LAKE VERMILION— The open water season here officially began Thursday, April 15, when the last of the pack ice cleared from Lake Vermilion’s Big Bay. This year’s ice-out day was a …
LAKE VERMILION— The open water season here officially began Thursday, April 15, when the last of the pack ice cleared from Lake Vermilion’s Big Bay. This year’s ice-out day was a full 15 days ahead of the average date of April 30 and reflects the exceptionally mild March and early April weather that the North Country experienced.
Local pilot John Burgess reported the lake free of ice as of Friday morning, April 16. According to barge operator T.J. Kladivo, sizable areas of ice still lingered on portions of Big Bay as of April 15, but that ice had all but disappeared by Friday morning. Based on longstanding tradition, if the ice is declared out prior to noon on any date, the official ice-out is called for the day prior.
A report of a small area of ice floating in Big Bay, north of Ely Island on Friday morning is not sufficient to prevent the ice-out call. The traditional definition of ice-out on the lake is when boaters can navigate to any dock, which would not be prevented by small areas of floating ice.
Pilot reports indicated some areas of lingering ice remained on Trout Lake, north of Vermilion, as of April 16.
A U.S. Forest Service pilot reported Friday that, as of April 15, Burntside Lake was about 50 percent open, while most other lakes in the area, including Shagawa and Birch were fully open.
Basswood was also reported as almost entirely open.