It’s that time of year. Minnesotans venture out onto lakes to ice-fish and enjoy lakes in winter.
December ice thickness and stability on Minnesota lakes are typically sketchy. We’ve had some subzero air to help build some ice. The Twin Cities have logged four days with subzero temperatures so far this season. Duluth has recorded seven days at or below zero.
December temperatures are running 2.5 degrees colder than average so far in the Twin Cities. December is running more than 4 degrees colder than average in Duluth.
But we’ve also had some warm spells, and snow cover to insulate the ice from the cold air above.
The result is highly variable ice thickness on Minnesota lakes, over short distances. Check out this report from Lyback’s Ice Fishing on Lake Mille Lacs.
This year the ice depths are very inconsistent on the main lake ice and cannot be taken for granted that it’s the same. The thin ice and a lot of snow created areas of ice as thick as 10 inches and areas next to it as little as 3 inches and every area around the lake is different. Extreme caution is necessary.
Ice safety guidelines
Minnesotans are pretty savvy about ice safety. But every year we see vehicles, and sometimes people go through the ice.
Here are some good guidelines for ice thickness on Minnesota lakes.
Stay safe out there Minnesota!