehome: "


Ice is off SE of Ely. I was on Pietro today.
Still ice here and there."


Way cool! Thanks for sharing.
 
04/13/2024 10:30PM  
Nice boat! I'll bet that water was cold, too :)
 
04/14/2024 08:31AM  
Moose lake ice changed overnight, should be out by Monday night or sooner.
 
04/14/2024 08:38AM  
Pinetree: "Moose lake ice changed overnight, should be out by Monday night or sooner."


Was just looking at that - appears that there's a big patch of open water, and I'll bet it looks very different by the end of the day.
 
04/14/2024 09:01AM  
Being a bit further away from Ely, I usually follow La Tourell's facebook page
to keep up with ice conditions. I went in one season on May 6th. We barely navigated past several layered, submerged ice sheets to get up to Indian Portage. When I arrived on Knife at the end of the day, the lake was still locked tight with ice. The USFS conducts flight operations over the BWCA at some point and gives ice out updates, I think. That might be helpful to tell when the interior of the backcountry starts to free up.
 
04/14/2024 11:00AM  
sns: "
Pinetree: "Moose lake ice changed overnight, should be out by Monday night or sooner."



Was just looking at that - appears that there's a big patch of open water, and I'll bet it looks very different by the end of the day."


The rain did its damage yesterday and the close to 60 and Sun today might finish it off.

Anyone know how the numbered lakes fare compared to Moose and others? I’m guessing the current of the Kawishiwi River would open them up.
 
04/14/2024 12:33PM  
TheCommonMan: "Was hoping to go April 15 to a small lake maybe South Hegman I’m assuming that’s open. I’ve been watching Moose Lake, but hearing smaller lakes are open. Please let me know if you think it is open. Thanks "


CabinAfter posted some Echo Trail photos and updates in anther thread this morning and posted this about South Hegman.

South Hegman
This ice near shore was still thick enough to walk on.




 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2906)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/14/2024 01:19PM  
@Pintree.
I didn’t do the loop. I was on another lake nearby and made a day trip to Pietro to check on the regrowth after the fire. While the forest around Pietro is coming back and will surely look lush in the summer, the campsites are just the pits. One of the three is passable but barely and the other two, not so much.

For the other comments- thanks. That’s my trusty solo wood/canvas canoe. The ooonly way to travel.
Tom
 
04/14/2024 05:16PM  
tumblehome: "@Pintree.
I didn’t do the loop. I was on another lake nearby and made a day trip to Pietro to check on the regrowth after the fire. While the forest around Pietro is coming back and will surely look lush in the summer, the campsites are just the pits. One of the three is passable but barely and the other two, not so much.


For the other comments- thanks. That’s my trusty solo wood/canvas canoe. The ooonly way to travel.
Tom"

Use to like the campsite across the lake from portage from Gull, in the southwest corner. I went into Petro the year after the fire and Pietro landscape was just covered with fireweed and its purple flower. It was pretty. Yes the campsites took a beating.
 
04/15/2024 12:33AM  
I just came upon this world view link which shows daily satellite images. Not as good as a Webcam or outfitter report but you can see lake ice where there are no clouds and might just help if your trying to chase the ice out on a trip, like I am. Hoping to do a trip this coming weekend to the Brule area.

Satellite images from NASA
 
04/15/2024 03:43AM  
As far as I know, my cabin holds the last of the ice on the lake. It went out about sunset last night. My cabin faces northwest and tends to drift in. I usually enter the BW a day or two after ice is out here. Over the last couple decades I've entered at many points between Kawishiwi Lake and Stuart and have only been foiled by Snowbank. For what it's worth, I'm declaring the Boundary Waters generally open for paddling.
 
CabinAfter
distinguished member (191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/15/2024 09:22AM  
Holy smokes, it looks like Moose Lake went out over the weekend??! Last week this was a sheet of ice.

 
04/15/2024 09:30AM  
CabinAfter: "Holy smokes, it looks like Moose Lake went out over the weekend??! Last week this was a sheet of ice.


"


It was pretty much completely covered on Saturday and gradually went out throughout the day yesterday and last night.
 
04/15/2024 10:28AM  
ducks: "
CabinAfter: "Holy smokes, it looks like Moose Lake went out over the weekend??! Last week this was a sheet of ice.



"



It was pretty much completely covered on Saturday and gradually went out throughout the day yesterday and last night. "


Awesome-I see no canoes yet?
 
04/15/2024 10:32AM  
CabinAfter: "Holy smokes, it looks like Moose Lake went out over the weekend??! Last week this was a sheet of ice.


"

Last night at sunset it had about 40% ice left-super thin.
 
04/17/2024 08:34AM  
COOK COUNTY WEBCAMS

LOOKS LIKE GUNFLINT LAKE HAS SOME OPEN WATER!!!
 
04/17/2024 02:30PM  
Sawbill is likely going to go out today, if it hasn't already, per Sawbill Outfitters:

Sawbill Outfitters News
 
04/18/2024 07:56AM  
SEAGULL LAKE AT SEAGULL OUTFITTERS

JUST LOOK AT HOW FAR YOU CAN SEE AND THERE IS NO ICE!!!
 
04/18/2024 08:03AM  
To quote Jasper Beardsley:

"That's a Paddlin' "
 
04/21/2024 12:13PM  
Poplar is very close, tonight or tomorrow. Our bay is mostly free of ice, just the stuff stuck between the islands. Gunflint Trail mid-way, three entry points Lizz Meeds and Skipper.
 
Nateoutdoors
  
04/22/2024 05:25AM  
Just Got back from a 4 day trip. We entered April 18th through Mudro #23 and went up to Lower Basswood Falls and to the Canadian Portage there. Only one spot of Ice and snow we had to navigate around on a portage, otherwise the lakes and rivers were wide open. We did have blizzard conditions at times but it never accumulated. We brought a small hot tent for shelter.

We had the whole place to ourselves never seeing anyone else the whole trip.

Water levels were average to above average.
 
04/22/2024 06:33AM  
Nateoutdoors: "Just Got back from a 4 day trip. We entered April 18th through Mudro #23 and went up to Lower Basswood Falls and to the Canadian Portage there. Only one spot of Ice and snow we had to navigate around on a portage, otherwise the lakes and rivers were wide open. We did have blizzard conditions at times but it never accumulated. We brought a small hot tent for shelter.


We had the whole place to ourselves never seeing anyone else the whole trip.


Water levels were average to above average. "


I had Lake One to myself from the 19th to the 21st and those bursts of 10 minute blizzards off and on were crazy That real feel temp of 17 was pretty chilly. I put on 10,000 steps just walking the trail around my island campsite on Friday to keep moving. Double sleeping bags kept me warm in the tent.

I bet that hot tent was really nice. I think Echo was asking me for a Hot Tent.


 
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