April 30, 2016: Going…

With help from some friends, I can offer an update this weekend after all. First, the satellite overview. If you compare today’s picture with the ones from three days ago, you can see that the areas of ice are much reduced. The  mostly gray patch at the upper left is Shoal Lake. The streaky gray bit at the upper middle is Clearwater Bay, and the faint pale streak to the right of that is Bigstone Bay.  Below that is a scribble of bright white ice, and that’s closer to Sioux Narrows.


Lake of the Woods, April 30, 2016.

Second, I received a fabulous picture of Pine Portage Bay through Twitter today. Joe Wedge tweeted me these:


This version isn’t zoomable, but it clearly shows that Pine Portage Bay is wide open, while much ice lurks out in Bigstone Bay. Thanks, Joe! I hope it’s okay that I cropped it.

As soon as I replied, he sent three more:


Brown’s Island, Ptarmigan Bay


Ptarmigan Bay, Ash Rapids


Clytie Bay, Shoal Lake

These all show areas I haven’t been able to cover this spring. Thanks again!

I got a great set of pictures from guest contributors Garry Hawryluk and Barry Mallin today, and they were just what I needed. These were taken Saturday morning.

Click on the pictures to see a larger version, and click on that to zoom right in.

I’ll start  near town, and work my way west. Garry was actually flying towards town, but through the magic of the internet, let’s pretend we can back him up.

Welcome Channel Poplar Bay Crop

Poplar Bay, Welcome Channel, Hare Island, Wolf Island

This shot looks east, with Welcome Channel and Hare Island close to the center. Poplar Bay is a little further back and to the left, and way off toward the horizon on the left is Kenora. All that ice at the right is the Manitou.

Whisky Island

Whisky Island, Slate Islands

Looking south east over Whisky Island. Did I mention that there’s still lots of ice in the Manitou? It may not look like much on the satellite picture, but the northern portions of Lake of the Woods still have extensive stretches of ice.

Birch Island

Birch Island, Ptarmigan Bay

Looking west from the Manitou  over Brulé Point towards Ptarmigan Bay, things look a little better.

Here’s one for the Clearwater crowd.

ZigZag Island Crop

Deception Bay, Woodchuck Bay, ZigZag Island

Looking East again. Deception Bay, at the left, is pretty open, but there’s still quite a lot of ice further out from the landing.

Heartfelt thanks to Garry and Barry for today’s pictures . It’s always tricky at the end of the thaw, because things suddenly start to change very fast, and it gets hard for me to keep up.

Today, I drove to Winnipeg and back. Naturally, I looked at the lakes as I went by. When I went west, at around 11:00AM, Clearwater Bay had lots of ice, much like what you can see in the picture above. Falcon Lake looked to be 50-60% ice-covered.

On my return, at around 7:00PM, things had changed a lot. Strong north winds had pushed the ice on Falcon against the south shore, and it looked from the highway as if there was only 15-20% ice cover. This is where aircraft come in so handy- they give a better overall perspective. But although it’s hard to judge accurately from just driving by, I think there was big change in eight hours.

Ice also retreated visibly from Clearwater Landing. I’d guess it had been pushed back almost to McCallum Point, but remember, I was driving by in my nice warm car, not freezing my face off in a boat for a proper look.

Overall, Lake of the Woods looks like it’s down to 10-12% ice cover. In the area just south of Kenora, it might still be close to 50%, but the ice is weakening fast. The forecast for next week is calling for warm temperatures on Monday and Friday, but cooler conditions during the week.

I’m looking forward to taking some pictures on Monday.

4 thoughts on “April 30, 2016: Going…

  1. Hi there, just wanted to say we very much appreciate your blog and refer to it constantly. I put the boat in at Rush Bay this afternoon and made it through Mud Portage no problem. Ptarmigan is plugged solid with white ice. Clearwater is black ice from Macallum Point to Sugar Bay and then looked clear further east. I had to hug ZigZag and made it to center channel which was pretty much open. I am now sitting on my deck just southeast of the Giraffe at the east end of Copper. The black ice in Clearwater looks like it will disappear shortly. Looking west down Ptarmigan, it looks like solid white ice. Having a cool one on the deck, it’s dead calm and spectacular. Thanks for all the guidance again this year. Take care.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Best close up I’ve ever seen of our place on Welcome Channel. Love it, can’t wait for Friday

  3. Boated out to camp today (Monday) around 1:00pm East end of Bigstone is open at least to around copper isle. Moore bay looks to be completely ice free.

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