April 14, 2015: Ice Patrol’s First Anniversary.

Ice Patrol began as a blog one year ago today. At that time, I was hoping that if I made my aerial photographs easily available on the internet, more people might see them. I thought that instead of the ten or fifteen people who went online to check my PhotoBucket albums, I might reach a hundred people or more. More is an understatement. A miserable late thaw in 2014 led to Ice Patrol getting 60,000 hits in its six week spring run, and nearly 400 email followers. Those numbers continue to grow this year. Thank you all.

Here is that photograph from April 14th last year:

2014-04-14 Downtown

One Year Ago Today: April 14, 2014.

Fun fact: the forecast overnight low was -18ºC that night! No wonder it was a late thaw. For comparison, here’s a link to a picture of the Kenora waterfront taken yesterday.

And now, back to the news. This April, we are having a run of warm windy days and it is making a difference.


Overview of the south end of the Winnipeg River.

The photo above shows the Big Stretch of the Winnipeg River (looking SW) with Kenora at the upper left of the picture and Gun Lake at the right side.


A closer look at the Locke Bay area.

This second photograph of the River is centered on Laurenson’s Island, with Locke Bay stretching off to the right.

You can click on any of these pictures to see a larger, zoomable version. It’s particularly worthwhile with these next two, to help you see what’s going on further out on the lake.

An update on Safety Bay and Keewatin Channel.


Norman, Keewatin and Keewatin Channel.

Strong winds help the ice erode through wave action and by causing pan ice to collide and break up wherever there is open water. If you zoom in on the upper left corner, you can see that the ice is starting to rot between Town Island and Thompson Island.


Devil’s Gap, Jackfish Bay and Coney Beach.

You can see the same area here, a series of dark patches at the right side reaching out towards Scotty Island. Just above the middle of the photo, the current at Devil’s Gap is finally opening water toward Nickerson and Galt Islands, and the ice is letting go in Golf Course Bay. At the bottom right, Coney Beach is at that awkward stage: too soft for walking, too hard for swimming.

9 thoughts on “April 14, 2015: Ice Patrol’s First Anniversary.

  1. Happy Anniversary. Keep up the great work. I made it out pike fishing last week end because of your pics. Thanks again. Jim Bais

  2. Thanks so much from two “River Rats.” Glad you include more river pics this season. Re the one today featuring Laurensen Isle and Locke Bay area. our family round isle cottage is directly above Laurensen with The Powder Puff Isle to right and above it Dusang Point . This photo is what the area was like on May 12 last year- nearly a month later. We park our van and we canoe over from the area left of the isle , just past the small isle that still has ice at the rear of it. With five more daze! of warm weather and wind it will be even more open on Monday when we go over for 3 sleeps. Thanks so much for providing this very useful service and a great teaser for cottage country lovers . The canoe and isle are calling! – John and Marlene Oldham, Winnipeg.

    • Unfortunately, you cannot send pictures through the comments form, so I didn’t actually get to see your photograph.

  3. Thanks ice captain, happy anniversary. In 2010 we stayed out over breakup and the ice left between Middle Island and Scotty Island on April 13.
    This year, about 40 more sleeps until we get to Middle Island!
    Mike Riley

  4. I found this website after the ice went out last year, and have been waiting patiently for this year to see it happen as you post new photos. Fantastic website, and Happy Anniversary! Please keep it up!

  5. Happy Anniversay on your Ice Patrol web site..I was out to my place in Andrew Bay last year next day after ice left thanks to your web site. I live in Calgary so I like seeing the photos and how things are progressing. Thanks for the great work.

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