Ice Likely to Come Off Late This Year — Still Use Caution


Ice Melt Fishing Minnesota

Ice fishing fanatics may have actually enjoyed this winter’s bitter coldness; the ice is darn thick on quite a few lakes still. But even though Minnesota’s been having quite a few thaw-less days doesn’t mean that the ice is still in pristine condition.

We’re quickly approaching the median “ice-out” dates for most Minnesota lakes (a few dates are popular knowledge: April 15th for Lake Minnetonka, the 25th for Mille Lacs and the 30th for Vermilion). Ice-out on a lake means that you would need divine powers to walk out to your favorite fishing spot; keep that fact and those dates in mind every day you step onto the ice in the coming weeks.


Department of Natural Resources’ Ground Rules:

Measurements are for clear, solid ice. Double these for “snow ice”

2 Inches or less: STAY OFF

4 Inches: Being on foot/ice fishing is okay

5 Inches: ATVs and Snowmobiles are okay

8 to 12 Inches: Small Cars

12 to 15 Inches: Medium Sized Trucks

For cars and trucks: don’t let them sit in one spot for longer than two hours and don’t park them within 50 feet of other vehicles. Also drill a hole nearby; if water comes out, that means your ride is on sinking ice! Move it! The DNR also has information on how to drill and check the ice depth.

Spring Ice Melt Minnesota

Still Wanna Risk it? Here are a Few Suggestions:

Check with local bait shops or other lake oriented businesses to get the lowdown on conditions. If you call ahead, you might even save yourself a trip.

Also keep in mind that melt-water is flowing into and out of lakes. This can drastically decrease the amount of ice covering the lake in a particular area compared to the body as a whole. The DNR recommends checking the thickness every 150 feet, but if risking a late ice fish session this spring, I’d check it more often than that.


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About Author

Erik Bergs

Erik fancies himself first and foremost a fiction writer (which is his focus while completing a Master of Fine Arts at Hamline University). As for completed education, he attended Southwest High School in Minneapolis and later majored in both Religion and English at Pacific Lutheran University. He currently lives in South Minneapolis, but has also lived in Tacoma, Washington and Yamagata City, Japan. Erik holds a wide array of interests which he compliments with hair-brained ideas and, on rare occasion, thought-provoking angles. His greatest passions include travel, food, stories (in all their forms) and of course his fiancee.

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