Ice Out for MN Lakes is a Bit Behind Schedule - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Ice Out for MN Lakes is a Bit Behind Schedule

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Lakes are still frozen solid across the state and many of those lakes have some of the thickest ice we've seen in years. So what does all of this mean for homeowners in lakes country? Valley News team's Eric Crest chisels away at the concern that ice is pushing its way into your yards.


Minnesota's ice out in 2012 was one of the earliest in recent memory. Then in 2013 the ice wouldn't go away making it one of the latest ice out's in years.


"Normal is un-normal. That is our normal," jokes Ross Hagemeister a fishing guide in Otter Tail county.


At Otter Tail Lake this 11 mile long monster known for it's walleye and perch had a it's own record of sorts this winter. The depth of the ice.


"We did see 40 inches of ice on spots. It wasn't lake wide though," says Hagemeister.


"A lot of these guys are saying this is as much as they've seen in Otter Tail county in many years," adds Howard Fullhart the Assistant Area Supervisor of the Fergus Falls DNR.


So the question is, with all of this ice beginning to melt are the odds greater that it will push up into yards with a greater force than usual?


"Here we are and this is all really relatively new. This has happened in the past few days," says Hagemeister describing the five plus feet of sheets of ice that are starting to build up on Otter Tail Lake.


Fullhart says it's too early to tell if the ice will build up in yards like it has in some distant years past,"it's all dependent on how much we lose and how quickly we lose it too."


Of course it also depends on how the wind cooperates too. But one thing's for certain the ice out situation never gets any easier for those on the lakes.


"They're all hoping and praying that the ice won't come in. Cause it could potentially get those cabins if it really blew," says Hagemeister who's fairly confident it won't happen this year but he agrees it's too early to tell.


"We've had ice that actually pushes onto the roads and the county guys are moving ice off the roads cause we had such a big ice push," Fullhart adds describing the situation that arose several years back at Otter Tail Lake.


So as folks in lakes country continue to watch the ice melt, crackle, even pop. Here's to hoping it all does so at the appropriate time and temperature, that gets us back out on the lake at the appropriate time of year.


"I really think we'll see ice off really close to the end of April or the first part of May," says Hagemeister optimistically.


On Otter Tail Lake it's common to still see vehicles on the ice. But the DNR warns that the ice is very unstable this time of the year. Adding that typically we'll see the ice off sometime in mid April.


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