I was able to catch a pretty shot of Northern Harbour on this morning’s departure from Kenora.
Click on the pictures to see a larger version that can be zoomed to 100%.
Northern Harbour is at the very left edge of this shot, while Bald Indian Bay is on the right. All that ice in the middle distance is Bigstone Bay, and in the far distance at the right is ice on the big water south of the Eastern Peninsula.
On our return this evening, we swung over for a better look at that. This is well south of Kenora, closer to Sioux Narrows.
Shore Island is just below the center of this picture that looks west. Beyond it is the largest pan of ice remaining on Lake of the Woods. Chisholm Island and Cliff Island are at the left edge, and way off in the distance is Shoal Lake. We couldn’t see any ice around Sioux Narrows, by the way: Long Bay and Regina Bay were entirely clear.
Next shot, closer to Kenora.
Hay Island is at the right, with Scotty Island above the center. That’s Whisky Island pointing like an arrowhead to where the sun is glinting on the waters of the Manitou. There are still a few loose pans of ice out that way, but the patch on Bigstone Bay at the right is much more substantial. Zoom in on this picture, and you should be able to make out some boats. Hint: look for the wakes.
Back to check on Northern Harbour and the ice on Bigstone Bay.
Middle Island and Hay Island are out of sight under the plane in this shot that looks north east over the Hades Islands at Bald Indian Bay, Sultana Island and Pine Portage Bay. Think of this picture as the opposite of the morning shot. This is the second largest pan of ice left on Lake of the Woods.
Lastly, Matthew Render sent me this shot of Shoal Lake. He’s been a contributor since Ice Patrol went online in 2014, and he’s a real help because he regularly flies right over Shoal Lake, which I can seldom do. This week he’s not in the neighbourhood, but he got a friend to take a picture and forwarded it to me.
This picture looks north, and it’s clear that most of the ice is in the southern portion of Shoal Lake. Above the large pan of ice at the middle right is Cliff Island, and north of that, it looks like the lake is clear. Above Indian Bay, at the left, you can see Falcon Lake and West Hawk . I believe they are clear now.
I think Clearwater Bay is wide open. It certainly looked like it, but I was too far away to be absolutely sure.
Regional temperatures rose to 19ºC this afternoon, and it was breezy, too, so a lot of ice melted. East of Kenora, Eagle Lake at Vermillion Bay was almost clear this evening, and Wabigoon Lake at Dryden is about the same or better. Sioux Lookout is going fast; there was a floatplane on the water there this evening, and further north, Red Lake’s ice is very weak. Near Kenora, all the small lakes are clear, with the sole exception of Silver Lake, a deep lake that always thaws late.
For most people, Lake of the Woods is open. My eyes at the Clarion Lakeside Inn tell me the floating bridge to Coney Island came out today, to open up the waterways to boat traffic. The remaining ice will be gone this week, probably by Wednesday. That would be a day later than last year. It would also be Star Wars Day: May the Fourth be with you.