Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol 3-12-2015

Ashley’s first lake trout through the ice.

Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol is a blog that I found that gives you a different report than from Muskie Bay Resort and from a fly over view. We still have quite a bit of snow, I still suggest bringing sleds at least for this weekend. I will try to keep you up on the conditions. Please call ahead. We have plenty of ice we will be ice fishing for a while yet. It has been staying cold at night and warm during the day. See you on the hard water. Paul Trinkner

Jake always makes Ashley look good finding the right place to fish.


We have a tradition in our family that you have to kiss the first fish caught for good luck.


Familar face that we see in the summer during the full moon Muskie fishing. Gregg gives lake trout through the ice a try. 3-11-2015.




Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol

Warmer, but not a lot meltier. Yes, the streets of Kenora are a sloppy mess of puddles and slush, but Lake of the Woods is not so easily transformed. The first small stretches of open water have appeared on Safety Bay. I happened to be out flying today, for one of my annual proficiency tests. (These are like a nightmarish version of a driving test, with simulated emergencies and so on. They last over an hour and age me at least a week because my job depends on my satisfactory performance.) Anyway, here’s a picture of what little water there is.

Looking West down Safety Bay

Don’t forget: you can click on the picture to see the large version.

You can see patches of water by the hospital and by the headwaters, and more significantly, in the middle of Safety Bay near Lowe’s Island. There might be a tiny patch over by Cameron Island as well. On the right, you can see quite a lot of water on the Winnipeg River.

Keep in mind that Safety Bay is not typical of Lake of the Woods. There are strong currents, so open water here does not indicate that ice is going out anywhere else. I checked. It isn’t. 🙁



March 12, 2015: Some Perspective

People have been asking me how this year is shaping up compared to last year. Fair enough: last year was awful and no one wants to go through that again. I did not photograph the ice in March last year, so it’s hard to do a direct comparison. Things didn’t really start to thaw last spring untiI mid-April, and that’s when I took my first pictures for 2014. This year I started in early March. Do not jump to the conclusion that we are six weeks ahead. Perhaps three or four. I only started so early because I happened to have a convenient flight on a sunny day.

I hope to take new pictures on Saturday, March 14th, and it will be interesting to compare them to last year’s April 14th pictures- I’ll post some links to make that easy to do.

While we’re waiting, let’s look back at some previous years. I have photographs going back to 2003, when I got my first digital camera. You can look at some of these older photos by clicking on the links to Previous Years at the right of this web page (not visible if you are looking at the email version) which will take you to my PhotoBucket albums. Here’s a link to last year’s post that gives more detail about the approximate dates I used. I can take a fairly good guess at when the ice was completely gone each year.

Bar Graph 1

I broke it down into five-day periods to keep the graph simple. Ice-out always happens in April or May, and the most common weeks are the end of April or the beginning of May. Notice that 2014 is way out in right field – last year’s late thaw was an anomaly.

The Weather Network’s long-term forecast is for temperatures to run slightly above normal for the remainder of March. A normal daytime high this time of year is about 0°C and it looks as if we can expect highs above freezing for the next two weeks. Loosely speaking, above normal temperatures mean faster than average thawing. Other helpful weather factors would be rain, to melt the snow cover on the lake ice, then heat. Once the ice starts to go, strong winds can accelerate the break-up.

My guess? Early May. That’s the most common outcome. If we have enough warm weather, we might have a chance at beating May first. Keep in mind that’s for the lake to be completely ice-free. Many lake dwellers will be able to reach camps close to Kenora before the ice is all gone.