March 17, 2016: St. Patrick’s Day

Today I managed some quick shots of different areas to give you an idea what’s happening. The main thing is, all that snow and a night of below freezing temperatures didn’t really do much to slow down the melt.


Town Island

This photograph, looking north, shows Town Island just above the front of the engine. Disregard the weird propeller blades, they’re just something dreamed up by the digital camera. Water is spreading out from Keewatin Channel into the Tangle at the left side of the picture. More notably, in spite of fresh snow, large patches of lake ice look slushy.

Now to move a little further from town.


Scotty Island

Look closely near the center of this picture. Between Scotty Island, in the foreground, and Middle Island, behind it, there’s a patch of open water where the current squeezes between two little islands.

Click on any of the photographs to see a larger version that you can zoom to full resolution.

We flew south east towards the Barrier Islands for a minute or two.


Allie Island and Mather Island

There’s a little water between Allie Island and Mather Island.


Big Narrows

And lots of water in Big Narrows already. This photo also looks south east.

Later in the flight, we had a chance to check part of the Winnipeg River.


The Little Dalles

Tom snapped this one while I was busy flying. It looks north, and I think that’s the Little Dalles in the middle of the picture. You can see the main channel is really starting to open up.

So far, I think we’re running about a week ahead of last year. That’s not bad, especially as the ice is thinner this year, and may go faster. I also looked back at 2012, because that was a very early spring. By mid-March of 2012, the ice looked really rotten. This year, it’s just starting to turn darker. Then again, there were lots of years when I didn’t take any pictures in March at all. If you want look at some of my old pictures and draw your own conclusions, there are links for all my pictures from 2009 at the right side of this page.


12 thoughts on “March 17, 2016: St. Patrick’s Day

  1. It’s Great you’re back !
    Still pretty solid out Bare Pt Marina
    way , and Lunny Island ?

  2. Wonderful pic of our place at the south end of Middle Island. I will have it blown up and make a frame for it. I am really grateful that you do this. Thanks so much. I wonder if Bill Devins has tried to play golf at Kenora club yet. Warm enough to play here but courses aren’t open.

    Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 02:52:11 +0000 To:

  3. Got to say when it was so warm I was reminded of the spring of 1980 when a very early melt ushered in the big fires. The lakes opened up so early we were fishing in the boat on Longbow Lake before the close of pickerel season, so that was before mid April and the fires were already raging by then. If all the rain and snow of the last few days means less fire danger and the cooler weather a slower melt it really isn’t a bad thing no matter how much I want the warmer weather.

  4. Just a comment from a new subscriber. This is a great post. Keep it up and thanks. On a different note,I really think that your employer,Walsten Air should be given permanent and prominent recognition in every post as this would not be possible without their contribution.

    Ed cooper

    Beach rd.


    • Good point: Walsten Air does a lot to support Ice Patrol, from the participation of my fellow pilots to booking me on trips with the best potential for taking pictures. My WordPress account is non-commercial though, so I have to be careful about things like official sponsorship and advertising.

  5. great pictures of the Winnipeg River, TIm ,cant wait to get to get the boat in the water, thank you

  6. Beautiful photo of Scottys. I took a liberty in posting this to my Facebook page because I can see my campsite.

    please advise if I have done in error.



    • Isn’t it fun when you see your camp? Thank you for stopping to think about copyright! As a guide, I usually ask people to include only one photograph on their website, and not the full high-resolution version. That’s so people don’t take all my content and make it look like their own. It is good manners to say where you got a photograph, (attribution) and making a link to the Ice Patrol website is nice if you know how. That’s what I asked CBC radio and Q104 to do.

  7. Add me to the long list of folks who really enjoy and appreciate this. It really gets the blood flowing for boat season. Oh, your narratives are great, almost as good as the pix. : > ) Thanks so much.

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