Yes, the ice is melting. No, it isn’t all gone. I only had time for a few very quick pictures on Wednesday evening, and the light was fading, making it hard to get good contrast, but here they are.
First, Lower Black Sturgeon. It is mostly open, and should be clear by the weekend. Upper Black Sturgeon is already open. From what I could see, the Winnipeg River looks good.
Longbow Lake is open. There is still a little pan ice along the south shore, but not for long.
And now to Lake of the Woods.
This is Matheson Bay, looking SW with Town Island near the middle of the picture. Because of the low angle, Town Island looks nearly as narrow as Galt Island in this photograph. There is a lot more water open in this area now, but you can still see ice near Bare Point at the left, and lots more ice further out on the lake.
Pine Portage Bay, looking SSE. It looks as if the ice is out near the Northern Harbour docks, although the flat grey light makes it hard to be sure of the exact boundary. Certainly the bay is still closed; the ice road is visible on a large portion of the bay.
Remember, since the warm weather last weekend, it’s been right around freezing at night, and we had snow on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. With that in mind, things are looking better than I expected. I don’t think it is realistic to hope for the whole lake to be open for the Victoria Day weekend; that’s only days away. Warm, windy weather might do it, but the forecast is for overnight lows near freezing for another two or three days. The weekend is supposed to be mild, with shirtsleeve temperatures for Sunday. Boating, however, will be chilly.