Ice is going out on northeastern Minnesota lakes well ahead of normal and often more than week earlier than previous records.
Ely residents say ice melted away over the weekend on larger lakes in and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Forest Service District Ranger Mark Van Every in Ely, says people strong winds Friday eveningbroke open some of the larger lakes like Burntside Lake and Shagawa Lake close to Ely.
"We anticipate and expect a number of the other lakes went out over the weekend, so people are starting to get out and about and enjoy getting back on the water," Every said.
Ice went out Saturday on Kabetogama Lake in Voyageurs National Park; beating the previous April 13 record. Ice-out on Sawbill Lake north of Tofte was Sunday -- more than a week earlier than recorded before.
Bill Hanson at Sawbill Outfitters north of Tofte says the ice went out Sunday on Sawbill Lake, beating the April 11th record set in 1976. Ice out on regional lakes would typically be closer to May 1st.